I want to say what a good job Haldimand County has done of ploughing the snow off my road this winter. It’s a good thing they have a few simple tasks to do, because when it comes to complicated ones, they often seem to be in over their heads.
First there was the Cayuga streetscaping fiasco that resulted in heavy streetlight banner arms crashing down onto our sidewalks. How did the County respond? It said nothing, apparently hoping the problem would go away on its own. It didn’t.
Then there was the new administration building project. Councillors chose the middle-priced of the three options presented to them by staff, then made revisions to their choice that made it by far the most expensive of the three. Citizens noticed and spoke up. How did the County respond? It said nothing, apparently hoping the problem would go away on its own. It hasn’t.
Next, the Cayuga Bridge Rail Trail was slated to cost only $1.4 million until citizens discovered that someone had made off with the ballast stone on which it was supposed to be built. Haldimand County’s solution? Say nothing, and hope the problem will go away on its own. It won’t.
Nevertheless, the current leadership of Haldimand County seems satisfied with this dysfunctional approach to mistake management. At the January 24 council meeting Chief Administrative Officer Don Boyle, announced that there was a cloud on the County’s title to the Cayuga Market Square, and that’s why the library rebuild planned for that quiet, safe site was later moved to noisy, dangerous Highway 3. Then at the February 27 council meeting Mayor Ken Hewitt announced there was no cloud on title, and that was never the reason the library project was moved, anyway. CAO Boyle sat right beside him and said nothing, apparently hoping nobody would notice the contradiction. We did.
I wonder whether the current leadership of Haldimand County really makes more mistakes than any other municipal government in history, or whether it just seems that way because they are so utterly incapable of dealing with mistakes once they are made.
Hopefully after the next election the point will be moot.