Web millionland: Reckless spending in Gregorsville

The City of Vancouver new website

Web presentation of every institution especially if in question is governmental institution is one of the most important elements for proper functioning and fulfilling it’s duties in today’s world. We often sit in front of our electronic devices and search through them on the quest for informations or elements which could be transformed into the news. Over the last few years we saw unbelievable transformation of municipal, provincial and federal government web presentations through introduction of social media, YouTube and other elements which are the most influential tools in today’s 24/7 news cycle. But when City of Vancouver invests approximately $3 millions of dollars on new web presentation in a times when every dime is precious, when way essential services are cut down or downsized so budget would not go in deep red, your first question must to be what’s wrong with this people?

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is one of the local mayors who’s recent decisions and actions are not attracting positive feedback, and some of those were even threatening to deny him another term as the Vancouver Mayor. If you would like just remember controversial bike lines which are still, in these summer days, totally empty and useless while businesses, car users and those in need are bared of access to their needs. And then Robertson brings another controversy to the City of Vancouver, but this one is worth a millions of dollars for something what could be done for way way less, not for hundreds but probably for couple of dozens of thousands of taxpayers dollars.

Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver (Photo: Flickr/Kris Krüg)

So today Robertsonville has new website, new presentation, as the City representatives said in media statements site where citizens should dive in and research, but also to be able to find much needed info as soon as possible. If these statements and stands are not funny then they’re totally sad because after three years, yes you read it properly THREE YEARS, of consultations and planning the City of Vancouver has website which looks like average WordPress theme. Today majority of my web browsing or surfing is done on mobile devices does not matter if that is on my iPhone or on iPad but I need the site or sites which are mobile device friendly, and the City of Vancouver $3 million website IS NOT! So how that could help to me or anybody else if we wish to find info in shortest possible time? It will not! I can’t believe that somebody who’s representing itself as “professionals” who spend three years in “consultations” and “strategizing” could put up site like this in today’s world of technology and communications and be proud with it. Can you imagine that any blog on WordPress or Blogger, which are mainly free and equipped with free themes, is more accessible than web presentation of the city which is world wide known and who’s website should be portal to visitors and citizens to find the best about it.

On the other side of Metro Vancouver one of the fastest growing communities and administration which is successfully running one of the biggest transformations in BC history build four web sites for approximately $700,000. The City of Surrey which is serving almost a same population as the City of Vancouver, and covers way bigger territorial area, last year invested mentioned sum of money to revamp it’s web presentation, to build two separate web sites for Surrey kids and youth, and to build new very functional site for Surrey Libraries. Also the City of Surrey website is fully functional and accessible from all mobile devices, also gives a chance to residents like myself to tune in and watch Council meetings online on iPhone or iPad if where unable to attend meetings. So if the City of Vancouver followed Surrey they could build several websites and but in pocket approximately $2.3 million which could be used for more important activities as fight against homelessness or to invest in new infrastructure projects which are really needed in some parts of the city.

The City of Surrey website cost was approximately $700,000

Robertson/City adventure with this website is and it can’t be anything else but reckless overspending of taxpayers money. There’s no way that this cost could be defended or described as proper. Who ever tries to defend such a spending should look at the other municipalities not only in BC but all over the Canada, but in a rank of Vancouver’s finances and needs, and then to express the opinion. Comparing Vancouver with Calgary is not proper analogy and doesn’t serve the cause at this point, because Calgary’s standard is way different than Vancouver’s. Mayor Robertson should be questioned over and over why he and his staffers  gave green light and “go ahead” to this project? What a shameful waste of taxpayers money.


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