Dear Editor. It is my hope that this New Year will see media give us more analytical reporting, on the activities of local governments.
The attached Abbotsford Audit and Finance Committee file – Nov. 12/12 ought to alarm us, but Mark Taylor (Parks and Rec) forges ahead with the majority of Council mindlessly in tow.
The report reads, …Page 3 under YMCA Funding Strategy
“The YMCA proposes a 50/50 cost-share of the construction costs of a facility,………The project has been accommodated by reducing the General Capital Budget IN ALL AREAS in years 2013 through 2017. The effects of this include PROJECT DEFERRAL, REPRIORITIZATION OF PROJECTS over the five-year pland, and ELIMINATION OF SOME PROJECTS.
Although the 1% capital levy was eliminated in the 2012 budget, Council may wish to implement it specifically to fund the project….A 1% levy in each of the three years would generate approximately $6million, RELIEVING SOME OF THE BURDEN ON AN ALREADY CONSTRAINED CAPITAL PROGRAM.
Page 4 …..One member was opposed to sacrificing other projects for this one, and wanted to wait for the results of the Long-Term Financial Planning study before making a commitment. Staff pointed out the benefits of the proposal, and THE NEED FOR A DECISION SOON.” (all Capital emphasis was mine)
This determination to give away money we absolutely do not have is strange. As far as I can see, the paying public has never been given anywhere near the information on this giveaway, or the ability to interact with Council – but nonetheless Council follows the piper – to our financial ruin.
But the YMCA is doing very well because of the gullibility of local government largesse. Here’s a little excerpt from Walter Neufeld,……..”the YMCA (US) generated revenues of 5.99 billion dollars in 2011. That same year, if YMCA had been compared to for-profit corporations, it would have been positioned 381.5th in Fortune 500′s listing of annual revenue rankings………. The YMCA was ranked 9th largest non-profit US charity in 2011.”
Is anything about the YMCA the same as our ancient memories of it?
Is it only for the Young? No.
It is only for Men? No.
It is for only for Christians? No, their own literature would dispel that notion. It is emphatically NOT RELIGIOUS.
Well then how about the A? Association is still correct right?
Maybe, but association doesn’t tell you much.
It does not give you any clue as to how massive, how wealthy, this ‘non-profit’ has grown since its beginning – way back in time.
Here’s a little excerpt from Walter Neufeld,……..”the YMCA (US) generated revenues of 5.99 billion dollars in 2011. That same year, if YMCA had been compared to for-profit corporations, it would have been positioned 381.5th in Fortune 500′s listing of annual revenue rankings………. The YMCA was ranked 9th largest non-profit US charity in 2011.”
Not bad for a sweet little old group that just wants to come in and help our City.
But of course, before they can help us, we have to ‘help’ them but giving them prime real estate, FREE, (only 65,000 square feet).
Before they help us,.. we have to help them to our money,….But only to a mere $17.5 million.
Now there seems to be confusion on this Y business at City Hall. They can’t agree on the details as to whether we the tax-paying public will own all the building, half the building, not a brick of the building…….. And City Hall does not seem to know if 50% of the up-front capital costs is capped at $17.5 M. We really don’t know if we’d be on the hook for escalating costs, which are THE NORM for government projects.
Before the Y helps us with their altruistic loving ministrations, we must first help them by promising not to tax them on any of the business ventures they will conduct out of their new building.
Questions you may want to ask Bruce Banman, John Smith, Dave Loewen, Les Barkman, Patricia Ross, and Bill MacGregor, who all favour this give-away.
1. What is the value of that prime land we’ll give the Y?
2. How do you know that 50% of a future building project will not have cost overruns that bring the final cost up to outrageous amounts…. ( if the present cash offer isn’t already outrageous enough for you.)
3. What do you estimate the amount of lost taxes to our City will be on those business activities in the new YMCA – for it’s projected 40 year lifespan?
City Hall is incoherent on the details about the YMCA. The paying pubic has been rail-roaded too often by ‘leaders’ abusing the trust we place in them to manage out tax-dollars, for our mutual good.