Letters: Who Negotiates These Deals With Our Money?

By January 24, 2013Letters

Dear Editor. This past Monday, Fred Thiessen presented Abbotsford’s City Council with some damn good reasons for not wasting taxpayers’ money on YMCA’s high-end construction plans.

His points were precise and based on factual information available to anyone who cared enough to look.

Some glassy-eyed councilors appeared more interested in preserving the “integrity” of the process that had delivered the stinky “proposal” to their doorstep than they were interested in the facts being presented.

But, when YMCA took to the podium to make dubious claims about crime reduction and claims about its enhanced child rearing capacity, they listened attentively with necks craned.

The hot air in the room made my head feel thick and tired. A chilled darkness settled in outside.

A few days later, Abby News informed a community made nervous from too many costly fictions, that its former City’s manager would receive a severance package in excess of $300,000.00. Mayor Banman explained that while he, ‘…doesn’t like having to pay severance…’ it was, ‘… the “price of doing business.”

He tried calming frayed nerves by assuring, “It’s standard procedure in these types of jobs for there to be a severance package. They are high-risk jobs.” (see, “Former Abbotsford city manager paid out more than $300,000)

Is it? Really? My head began to hurt.

So many question and so few answers.

Which business sector negotiates such job exit strategies for its departing employees?

Abbotsford taxpayers are left wondering whether the severance package was performance based? If it not, why not? Alternatively, it it was, what would it have cost us if he done an excellent job?

Did the same people who negotiated the ownership of the “Heat’s” liabilities also negotiate this agreement?

Which City negotiator decided that the taxpayer should be responsible for such liabilities an that that practice would become “standard procedure”? Are they still working of the City?

I could go on for a long time but believe a critical question has been brought to a boil:

Are the people who vet, approve and establish these contractual agreements as “normative” the same folks who negotiated with the YMCA?

I just want to know.

Walter Neufeld

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