All too often, seems like I am hearing a narrative — that often doesn’t clear the bar, sometimes transparently so — when Guelph Mayor Farbridge comments to Council. It kinda reminds me of storytime with my daughter, only, we don’t read stuff to her that would insult her intelligence.

The bottom line, we deserve better.

For the record, below: Mayor Farbridge’s comments in advance of Council voting on an amendment, and then the main motion as amended, Monday, September 24, 2012. The amended motion was for a summary of costs and benefits of activities associated with late night bars be referred to committee later this fall.

Mayor Farbridge voted against both the amendment and the amended motion.

Which is at least more consistent than pitching for an amendment, and voting for the amendment, only to vote against the amended motion, as was the case with Councillor Burcher. Councillor Laidlaw also voted for the amendment and against the amended motion.

The following speculative narrative was offered by Mayor Farbridge ahead of her vote against even asking a committee for an updated look at the costs (and benefits) to the City resulting from late night bar activity downtown.

How much of what Mayor Farbridge raises in this speculative narrative is valid? You be the judge.

“While I appreciate it… it seems like a simple step to ask for this work to be done at this time, umm, ya, I think it is a fairly substantial piece of work that needs to be done. Umm, I think… the intent is to tax, and Councillor Bell has made no bones about that and has always been clear about that. Umm, my concern is, umm, right now in terms of that being a priority in terms of staff’s time. Umm, I’m also concerned about, umm, wanting to respect the hard work of the task force that has, umm, built some very strong relationships and we’re just, we’re starting to see the payoffs of those relationships in the downtown, umm, and the bar owners are at the table, and my concern is, is, and we need them to be at the table, and my concern with going down this path is that we’re going to send them scattering at this point. Umm, and I am very concerned about, umm, the larger, perhaps unintended policy consequences of having a… a… elevated tax in the downtown pushing the bar activity out, into other residential areas, into industrial areas, umm, which, will add, have additional impacts, and additional costs and I think, I have heard… … certainly on my role on the Police Services Board, umm, that the current situation is preferrable from a policing perspective in order to be able to, be able to have the effective strategies, umm, to manage… to manage, umm, people, in a city, in an urban environment, lots of people — in an urban environment, there are always lots of people and doing things in an urban environment, so for those reasons I can’t, umm, support, even with the clarification of the, umm, recommendation that’s being referred — So, I will call a vote.”

About Craig Chamberlain

Ward 3 Guelph resident, dad and step-dad.
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