Confidence in the City’s Chief Administrative Officer

Confidence in the City’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) has come into question again with the handling of the Wilkes Avenue Alignment to William R. Clement Parkway Extension file. There has been extensive media coverage on this issue. I am highlighting my major concerns in this blog and will continue to seek accountability and answers to many outstanding questions.

2017 Timeline

Late October:

  • Media started publishing shocking information about ‘rogue’ road routes that were not revealed to area residents.

Early and mid-November:

  • I sent multiple emails to the CAO requesting a Council seminar to provide facts and answer questions which I and other Councillors had.
  • The CAO did not hold a Council seminar but said he would speak to the Public Works Committee and provide an explanation on what had occurred and why there was a ‘rogue route’ that residents had never seen.
  • At this point, one engineer had left the City and another engineer had given notice to leave the City’s employment.

November 22:

  • CBC News revealed another engineer was departing (see Transportation Engineer’s Departure)
  • By late November, three City engineers who had worked on the Wilkes Avenue Alignment to William R. Clement Parkway Extension file had resigned from the City.

December 14:

  • CBC News published an article containing a Confidential Briefing Note and quote from the CAO stating he did not read the documents which had been provided by another engineer who had been let go by the City (see Confidential Briefing Note)
  • Upon reading this story in CBC News, and not having received responses to e-mails I was sending to the Mayor and the CAO on this file, I called on the Mayor to hold an Emergency Meeting of Council
  • The Mayor didn’t call a Council meeting, didn’t return my phone call, and didn’t respond to my E-Mails.
  • Instead, Councillor Morantz issued a statement through the Mayor that he would be calling for an audit in January, 2018.
  • The CAO announced he would hold a Council Seminar on December 18 to answer questions Councillors had.

December 18:

  • The CAO holds a Council seminar and Councillors ask many questions (see Council Seminar)
  • I have questions still outstanding and am waiting for written responses.

Summary

The Wilkes Avenue Alignment to William R. Clement Parkway Extension is a $400 M project.  The CAO did not read a Confidential Briefing Note’s attachments. Four engineers who worked on this file have left the City.

Something is not right.  I want accountability, and I will continue to seek it.

My thanks to CBC News and Winnipeg Free Press for reporting on this important story.

 

 

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