5 thoughts on “Vito Sgro Running for Mayor of Hamilton, Transcript of His Answers to The Public Record

  1. If you accept the rationale offered up by an anonymous (alleged) former cabinet member (not identified as being on a related portfolio), here’s the thing: If the province’s $1B investment only makes sense as an accounting exercise in amassing infrastructure assets, that $1B commitment itself cannot stand regardless of preferred technology, unless you assume that the City cedes ownership of whatever mode that happens to be. In short, if he’s right, there is no “once-in-a-five-lifetime opportunity”. There’s just business as usual, which means that the City kicks in a third to a half of whatever capital costs are associated with whatever it wants to do transit-wise. It has access to provincial and federal gas tax revenue streams, which amount to around $40 million annually. So that helps with the capital expense of improving transit. But there’s also operating costs to this plan, and if you double or triple or quadruple the level of drivers and buses on the road, guess what? You need to double or triple or quadruple your transit budget. And that means insulating transit from council squeamishness. Because part of the reason transit is crap in the outlying areas is area rating, and councillors who won’t champion transit in any form. And to be honest, that sounds like Sgro. His position on transit is that he doesn’t really have one. Except that he spends a lot of time in Vegas.

  2. “I’ve had experience with IO [Infrastructure Ontario]”

    And what an experience! Consider what the province’s Auditor General had to say about IO under Sgro’s board stewardship (July 2013 to May 2018):

    • Deferred maintenance of government buildings has more than doubled from $420 million as of March 31, 2012, to $862 million as of March 31, 2017. Over the last six years, the condition of government properties has deteriorated from excellent to almost a poor level of condition as measured by the industry standard.

    • Infrastructure Ontario does not obtain enough information from its two project managers to assess whether procurements of vendors for client ministry and agency capital projects are done in a competitive and fair manner

    • Infrastructure Ontario informed us that its initial cost estimates for capital projects are limited as they do not factor in the additional costs that might be incurred to address actual site conditions.

    • Deferred maintenance of government-owned buildings—the amount still needed to keep properties to a minimum standard—more than doubled between 2012 and 2017, from $420 million to $862 million. Over the last six years, the average condition of government properties has deteriorated from excellent to almost poor, as measured by industry standards. For example, capital repairs at a government lab were deferred for five years, affecting its service delivery.

    • Infrastructure Ontario does not obtain sufficient information from project managers to assess whether the procurement of vendors for client ministry and agency capital projects is done in a competitive and fair manner. Project managers are also not held accountable for meeting the original completion dates of capital projects.

    • Project managers are not held accountable for meeting the original project completion dates. Project managers can revise project completion dates while the project is ongoing and Infrastructure Ontario does not track these dates.

    • Over $170 million in office accommodation costs could be saved annually if effective steps are taken to reduce the space occupied per government staff person to comply with the 2012 Office Accommodation Standard of 180 rental square feet per person set by the Ministry of Infrastructure. Neither the Ministry nor Infrastructure Ontario has set a goal for when this standard should be met.

    • Almost $19 million was spent in 2016/17 on operating and maintaining 812 vacant buildings. We found that about 600 of the 812 buildings had been vacant for an average of almost eight years. For the other 212 buildings, Infrastructure Ontario could not readily determine when the building became vacant.

    http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/news/17_newsreleases/2017news_3.11.pdf

  3. On BRT: “It won’t take five to seven years, and it won’t – that I’ve already checked into it. You take a look at what Ottawa did and Ottawa did a great job they really really did they built a ridership up, fantastically.”

    “Ottawa implemented Canada’s first BRT system (the Transitway), which opened in 1983. It was built in stages beginning in 1978 and construction ended in 1996, comprising of 19 miles.”

    https://qspace.library.queensu.ca/bitstream/handle/1974/6511/Laura%20Moebs%20Report%20Final%20May%206%2C%202011.pdf?sequence=1

    It’s 16 miles from University Plaza to Fifty Road.

  4. Was this interview conducted with voice recognition technology? There are a lot of spelling mistakes and in some cases words out of place. This reflects unfairly on the person being interviewed. Good journalism needs to be edited.

  5. “I’ve had experience…with HECFI for four months”

    How many meetings would that entail?

    “Former HECFI board member Vito Sgro, who as chair of HECFI’s audit committee before it was dissolved by the city, submitted his financial report to the new board, and said that changes need to happen at the organization… Sgro, who was only a board member for two months.”

    https://www.hamiltonnews.com/news-story/5420651-city-appoints-third-ceo-for-hecfi/

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