Letter: Open questions relate to spending

I am greatly concerned with the rising cost of municipal government, writes Frank Triveri.

As a ratepayer I am greatly concerned with the rising cost of municipal government. Therefore, I have a number of “open” questions for city council to answer in regard to municipal spending:

A $200,000 severance was paid out to our CAO who was dismissed and then rehired. Why has there been no effort to mitigate the CAO’s losses for the period of time he was “unemployed” and a request made for the balance to be returned to the city coffers, thus eliminating the perception of double dipping?

The amount of $175,000 is the announced estimated cost to remediate a gravel pit. Why was the gravel pit “over-excavated” to the point that it compromised a fence and power lines? Where was the oversight to ensure safe operation of the pit? Why is the estimated cost announced prior to seeking tender? Will there be any tenders lower than the established baseline of $175,000?

Under whose direction was Urban Systems hired to the tune of $5,000 -$7,000 to outline options for completing water meter installations? Do we really need to pay thousands of dollars for “experts” to state the obvious?

Council allocated $20,000 to hire extra staff to comply with FOI requests. Was there any consideration given to the temporary reallocation of existing staff to do this work? Was there absolutely nothing that could be temporarily put on hold? Was it really necessary to hire extra staff when City Hall is full of employees?

Since council has embarked on a costly initiative, the disqualification of a councilor, how much will this add to our tax burden?

Frank Triveri, Grand Forks