Taxpayers taken for Zamboni ride

A year ago staff should have revealed the simple conversion project would be the best choice to save taxpayers.

To the Editor,

A recent council meeting showed glaringly how little the mayor and four of our city councillors think about saving us money. And how they follow whatever senior staff says like sheep in a field.

Last year staff dictated that council spend close to $170,000 to buy a new electric Zamboni to clean the ice at one of our skating complexes. Council complied.

Monday night staff asked council for a lot less, just $30,000 to convert another Zamboni from propane to electric to extend its shelf life. And again, most councilors silently followed staff wishes and jumped eagerly into their pen.

The truth of the matter, a year ago staff should have revealed the simple conversion project would be the best choice to save taxpayers almost $140,000 and there was no need to buy a new expensive ice cleaner. At the very least the $170,000 could have been used to convert all six Zambonis in Nanaimo’s fleet, extending the shelf life of all the vehicles instead of spending the entire cash-load on just one new cleaner. Whoops.

It should be graciously noted that councillors Bill Bestwick, Jim Kipp and Bill McKay questioned staff relentlessly for this momentous screw-up.

R.C. StearmanNanaimo