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Red Hill Inquiry: Internal conflicts at Public Works

Red Hill Inquiry: Internal conflicts at Public Works

At the Red Hill Valley Inquiry, former Hamilton Director of Engineering Gary Moore denied that he was strongly opposed to safety measures such as guardrails, friction testing and lighting on the Red Hill Valley Parkway. When shown staff emails suggesting he was opposed, Moore said his objection was to the way the suggestions were being presented, saying the suggestions “were not being presented in an in-depth comprehensive fashion.”

Inquiry Counsel Emily Lawrence addressed an issue that has been apparent in Inquiry documents thus far, namely the extent of the effort taken by Public Works staff to tiptoe around Moore on matters related to the highway. “It seems that members of staff in Traffic Operations are doing a fair bit of work to meet with you, to introduce you, to get you to meet with Mr. Malone (Consultant with CIMA) you think you were expressing your views to them in a manner that suggested they had to meet with you repeatedly to that you would be comfortable with the 2015 CIMA report?” But when council for the City immediately objected to the question, she moved on.

Before moving on, she presented a typical email that showed the sensitivity of the Traffic Operations department who at this point had responsibility for the road, to possible objections that might be raised by Moore to their efforts to address safety. Referring to the CIMA safety report. the memo reads, “it recs (recommends) the guiderail and lighting review and asphalt testing. All the things that Gary argues against. Despite that I believe them (recommendations) to be prudent and required that we do this ethically…” The memo goes on to suggest that Chris Murray who had overall responsibility for the Red Hill be brought in presumably to adjudicate the conflict.

Moore disagreed with the notion that nobody at Public Works knew about the Tradewind report. He testified that he had told various colleagues that friction testing had been done and that he was seeking clarification on how to interpret the friction values. He said he did not supply a copy of the Tradewind report to anyone.  Former Councillor Doug Conley testified he had made repeated efforts to get a report on friction, and was perplexed that he couldn’t get it because his experience was that he would get reports promptly when he asked for them. “Usually, I would get a report within 20 minutes of asking,” he said. Conley told the hearing he had a good relationship with Moore and spoke to him many times about various public works issues, “My understanding was that he couldn’t find it (friction report).” Conley said last week, “He had no reason to lie about it…he would have given me the report.”

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