Incumbent Haldimand County mayor Ken Hewitt is quoted in the Simcoe Reformer as saying that the $17.5 million new county administration building in Cayuga won’t be much of an issue in this campaign.

Whether that be the case or not, the trustworthiness of Hewitt’s financial data is certain to be a very big issue. The building’s 2016 cost estimate of $16.2 million was revised upward in August of 2017 to $19.5 million, figures that are posted for all to see on the county website on page 11 of report PED-GM-04-2017.

Furthermore, the revised $19.5 million price tag doesn’t include the new furniture and new computer systems that will be purchased for the building, long-term financing costs, or the cost of demolishing the existing administration building and remediating its site back to green space. When all is said and done, taxpayers will be lucky to get that new building for anything less than $30 million.

If Hewitt can explain his figure of $17.5 million, he needs to do so. If he just made it up, he needs to retire.

David McClung, Cayuga