Who are these people that are angry? Lots of them in the last month I have had many, many people talk to me about the issues below.
Thunder In the Valley was deferred for a year (now two) Why? for safety reasons and costs, fair enough you may agree or not but those were the reasons given.
Then we go through the event that tore this community in half the restructuring of the Fire Departments. Why? We were told in the name of efficiency and cost savings ($37,000) a year by shutting down the Hillcrest Fire hall.
Then we get to the mess called the 2013 budget on the eve of finalizing the budget, six months after the process had began (that’s right SIX months) administration realizes that our assessment base as dropped by 5.7% instead of the 2% projected when the budget process started. To make the numbers work after the last moment revelation Council decides that the $100,000 that was supposed to go into reserves for the Seniors lodge should be dropped.
Fair enough sometimes tough choices have to be made to balance the books we all know we are not knee deep in cash here.
So why are people so out raged in our little community right now? not the never ending debate about TITV or the fire departments or even the fact that we did not honor a ten year commitment made by the council of the day four years ago to our seniors.
What as gotten people really angry is the many questionable decisions being made regarding the
(I would use the term hotel development but why talk about something that is just
a figment of somebody’s imagination at this point).
Our team of Council/administration who to the best of my knowledge have zero experience in the area of hotel development (I stand to be corrected) decided to enter into an agreement with a company that had gone through years of financial difficulties.
The municipality spends $10,000 on a feasibility study that is redundant a year later. Untold amounts of money on legal fees putting together a “ironclad” contract with Medican ensuring that within two years we will have a hotel.
We then find out that we have third parties working for us (Clay Cup, Group Vachon) to secure a Best Western franchise. One of which (Clay Cup) informs us that there are many groups that could get a Best Western franchise. They also tell us that our feasibility study was amateurish and that they really did not want to work with this council.
Then our latest (hotel finder-Group vachon) comes to us, and say’s “I have ownership of the rights to a Best Western but I paid $50,000 to buy those rights”. Now this (hotel finder) determines that he wants to own those rights but does not want to “risk” his own $50,000. So in one of those hard to believe moments Council says not to worry we will take the risk you can have the ownership of the rights we will take all the risk.
This is why people are anger the “we” taking the risk is “us” the taxpayers. They are also angry because we had to “defer” TITV partially due to costs, we had to go through that community dividing exercise of saving $37,000 by closing the Hillcrest hall. Then in the biggest disgrace of all we could not find the $100,000 to put into reserves for seniors.
But we could find $10,000 for a feasibility study, $1,000’s for lawyers to draw up a contract and $50,000 to buy a Best Western franchise for Group Vachon.
(Believe it or not folks we paid for it but we don’t own it.)
For the icing on the cake the Mayor’s corner comes out and attempts to provide a positive spin that says we are actually moving forward.
Despite the fact that we have No Investors, No developers, and do not even know if we should fill in the hole where the old hospital sits. Due to the fact that we do not know if the hotel will be built at the East or the West end of the property.
I had a feeling that some people would be gullible enough to buy in to this nonsense, but that is certainly not the reaction that I am hearing around town.
People are pissed off.