Councilors Brennan, Greves, Johnstone, Pattje
and Mayor Ruttan Make Building Worthless
City Staff recommended to city council that they attach a covenant to the sale of the old city Annex building requiring a new purchaser to either demolish the building or do a seismic upgrade. The skeptic in me sees this whole move as a bit of political gamesmanship designed to demonstrate that building staff a shiny new $16,000,000.00 office really was all about safety and not about satisfying the egos of the 'kings' at city hall.
By applying a standard that they don't apply to any other building in Nanaimo to this one building, insures that the building would have no commercial value, when in fact it does have a value of about $3.5 million.
Hypocrisy and Bad Precedent
The hypocrisy of this policy is the fact this standard is not being applied to the other existing civic buildings in Nanaimo. In fact even the Province does not apply this same standard to the Parliament Buildings in Victoria. This policy does not apply to all other buildings in Nanaimo either, so saying this is all about safety and concern for the public does not even pass the smirk test.
To be legitimate at all, this city council needs to pass a bylaw mandating this same level of seismic standard be applied to all civic buildings and at the very least all office buildings and any other place where more than 10 people assemble at one time.
What Is The Concern??
Again that skeptic in me can't help but wondering if city staff really wants to discourage the sale of this building for fear someone might come along and do an engineer report and cost estimate that shows it would not cost anywhere near as much as the $4 million they claim it to cost.
Remember, this is the same bunch that chose to decide behind closed doors last year, to spend $16 million on a new building rather than spending $4 million on a building they have now basically made useless.
When asked if the city's lawyer had recommended putting the convenant on as a condition of sale, the staff member answered in one of those slippery fashions, saying that yes, they had a lawyer help them write the convenant. When asked again later, if the lawyer had recommeded the convenant be put on title, the same staffer fessed up an said, no, the lawyer had not suggested putting the covenant on, but rather staff had initiated that idea.
This whole Annex deal, smelled right from the start, and to this day, it still stinks.