Who Is Responsible For The Mould At Woodstocks’ Civic Centre?

According to a Sentinel Review story that was published yesterday and written by Hugo Rodriguez, the city of Woodstock as a result of neglect/negligence allowed for a massive bloom of mould to develope inside the civic centre arena effectively shutting down the building until a proper cleanup can be conducted at a cost of some $13,000.00 to taxpayers.
According to that story the arena was left virtually unattended for a period of some months(since the close of the hockey season) aside from the odd unlit inspection of the premises. But according to staff , the building was inspected, but they were directed only to check for break ins and major issues like water line leaks etc…
So, what this really all boils down to is the fact that the manager of community services has failed to do his job as directed,and has failed to direct his employees in the proper maintenance of the facility and has failed to insure that the city of Woodstocks’ recreational facilities are operating in a healthy manner that is conducive to maintaining good value for the people of Woodstock.
Perhaps its’ time for this manager to take his leave?


  1. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    How the hell anyone could “inspect” that building and not see (or smell) the mold is beyond me. The interior of the building looks like a scene from a horror movie.

    The Sentinel’s coverage was a whitewash. It amounted to nothing more than a news release from the desk of Bob McFarland and included no photos.

    I had hoped the new editor might have made some changes at the Sentinel but it seems the paper will continue to serve as the city administration’s press office.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Is there a new editor?If so he seems not to care much about hat is happening here.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    If you got rid of all of the incompetent people you would have no one to work:)

  4. Anonymous
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    After reading Bob McFarland’s comments in the S-R I realized not only is the man an idiot but he is a liar as well.

    Tell me how someone goes into a cement block building with zero windows and does an inspection without turning on the lights? A) they are lying and no inspections were done B) they did a half assed inspection because any moron knows you would turn on the lights to inspect something or C) They are now trying to cover up their stupidity by hoping the public is as stupid as they are and will buy that it makes perfect sense to Bob McFarland to inspect a million dollar facility with the lights off.

    As for the $13,000.00 it is going to cost the tax payers of Woodstock to have this issue cleared up that number is just the beginning. What about the money we spent on having extra staff at the facility and not utilizing them. No you read that correctly. Normally the arena division sends 2of their full time employees to the parks department in the summer and they would be paid out of that budget however this year it was deemed that they would stay at the Complex so we had 2 extra bodies at $21.96/ hour for 40 hours a week for 17 weeks (May to August). Lets do the math on that one. $21.96 x 40 hours x 17 weeks is $14,932.80. And dont forget their were two of them. So that $14,932.80 x 2 = $29,865.60. Plus the $13,000 for clean up. NOW the money is adding up. This is a $45,000.00 mistake minimum.

    Now lets put the money aside and go one step further. More important then the money we put 4 City employees health at risk. 2 employees were sent into clean on Tuesday, August 5th. When those 2 employees questioned the fact that they were cleaning mould without the proper protection they were given they were made to look like fools. They were made to feel stupid for questioning. They were belittled and treated unlike the human beings they are. They were told that Woodstock is the “mould capital of Canada” (I’d like to see that mounted on the signs at Hwy #59). That it was safe mould. I would love to know what qualifications Jim Capling, Cliff Berge and Bob McFarland have in defining safe and unsafe mould. And if thats not bad enough when the first 2 employees refused to continue working we sent in 2 more employees because why only harm 2 when you can do 4.

    Cliff, Jim and Bob how you can look yourselves in the mirror at night is beyond me. You sunk to unbelievable low, even for you three. Your cheap comments about “safe mould” and “not needing masks” and “just a little household mould” etc dehumanized you. You took any integrity you may have had and lost it. How can your employees ever look you in the eye knowing you cared so little about their saftey. It’s never too late to apologize. Sure it doesnt mean as much the longer you have to wait but your staff deserves it. Think if that was your child or spouse, or parent that was injured because of plain and simple stupidity. How would you feel?

    Its time for the lying and the cover ups to stop. No moth balls were put down. The complaints were not taken seriously. The bottom line is it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out you don’t leave a million dollar facility that is already in decay locked up tight for 4 months. This was a $45,000.00 ++ mistake that put 4 people in immediate harm’s way. Not to mention all the general public that will come into contact with this building.

    Its time for answers and the truth. We deserve it.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    Well said. Heads need to spin for this. I can’t believe nothing was mentioned on council tonight or will Mr. Harding and council try to cover this up as well. Why don’t we all ask them.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    Kinda makes you think about the WSIB commericals and the caption “There are no such things as accidents”. People get hurt on the job because of stupidity plain and simple.

    Maybe the City could make back some of the money it lost by filming a WSIB Commerical.

    I can see the commerical now.
    Trust me like those links…. THIS WAS NO ACCIDENT!!

  7. Anonymous
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Let’s ask the City of Waterloo who was knee deep in the RIM Park disaster…. none other then the same Bob McFarland who is waist deep in the mould problem.


  8. Anonymous
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    It’s kind of ironic that Mr. McFarland was chased out of Waterloo but Woodstock just had to hire him. We only hire the best in Woodstock to cover things up. The public should be concerned about the direction of this department under his guidance.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I’m waiting for them to decide the building is beyond saving and use this mess to justify building a new “state of the art” facility.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    ‘I can’t believe nothing was mentioned on council tonight or will Mr. Harding and council try to cover this up as well. Why don’t we all ask them.”

    I’d love to blame Harding and his feckless toadies for this one but it isn’t their job to supervise Bob McMold. Bob reports to David Creery reports to Paul BP. That’s the chain of command and those are the people who are responsible.

    Paul Bryan Pulham is the one to chase on this one. He is ultimately responsible. He’s in charge. This mess reflects directly on his ability to manage this city’s affairs.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Bob reports to David reports to PBP? I’d check that org chart again. Bob reports directly to PBP.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Actually I didn’t check a chart. Obviously I should have.

    The conclusion holds up but the method needs some work. 🙂

    I think i just assumed there had to be someone between Bob and PBP. He shows so little aptitude for management that I didn’t imagine he could report directly to the CAO. The situation is actually worse than I’d imagined.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    PBP should get rid of this fuckup.
    You should go to the community complex on finkle street.The same shit mould there.Just no one has talked about it yet.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Permalink


  15. Anonymous
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who has been involved with the Civic Centre Arena since it was built knows from experience that this arena has always had a humidity problem. But the spin doctor McFarland would like to have citizens buy his damage control rehearsed commentary. He would like you to beleive it is only because we have had a very wet spring/summer. Has this been the only wet one for the last almost 40 years of Civic's existence? Com'on Bob are you that dumb that you think that you can fool the public who participated in activities there and still do?

    Lets look at some facts. Every September back in those years when hockey, skating etc began the arena staff when starting their shifts would arrive to find huge brown mole hill type lumps on the ice along the width under each cement beam. They would have to take a planer & chippers out to remove the lumps. Then resurface the ice. When participants took to the ice water drips would fall from the beams while they skated. Sometimes you would see a coach wipe water from their face. The Mgr then was Cliff Berge. He resided there beginning around 1981as Mgr for about 15 years. He then was moved into other capacities in the Community Services Dept with the 1996 opening of the WDCC (complex). He went to the complex in 2000 by moving Bill Fishback to Facility Maintenance Supervisor making Cliff the Facilities Mgr. I'm told that in the year 2001 Canada Summer Games wanted to use the $225,000.00 Basketball Floor that Community Services had purchased for Special Events. They wanted to remove all the markings on the floor so that they could put Volleyball Markings on it for the games hosted by Woodstock. So Cliff needed to put the floor down somewhere DRY to be able to allow workers to come in and work on the floor. Jim Capling renowned wood worker specialist and his Uncle Bill Fishback pleaded with Cliff not to use the Civic Centre because of the moisture problems accurring in May, June early July. They advised him that this would ruin the floor. But Cliff refused to listen and so down went the floor. Several weeks later I'm told that Bill & fellow workers arrived at the Civic Arena to find the floor heaved. As they took the floor apart many cleats broke causing extensive damage & repairs. Many of the 4 x 8 floor pieces were warped like a Gymnast springboard. Cliff was called up to inspect the damages. He was seen bouncing on the floor pieces trying to see if they would bend back. Unfortunatly they wouldn't. Staff were told to keep hush as this would impact the games. Staff never said a word to protect the games continuing on in Woodstock. As it turned out the Games people made contact with Volleyball Canada and the Winnipeg University Volleyball Center to have the professional volleyball floor shipped in from Winnepeg to cover the Basketball floor. I've been told that the basketball floor never did fit back together properly after that. Several installations followed for Globe Trotters games in Kitchener, Sarnia & London. The floor was later sold for a loss.

    The point made here. Cliff was the personal facilty mgr of the Civic Centre Arena from about 1981 for about 15 years. When he arrived at the complex in 2000 that put him in charge of both facilites so add on another 8 years of responsibilty. So 23 years responsibilty is not a claim of ignorance that he never knew it was a problem until this past year because of a humid wet spring/summer. I guess like this year he just never went back in to check untill shit hit the fan.

    Bob needs to be held accountable for misleading the employees & public with his damage control spin to protect the asses of city hall & his dept. Cliff should be held accountable for ignoring his well found knowledge of 23 years for just not doing his job! It's not the weather, front line staff's fault. It lies with Bob, Cliff, Jim, CAO, Mayor & Council who are unwilling to take responsibilty & ownership of this serious issue. Not one comment has come out from Bob that we take "full resposibilty" for the issue. It has all been about deflecting & excuses rather than admit and search for the truth. Politics even in small town Woodstock prevails over the employees & publics best interests. The public needs to get involved and hold each & every one of the above accountable for what had happend or didn't for that matter. While Health Depts & mould specialists will devise protocol for future lets hold those accountable for this tragic event to be reprimanded. I'm told that unionized workers have been disciplined for a lot less throughout the system. How is it that managemnt can get away with exposing workers to an unsafe environment, baggering & ridiculing those workers to do the job assigned along with contractors who were givin access to that facility to work as well as the wildcats to do work in their storage area? Reprimands & disciplinary actions I'm told have been meted out against Union workers for a lot less grivace issues. It's time!

    There is an old saying that "Bullshit baffles brains" That's what McFarland is attempting to do. However, there are a lot more smarter people than McFarland who can see right through his retoric. Did he have some experience in the Rim Park $150 million dollar overdraft fiasco in Waterloo?

  16. Anonymous
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    So we decided today that the surface is clean but what about what lies underneath? Has anyone checked the ceiling? Has anyone checked underneath the rubber matting in the arena? Have the ducts been cleaned?

    I am glad things got cleaned and the building has been re-opened but I am curious as to the level of clean.

    Regardless someone needs to be held accountable for this mess. Someone owes those employees who’s health was put in danger and apology and someone has some explaining to do on how this happened in the first place.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Well yeah the mould is cleaned. It was washed under the rubber matting with the lies. Too bad the only thing you can’t wash away is the fact that 3 City of Woodstock managers are so pathetic that they would put others in harms way.

    Cliff, Bob and Jim this is something you will need to live with the rest of your life. Its you that will need to look yourself in the mirror years from now when one of those employees is in danger of poor health knowing you caused it. Thats something I wouldnt want to live with.

    You may think you got away with this but know this…. you got away with nothing. Everyone out there knows what kind of human being you are. Certianly not the kind I would want to be. You should be ashamed of yourselves and your actions.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Jim Capling – I lost more respect for you then I ever had. You sunk to the level of Cliff and Bob. Shame on you!!

  19. Anonymous
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    You want to know why this hasn’t happened in 40 years…. Two Words…. George Waugh (may he rest in peace).

    This never would have happened with George around. george took pride in the building and his work. he knew what he was doing.

    The 3 muskateers also known as dumb, dumber and dumbest are in over their heads.

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