Debt Man Walking

If you like Aurora’s $26 Million Joint Ops Centre, you’re going to fall deeply in love York Region’s $212 Million Administrative Centre:

Described as less iconic than York Region’s current building, I fail to see how its design that includes a gigantic atrium can be triumphed as energy or space efficient. I commented on that here:

But the $212 Million dollar question has to do with the economics behind it.

What I can’t understand is how the Region can be so blase in signing off on a building that has a projected 20 years of use but will take 35 years to pay off:

To be fair the Region is “estimating” savings in the range of $26 million and $60 million over the life of the building, but it still doesn’t provide any math that shows this adds up to a sustainable project.

I assume because it doesn’t.

What it does reflect is a trend at the Region to burden us with debt that at a per capita level surpassed Toronto in 2010:

This has all happed under the watch of Bill Fisch, the Chariman and CEO of York Region for the past 17 years.

Fisch has bought things we can’t afford, with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t necessarily like.

What better way to reward such gross ineptitude of mortgaging our region’s future then with another award.

The outgoing Chairman is set to receive a 2014 Community Service Award at an annual tribute dinner meant to celebrate people who promote a vision of “a community where everyone belongs”:

A community “where everyone belongs” provided of course that you buy a $125 ticket:

Aurora’s own Mayor Dawe, no stranger to truffle salt affairs, is listed among the attendees which include other mayors no doubt invited to provide a sense of community endorsement.

In the aftermath of the first World War Yeats wrote one of his more known pieces The Second Coming.

With an election on the horizon one line in this piece stands out:

“the centre cannot hold”.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a $26 Million Joint Ops Centre, or a $500,000/yr “cultural” Centre, or on different playing field a $212 Million Administrative Centre the only thing these Capital and Operating projects contain is an ever inflating debt load.

No matter the amount of strategic documents, consultants, or awards this out of control debt will not provide for an “exceptional quality of life for all”, “where everyone belongs”.

York Region hasn’t been built in our image but Bill Fisch’s.

The reflection looking back at us in the mirror isn’t anything more to celebrate than a debt man walking.


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