Friday, March 23, 2007

Free Press and city hall join together in one big "huh?"

Aside from the conclusion that one would do well to be an administrator of municipal services in London, this article in the London Free Press must be one of the least informative or illuminating pieces published in a hallowed local tradition of uninformative and unilluminating journalism:

City hall administration kept the former head of the Dearness Home on the payroll for seven months after he left without telling council.
Note the confusing construction of the first sentence: did the former Dearness Home manager leave without telling council? As it turns out, administration didn't tell council it was leaving him on the payroll for seven months after he left, but that's about all anyone's going to know about where your money is going because no one at city hall has the slightest interest in finding out:
No one has questioned the changes or their cost, but there appears to be confusion at city hall over what politicians and the public should be told.
If anything, city hall has an active interest in not finding out:
The absence of detail was appropriate, [deputy mayor Tom] Gosnell believes, because council wants administration to keep secret personnel information that if leaked could lead to lawsuits.
Oh, the ubiquitous lawsuits… well, that covers just about anything to do with anybody paid with public funds in London, so we might as well forget the whole thing.

Bonus zinger:
"My practice . . . is to be as upfront as possible," said [chief administrator Jeff] Fielding, whose tenure in London has been praised for its transparency.


Joe Molnar said...

It seems the two lefty councilors
Eagle and Winninger involved in Dearness oversight were asleep at the switch regarding seven month paid absence.

One would think the FP would have been all over this story months ago.

Wilful media blindness or just lazy journalists?

Just imagine what it would cost London to give Fielding the boot some day, eh?

Maybe a couple million?

Jake said...

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pork salaries at city hall.

Just two days ago, the Freeps reported that the number of employees at city hall making over six-figures has increased by 833% in only ten years. We went from 6 to 50 staff making 100k + a year. Most of these increases occurred over the past 5 years. Tom Gosnel tried to justify this drastic increase as "necessary to retain good professionals"--pure bullshit.

Larger cities like Hamilton and Mississauga have less employees making 100k + and they are better managed than London by a mile.

Anonymous said...

Not blindness nor laziness. Just Paul Berton exercising his right to spin the news to protect local state bureaucrats.
Berton figured out a long time ago that statist propaganda was essential if his brand of communism was to be sustained. So like Pravda, we will never see a discouraging word about city hall administration no matter how incompetent or corrupt it becomes.