Outside investigation into parkade needed

Open letter to Mayor Lyn Hall and city council:

The events of recent months in regards to the George Street Parkade project have been a centre of discussion in the media and on social media. Many members of the community are concerned about this situation and how the city and council as a whole are attempting to address those concerns. Being a voting resident of this community, I feel it important to express my personal concerns in regards to this matter as well. 

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This situation has cast a shadow of doubt in the minds of many residents as to the city’s ability to investigate this matter without bias. No one at this point is blaming any one individual or group of individuals for this situation. However, an internal investigation will not satisfy the general public at large that this will be conducted in a clear and open manner from a neutral standpoint. Seeing this involves members of city staff, I hope you can understand where doubt will be levied as to impartiality on the part of the investigating staff.  

To be perfectly clear, we are talking about $34 million of taxpayers’ funds that were poured into this public private partnership that clearly went off the rails in the eyes of the general public. We want to see accountability and, moreover, transparency in the ongoing inquiry of this matter. The city conducting an internal investigation is not transparent and can’t be done without bias. 

It is with this I ask that you to vote to move this investigation to an outside provincial entity. If there is no impropriety on the part of city staff and management, then there should be no reason why an outside agency shouldn’t be used to determine where this all went so wrong.  In doing so this will free up city staff and management to carry on conducting the city’s business while the independent agency looks into this matter in the detail needed to answer all the questions yet to be answered.

We have faith in our elected officials, members of council and our mayor to do the right a prudent thing when this involves such a great deal of the taxpayer’s money. An independent review and investigation into all the facts leading up to this situation unfolding will maintain the trust the public holds for its elected officials and members of the city staff who are employed to operate our city in a timely and efficient manner.  

Anything less than this would breach the level of trust the community places in its system of local government.

John Zukowski

Prince George

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