City of Vancouver leases unnecessary space to the tune of $48 million! What a waste!
Aug 23, 2010
August 23, 2010
While everyone else in the world scrimps and saves to trim their budget, the City of Vancouver doesn’t seem to be struggling at all. In fact, they’re wasting the upper seven floors of their downtown space.
Likely in a haphazard attempt to clear out space for administration of the 2010 Olympic Games, the City of Vancouver emptied its upper floors.
Last summer the entire engineering department moved into a newly built 86,000-square-foot commercial space at Cambie and Broadway that the city has leased for $41 million over the next 10 years. The city spent another $7 million to outfit and move the department. The move came in the same year the city laid off 158 people and raised taxes by 2.26 per cent to cover a $61 million shortfall in the $961-million budget.
Wow. So…they emptied the space, paid $41 million plus all other expenses and…for what exactly? That space they originally emptied isn’t even being USED! That’s a lot of taxpayer money absolutely wasted. But the city has a plan on how to avoid such ridiculous outlays of cash in the future.
It turns out that right now each individual department is in charge of leasing their own space. Penny Ballem, city manager, said to the Vancouver Sun:
“I have never, ever, in my whole career — and I’ve worked in many public sector organizations — been in an organization where every department got to go out and lease their own space and make those kinds of decisions…[u]nder my direction, what I have said is consolidate back, get rid of all the space we are paying for that we don’t actually need.”
Seems to make perfect sense. My only question: why in the hell didn’t they do did this before?
Oh well, hindsight is 20/20. And perfect administrative execution was difficult in the flurry of Vancouver 2010. Hopefully, they can rectify the situation fast. After all, no one likes to see money wasted. Especially not the taxpayers to whom the City is accountable.