Regarding Richard Rolke’s column Nov 18th, and Mayor Mund’s Facebook posting, what the mayor is clearly explaining is what is known as the sunk cost fallacy, or the escalation of commitment fallacy. Those not familiar with logical fallacies would call this the, in for a penny, in for a pound behaviour.
The immediate and future costs and benefits must be considered in the case of the Civic Arena. A cursory appreciation of the situation would seem to lead straight to the sunk cost fallacy. It seems to me that a further investment of $10 million now would be a classic case of throwing good money after bad. Say we commit to the $10 million, we now have to ask the following: How long to complete the repairs already identified? What other hidden cost surprises will appear? How long will the work take? How much benefit to community groups would be derived during the overlap between the necessary repairs and the eventual additional sheet of ice at Kal Tire Place?
What long-term operation and maintenance costs will be incurred in keeping a partially upgraded Civic Arena? In my opinion, this is a straightforward decision. Civic is long past its useful life-cycle. In the world of maintenance management, this asset is a major liability to the taxpayer. Far better to borrow now, and expand Kal Tire Place for the future. The mayor is correct. Putting lipstick on this pig is simply not logical.