Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Construction micromanagement

I've tried to highlight the good sides of Espoo whenever possible. But now Espoo deserves few words of criticism.

A new hospital will be built in Jorvi. The construction project is worth 200 million euros. According to yesterday's Helsingin Sanomat (the paper version), Espoo city council were not convinced by the competence of the project lead. Therefore the council decided that a member of city council must be involved in leading the hospital construction project. In my opinion this is either a very stupid decision or the decision was really poorly written.
  • Being a member of city council is more or less of a hobby. Folks are doing their city council duties in the evenings, besides their "real" work. 
  • 200 M€ construction project is huge. To give some perspective, the construction of the largest leisure time activity center in the Nordic countries is worth 100 M€. Helsinki music hall was a project worth 150 M€. The planning and construction costs of Guggenheim museum in Helsinki have been estimated to 150 M€. Länsimetro is a project worth 700 M€.
  • Leading a construction project worth 200 M€ is not a hobby. 
As a tax payer I'm disappointed to the arrogant decision. Leading a large scale project is challenging for any professional - why on earth would anyone (31 members of city council to be precise) think that appointing a random amateur into lead would be the solution? The one who orders and pays the project has his role in the construction project - but the role is not positioned in the lead of the project.

The election of the city council will be arranged next fall. You don't need to be Finnish citizen in order to vote, anyone having permanent residence in Espoo for long enough is entitled to vote. I urge you to ask from your candidate, what did he/she vote for on February 27th - and more importantly, why.

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