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Cone of silence?
Oh sure, I was disappointed at the "over costs" of the municipal service review, but not surprised. Consultants will charge what they can get away with (Although the extent of the over cost and the marginal findings of the consultants would certainly raise alarm bells to anyone involved in dealing with their own money, that will probably be the subject of letters to come)
What really (got me upset) was the fact that a concerned private citizen had to first of all read through the "information" supplied by the RMOW bureaucrats, recognize something was amiss and go through the effort and time to obtain a Freedom of Information document (kudos to Kevin Rea for that) only to be told by our communications officer, Michele Comeau, it "was a mistake" and "certainly not intentional." Then she totally sidestepped the suggestion that perhaps other financial information supplied by the RMOW could be questionable.
Oh really? To imagine that well paid RMOW financial experts just spaced $40,000 of expense is laughable. It was either incompetent or intentional; both of which are inexcusable.
Since when has the cone of silence descended over muni hall? It has always been the case that sensitive legal and contractual discussions are held "in camera," but now everything seems to have to pass through the propaganda machine before being deemed safe for public consumption. Doesn't the finance department or the person in charge of the service review file in question have a phone? Does that person have a name? Can he or she speak? In the real world people have to defend and live with the consequence of their actions, not have a third party cavalierly toss it off as a mistake.
Our secretive little RMOW bureaucratic fiefdom that operates free of public or media scrutiny does no one any good. In the absence of real time information the elected officials are hung with the results (witness our last election), the public is left to invent its own stories and the staff that are doing a good job are tarred with an increasingly unfavorable brush.
Content warnings please
As editor, and responsible for the content of the articles you publish, I believe you have a solemn duty to warn your readers in advance when said content could be offensive to some, disturbing to many and, in extreme cases, cause harm to your readers.
Case in point: The article documenting how the bill for the consultants hired to reign in ballooning municipal budgets came in...(drum roll please)... OVER BUDGET! (Pique Dec. 29, 2011) and by THIRTY percent no less!!! That article should have been preceded by: "Warning, the following content might cause uncontrollable fits of laughter.