LETTER: City should have settled with owners of sinking homes

Even when all the evidence is stacked up against the municipality, it will say sue us

The spokesman for the city used a time honoured cop out to decline comment on those homeowners who bought those homes that are now sinking – because “it`s before the courts.”

It should have already been settled in favour of those home owners who reasonably would have expected the city to have done its job through its inspectors and others involved in approving the construction of those homes. That was their first mistake.

It`s the relationship between the municipal insurer that is causing undo pain and suffering for those homeowners who, through no fault of their own, are caught up in this situation. It`s an insurance system with built-in conflict of interests as people from all municipalities take turns sitting on the board. And, like with all insurance companies, the bottom line drives the agenda, not fairness.

It`s happened before that even when all the evidence is stacked up against the municipality for things that were done by the district and that cause damages or hardships, the district will usually end it by saying sue us. And, of course, most people don`t have the resources to do that so a corrupt system becomes more corrupted.

But there is another issue that should be brought out into the light finally and that is the possibility that past – or even present employees of the city – have been culpable parties to setting up ticking time bombs through the city`s far too close relationships over the years with developers. When such a relationship exists, the developer wins and homeowners lose.

Was it due to accident, negligence, or pressure from above that inspectors ignored that culvert and passed those homes as being up to code? Until someone figures out a way to keep developers at arm`s length and let inspectors do their jobs without undue pressure, then we`ll be hearing the phrase “it`s before the courts” again and again as the insurer and the city try to duck their responsibilities to the public.

Robert T. Rock