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CREST Emergency Radio system


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#41 yodsaker

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 07:34 PM

Now they're gonna try and get some used equipment left over from the Olympics.
I don't suppose the tall foreheads at city hall negotiated a money-back guarantee?
How about we'll pay you when it works. Enough excuses.:mad:
"I think they have the right to ask questions." You think? Gee, thanks. We really didn't know we had that right.
Maybe the mayor meant, "Make yourself some cocoa and eff off to bed."

#42 martini

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 07:50 PM

CREST radio system's creator hits back at critics

The company that created the CREST radio system is firing back at critics, saying it built the radios to specifications demanded at the time and isn't responsible for convincing municipalities to spend more money for a more powerful system.

By Times Colonist July 8, 2007
http://www.canada.co...d403e7b&k=62793

The problems are a result of cost-cutting by CREST's board -- made up of local politicians and representatives from emergency services -- when it hired Motorola in 2003, said RCC Consultants, which released an independent report on the system earlier this year.

"You basically got what you paid for," RCC's Tom Gray said at the time. He added the system was not broken, just "poorly implemented."

But how did that happen?

Saanich councillor Vic Derman has gathered numerous documents relating to the 2003 formation of CREST and shared them with the Times Colonist, which has also requested them under freedom-of-information legislation.

"The public has a right to know and a right to an explanation from those involved," said Derman.

A portion of the CRD's request-for-proposals document, obtained by Derman, also says the winning company is expected to provide radios that work in Victoria's downtown core. It even contains a list of identified problematic buildings.

But those requirements never made it into the final contract, signed months later with Motorola.

Derman said he can find no records CREST ever took the apparently altered deal back to the CRD or municipal councils for approval. An independent examination by Planetworks Consulting in 2006 said: "Significant changes to the system requirements occurred after users signed off on the decision to select Motorola and it does not appear that users approved these changes when they were incorporated into the CSA [contract]."

CREST's lawyers have determined that's not Motorola's fault. CREST's board cut corners on the contract, but Motorola fulfilled its legal obligation to build the system CREST asked for -- even if the final product is unstable (Victoria police call it unsafe).



#43 martini

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 08:20 AM

When Truth is Not Politic
Posted in June 4th, 2008
by Rob Wipond
http://robwipond.com/?p=54

“A detailed review of the Communications System Agreement revealed that Motorola met the specifications laid out in that agreement” it states.

That’s why Motorola can’t be sued; apparently, our politicians never asked for a functional system!

Huuuuh?

Our politicians made “material changes” to their own contractual requests to Motorola, clarifies the report, which resulted in a dysfunctional system.

At the outset, Motorola warned they’d barely meet 50% of the technical targets without hiking the budget. The CRD and users (police, fire responders etc) were discussing options, when the CREST board suddenly signed a drastically modified agreement at the too-low budget level.

Even more stunning, there was absolutely no requirement for creating or testing in-building coverage–police or fire responders calling for back-up from apartment shoot-outs or burning buildings could burn in hell as far as this contract was concerned.

“What Victoria is doing is making this a political issue,” said Blackwell, adding that CREST problems she’d seen were “minor”.

Leonard, according to the Saanich News, similarly accused some candidates of disparaging CREST merely to score political points. “It’s campaign time. It’s the silly season,” he said.

Yet these statements were coming after Planetworks had already independently declared CREST in desperate need of repairs.

Clearly then, Leonard and Blackwell themselves were trying to use CREST’s creation and supposed success to score political points; so for them, the truth was simply not politic at the time.



#44 Holden West

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 08:52 AM

Who were the original Board member responsible for changing the contract?

Gordie Logan, Chair, Colwood Councillor
Denise Blackwell of Langford
David McLean, former Victoria City Councillor
Dean Fortin
Jody Twa, Colwood Mayor
others?

This excerpt from a 2005 Saanich News article tells the story:

Regional wrangling between CREST's 39 user agencies forced the board to scale down the cost of the system, despite the prospect of coverage problems down the road.

"The board at the time was sensitive to communities that might have had concerns about the cost," Logan said.

"Perhaps we went a little cheap on the system... perhaps when this system was pitched the expectations were a little higher. There just wasn't a case made at the time to spend more."

Former Victoria councillor David McLean, who worked closely on the CREST system before going down to defeat in the 2002 civic elections, said unionized police and firefighters have never been happy that volunteer fire departments were included in the CREST model.


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#45 martini

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 09:08 AM

Who were the original Board member responsible for changing the contract?

Gordie Logan, Chair, Colwood Councillor
Denise Blackwell of Langford
David McLean, former Victoria City Councillor
Dean Fortin
Jody Twa, Colwood Mayor
others?

This was attached to what I posted above:
http://www.robwipond.../ref/alist2.jpg

#46 martini

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 09:21 AM

Found this in my digging:
http://www.firehall....read.php?t=4901
The more I think about this, the more criminal I feel it is. It's now 2010. This faulty system has been putting people at risk for 7 years now?

Now that I've slept on the info released yesterday...I find it very interesting that the current CREST board is now being backed into a corner to take the full blown responsibility of resolving this issue the original members created.
A COMMITTEE OF VICTORIA CITY COUNCIL
What committee?!
We can't sue Motorola, so let's slap the board of directors around instead. :rolleyes:


I don't agree with Dean's reluctance to answer questions. Looking back is not about blame...it's about accountability!

Us taxpayers have a right to know. And in exposing the errors made...hopefully stop something similar from happening.

#47 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 10:08 AM

I knew it. Some other members of CREST now say they are not prepared to pay more for the service, ie. it works just fine for them now. To me that doesn't make sense. When and if we have a major disaster, say, in downtown Victoria, I expect that resources will be pulled in from outlying areas, where they say the system works well now. Well, the RCMP from Colwood will need their system to work well in downtown Victoria too if that's where the help is needed.

#48 martini

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 10:41 AM

Murray Langdon Comment
Mar 17, 2010
http://www.cfax1070....hp?newsId=12807

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, trying not to blame past decision makers for our current predicament, insists on focusing on the future. Rightly so, for the problem will not go away by arguing history, but if we are to learn anything and not repeat the same mistakes of the past (especially ones that cost us millions of dollars) then it’s time we did pay attention and do our very best to ensure the errors are not repeated. Particularly so, when each and every municipality is struggling to cope with their own financial pressures, it doesn’t seem right to admit that Victoria taxpayers have had tens of thousands of their dollars tossed out for something that doesn’t work.


Frank Stanford's comment
Mar 17, 2010
http://www.cfax1070....hp?newsId=12806

THE MAYOR SAYS HE'S NOT LOOKING TO CAST BLAME...THE PRIORITY NOW IS TO GET IT FIXED.

WITH RESPECT SIR, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THE BLAME INDEED BE CAST IN THE RIGHT PLACE....BECAUSE IT GOES DIRECTLY TO THE ISSUE OF WHO SHOULD FUND THAT FIX. A FIX WHICH WE ARE NOW TOLD WILL LIKELY RUN SOMEWHERE BETWEEN TEN AND FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS.



#49 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 11:04 AM

CREST BOARD CHAIR SAYS SURROUNDING REGIONS SHOULD NOT PAY FOR VICTORIA UPGRADES

Mar 17, 2010

WITH 35 OF 36 USERS HAPPY WITH THE CREST SYSTEM, THE CREST BOARD OF DIRECTORS DON'T BELIEVE THE REGION SHOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR VICTORIA'S DISSATISFACTION.


[...]

http://cfax1070.com/...hp?newsId=12814

#50 martini

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 11:19 AM

Fix for Victoria area police radio system may cost another $15 million
By Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist March 17, 2010
http://www.timescolo...2077/story.html

It could cost another $15 million to fix CREST, the Greater Victoria emergency radio system that has already sucked up about $28 million of taxpayers' money over the past decade.

This is beyond belief. :mad:

Fortin expects CREST, which includes all municipalities in the Capital Regional District, to share in the cost of a new system for Victoria and Esquimalt.

Why does our council keep expecting everyone else to share? It's getting old.:rolleyes:

"We're not looking for reasons of how we got to this position. We're looking for reasons on how we can get out of it and fix it for the region," he said.

Maybe you don't want to, but us taxpayers do!

Victoria councillors agreed to present the findings of Systek to CREST and request a plan to improve performance within 60 days. They also agreed to show good faith by paying about $730,000 to CREST that the city has withheld.

:confused:

#51 martini

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 11:30 AM

Crest radio system: a timeline
Times Colonist March 17, 2010
http://www.timescolo...2090/story.html

October 2007: Telus admits a replacement radio system would cost approximately $5 million.

December 2007: CREST announces $10.6 million in repairs to fix the problems, offering "terrific reception to national standards" and a guarantee of 97 per cent reliability. In response, Victoria drops plans to build its own system.

:confused::confused::confused:
Let me get this straight...replacing the system would be $5 million and two months later we spend double to repair the old one?

#52 Holden West

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:07 PM

"We're not looking for reasons of how we got to this position. We're looking for reasons on how we can get out of it and fix it for the region," [Dean Fortin] said.


Fast Ferry debacle. Deterioration of the Johnson St. Bridge. CREST.

Commonality? Trust us. Don't ask questions. Look forward.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#53 yodsaker

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 01:01 PM

Dear Mayor Fortin,
With all due respect, if you don't know where the hell you've been how the hell can you know where you're going? Someone mucked it up with peoples' money and they need to be accountable. Taxpayers' money is not some giant rug to sweep stuff under. And the rug can't be made bigger just because some people are incompetent or asleep.

#54 Bingo

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 10:30 PM

I see the city suggesting the municipalities help with for money for a new bridge, Our Place, and now help with a failing Crest communications system that is costing more than to repair the bridge.

These words are still ringing in my ears, If we build a new bridge, without government grants or raising taxes, it would put the city in a financial squeeze for years."It would financially strap the city" said assistant city manager Mike McCliggott. Times Colonist Sept. 26, 2009

We are still waiting on the bridge issue, and all the other important items that are coming to the front burner. How "strapped" are we already?

#55 martini

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 10:55 PM

I see the city suggesting the municipalities help with for money for a new bridge, Our Place, and now help with a failing Crest communications system that is costing more than to repair the bridge.

These words are still ringing in my ears, If we build a new bridge, without government grants or raising taxes, it would put the city in a financial squeeze for years."It would financially strap the city" said assistant city manager Mike McCliggott. Times Colonist Sept. 26, 2009

We are still waiting on the bridge issue, and all the other important items that are coming to the front burner. How "strapped" are we already?

City braces for 4.7% tax increase
Victoria News
By Roszan Holmen - Victoria News
Published: January 22, 2010
http://www.bclocalne...s/82399167.html

This year, the city is projected to spend $11 million more of its reserve fund than it plans to contribute. With an estimated $500 million infrastructure deficit, Victoria has about $12 million in its reserves designated for infrastructure.

"If we're going to be sustainable in the long term, we have to have the courage to increase taxes while the economy is growing otherwise we're going to be in the tank," said Coun. Lynn Hunter. "With a $500 million infrastructure deficit, we may already be in the tank."



#56 martini

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 11:29 PM

VICTORIA CITY POLICE UNION TROUBLED BY CREST COMMENTS
Mar 17, 2010
http://www.cfax1070....hp?newsId=12824
THE VICTORIA CITY POLICE UNION SAYS IT IS TROUBLED BY CREST CHAIR GORD LOGAN'S RECENT COMMENTS, WHICH IT SAYS SEEM TO DOWNPLAY THE IMPORTANCE OF A RELIABLE RADIO SYSTEM FOR VICTORIA POLICE OFFICERS. [...]

#57 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 03:01 AM

City must pay for radio fix: CREST


By Katie Derosa, Times Colonist; with files from Bill Cleverley
March 18, 2010 1:11 AM




If Victoria police want upgrades to the emergency radio system, they have to pay for them, CREST's chairman said yesterday, signalling the long-standing disagreement between the department and the radio provider is far from over.

Gordie Logan said users who are satisfied with the existing system shouldn't be forced to pay up to $15 million to make the necessary improvements to the problem-plagued emergency radio system.


http://www.timescolo...6470/story.html

#58 martini

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 07:58 AM

http://www.timescolo...6470/story.html


This is insane.
We need to find out what a new functioning system would cost.

I agree with one of the commenters...there needs to be an investigation.

I'ts a sad day when our own police dept. is saving up for it's own system.

This has been nothing but bungling and incompetence from day one.

The rest of what I think I will keep to myself.

#59 martini

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:09 AM

CREST needs outside review
Times Colonist March 18, 2010
http://www.timescolo...6494/story.html

After a total expense of $30 million, CREST looks increasingly like a boondoggle.

And that is just the amount spent on the system. Victoria police have spent extra money on cellphones as a backup system. Since 2003, city officers have been patrolling in pairs -- greatly reducing police presence and increasing costs -- because they feared CREST would fail when a lone officer needed support.



#60 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:38 AM

I'ts a sad day when our own police dept. is saving up for it's own system.


Why are they? Who authorized that? Who runs/sets the police budget? The mayor, the police board, or the chief? Or maybe I should be asking who sets spending priorities within the police budget? The City was holding back $730k from CREST, and now we hear the police dept. is holding back $500k?

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