By Abnor. It’s neat what you find out when you don’t depend on the authorized knowers in Abbotsford.
Making my usual mid week rounds of the coffee shops I found out someone managed to get a hold of a copy of the letter sent by YMCA President and CEO Stephen Butz to the citizens of Abbotsford through their mayor and council.
Apparently the letter leaves no doubt that Butz and the YMCA intend to get right to work on the project a few months down the road.
So; when Bruce Banman, after keeping the letter to himself for more than a week, sprung it on an unsuspecting Fred Thiessen and a suprised audience at the council meeting during which Thiessen was supposed to speak on the topic, he was full of %^I*.
Banman told a stunned looking council and public that the YMCA, due to the untimely death of former Parks and Recreation Director Mark Taylor, was indefinitely postponing the project. Banman then looked at Thiessen and asked, “Do you still want to go ahead after this letter?”
When Thiessen pressed him on whether or not emotional reading of the letter meant that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Abbotsford was dead, Banman looked nervously to staff and responded by saying he couldn’t actually make that statement and suggested that the City no longer discuss the matter in public.
The majority of people who pay attention to City Hall in Abbotsford have been wondering when Banman would either be forced to admit the YMCA had no intention of putting the project off for anything more than a few weeks or months or be forced to admit he had overly dramatized the letter and used it as a mean to shut Fred Thiessen up.
From what those who have read the letter say, it is quite clear Banman exagerrated the ‘indefinite’ nature of the postposement and it is quite clear that the YMCA intends to claim its $17.5 million gift regardless of the City of Abbotsford’s ability to pay.
Having played his hand in such a dramatic and diningenuous fashion Banman will find it hard to regain the trust of voters who have grown tired of being treated like children by people who obviously don’t know what they are doing.
His sloppy attempt to shut up the growing opposition to his plans to give away $17.5 million of his friends’ and neighbours’money from Abbotsford’s empty treasury is not playing well with the people who elected him expecting a change from the George Peary method.
After using Mark Taylor’s death as a prop in the controversial quagmire surrounding his apparent desire to push the YMCA gift through at all costs, Banman will now have to explain just exactly what he meant to achieve with his theatrics.
Funny; I looked up ‘hoisted by his own petard’ in the dictionary and Bruce Banman’s face was there!
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Editor’s Note:Abnor joins us from time to time with a question or two about what he sees around him. He has plenty of time on his hands and he spends a great deal of his time wandering the streets of Abbotsford wondering about what he sees and hears. He’s a modern day hobo with a Blackberry.