About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Request Denied: Transit Hub a go as is

Rough night for Bob Bell at city council last night, of course he hasn't really done a lot to ingratiate himself lately either. I'm not saying that telling the local newspaper that you "stopped believing everything that was written in staff reports years ago,” is a terrible way to start a new four-year term at City Hall, but if I were Bell I'd hire a flunky to start his car in the morning... 
Mayor Karen Farbridge did give Bell a bit of a tongue lashing right off the bat by telling Bell that she would censure him if he should step over the line. And then Bell almost stepped over the line by trying to explain that “there are times when the information is not accurate or is misleading and …” Yikes. Good thing it's a season of peace, am I right?
Joking aside, Bell's motion was serious: a reconsideration of the design of the Transit Hub. I hold true to my opinion that if this was any other construction project, a motion of reconsideration would have never been brought to council in the first place. In watching the Council meeting on Rogers last night, I was thinking more and more about how much improvement transit has been granted in the last 10 years. And while the cost of a bus ride has gone up by a dollar in the last decade, we've still only got the same 15 some-odd bus routes that we've always had. Combined with the yo-yo-like scheduling of 30 minutes / 40 minutes / 20 minutes / no 20 minutes in the summer, it's hard to believe that the PTB's give much of a damn about transit in the city. But I digress...
Anyway, the meeting seemed to be filled with confusion and points of order as some of the councillors, at times, didn't seem entirely sure what the parameters of the discussion is. Still, Chief administrator Hans Loewig presented a list of reasons why delaying the construction for a design reconsideration could be detrimental, including backlash from partners on the project. New Ward 1 Councillor Jim Furfaro seconded Bell's motion to re-open the issue on the basis of his ward-mate's passion on the issue, and because it might do new councillors well to take a fresh look at the issue seeing as how they will now "take ownership" of the project. Ultimately though, council voted to deny the motion with only Bell, Furfaro, Gloria Kovach, and Andy Van Hellemond voting in favour of re-opening the issue.
So now the question is, after the ISF funding deadline extension and Bell's motion, what will threaten the Transit Hub next?