In today’s Toronto Sun, Sue-Ann Levy wrote about Adi Astl, a 73-year-old man who built steps down an embankment in Tom Riley Park. Astl was concerned for the safety of people using the embankment. Several people had already fallen. Astl found out from his city councilor that it would cost anywhere from $65,000.00 to $150,000.00 to build the steps. With some of his own money and contributions, Astl and another man took 12 hours to build 8 steps for $550.00. City bureaucrats were not impressed.
Why so much money to build 8 steps? I have no proof for what you are about to read. It is speculation.
The reason city bureaucrats were not impressed has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with favors owed and greasy palms.
Steve owns ABC Step Builders. Steve makes contributions to city councilors campaigns, and has done work for city bureaucrats at little or no cost. What a coincidence that Steve’s company gets all the City’s contracts to build steps in the parks.
Steve also owes favors so he hires his friends to help him build steps in the parks. What took 2 people 12 hours to build will take 8 people a week, or so, to build. Steve also knows a land surveyor who has to check out the embankment before Steve can build the steps. The land surveyor charges double his fee because it is a City contract.
Steve uses inferior materials, but charges the City for superior materials. Steve also greases the palm of the step inspector to overlook the inferior work.
Favors are returned, palms greased and no one cares because it’s a City contract. And that is why what can be done for under $1000.00 will cost anywhere from $65,000.00 to $150,000.00.