Friday, January 29, 2010

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics....
In Oshawa's case---Big Lies, Bigger Damn Lies, and Consultants Reports written to justify decisions already made.

City Hall said they had to demolish and re-build Council Chambers and City Hall "A" Wing because it had a leaking roof. Then they said that it was not handicapped accessible and then not energy efficient where they finally found a justification that they thought would stick. We were then told that the $25 Million demolition, rebuilding, and refurbishing of Rundle Tower would be paid for by energy savings at no cost to the taxpayer.

I have maintained that the project was an unneeded wastage of tax money. A leaking roof was a maintenance problem which is required for even brand new buildings, the accessibility issue is a minor renovation issue, and the energy inefficiency is a problem with every public building including Buckinghham Palace, Parliament Building, The Louve, The White House, etc. and will be the case of any recent construction in a few years as new standards and materials are developed.

The city, employs "hired gun" consultants, almost like the "expert" witnesses employed on both sides of a criminal trial, who will produce reports, or testimony in the case of expert witnesses, to support the "preconceived" positions of those paying the bills.

I know that energy efficient windows installed in my house may pay for themselves in "X" number of years but they would never pay for demolishing and rebuilding it as City Politicians claim of the expensive city hall project.

Without having access to all of the technical studies, I do have some common sense to apply and so I made some assumptions for the demolition and rebuilding of Council Chambers only and expect that the result would be the same on the entire project.

Suppose the Council Chambers cost as much to heat/cool as 100 homes. My house costs about $1500 to heat/cool per year so the Council Chambers would cost about $150,000 to heat and cool. Suppose the increased heating/cooling efficiency is an impossibly high 50%. The savings for heating/cooling the newly constructed $8 million council chambers would be $75,000 annually resulting in a cost savings of $75,000. At this rate it would take ($8M/$75,000) 107 years to pay off the construction costs with the energy savings not counting the debt charges on the money used to pay for the construction.

Now do you believe City Hall's Claim that energy savings will pay for the job? You don't? Me neither!

Now apply the same arguments to the complete project...the demolition and rebuilding of Council Chambers and "A" wing and the refurbishment of Rundle Tower at a cost somewhere around $25,000,000.

City Hall must think we're stupid!