Gardens’ audit results in apologies and controversy at council
Several North Bay councillors including George Maroosis apologized for the Memorial Gardens cost overrun fiasco Monday night at council. Maroosis admits he should have asked more questions at the beginning of the project because council had a confidential report saying the Gardens’ renovation would cost $15-million. But Maroosis adds everyone bought into the argument that the work could be done for $12-million. Maroosis believes council and senior staff have to bear responsibility for the overrun. He says while voters may not want a crucifixion, they want accountability. In the end council adopted a checks and balance system to avoid a reoccurrence of what happened with the exceptions of Sarah Campbell and Mark King. Meanwhile comments from King sparked some controversy during the Gardens’ overrun debate at council. King said certain individuals directly involved with the project need to take responsibility for what happened. King added had he been on council earlier maybe he could have helped prevent what happened. That last comment upset Daryl Vaillancourt who says King’s comments are insulting because they imply council was duped regarding the project cost. And Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch says King was being unfair when referring to staff because they couldn’t defend themselves.