Tear Up The MOU

By April 12, 2013Hot Topic, Mike Archer

By Mike Archer. After fumbling badly in announcing the indefinite postponement of the controversial proposal to give the YMCA tax money in order to build the membership driven fitness centre in Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman has no choice but to tear up to Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Abbotsford and the YMCA.

Perhaps Banman thought he was being clever. Perhaps he thought, like George Peary before him, that just by saying something it made it so. Perhaps he just isn’t up to the part of the job which requires you to be straight with the voters and citizens of Abbotsford.

Perhaps it was just a poorly orchestrated attempt to shut Fred Thiessen up before he could do more damage to what is beginning to appear like Banman’s pet project.

Telling us, with a straight face and serious tone that the tragic death of Mark Taylor was the reason the YMCA had decided to postpone its $35 million proposal and, when pressed by Fred Thiessen on whether or not this meant the MOU was dead, Banman slipped and offered the suggestion that the City of Abbotsford no longer talk publicly about the issue.

Bush league.

As Councillor Henry Braun has argued before, since the wording in the MOU agreed to by senior staff and signed off by Council’s approval states that the MOU will remain in effect until replaced with binding legal agreements, it could technically go on forever.

Earlier this year Braun made a motionto cancel the MOU and Council turned him down. If citizens, taxpayers and voters are going to have any confidence that they are not being lead down another garden path by another mayor who seems to favour playing with taxpayers’ money in a way that protects or promotes the interests of private, well-connected companies and individuals Banman is going to have stand up and be counted by putting taxpayers’ interests before those of the YMCA and all those with an interest in seeing the tax giveaway go forward.

Tear up the MOU Bruce.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • wintershades says:

    If Mayor Banman doesn’t have a paper shredder, I could lend him mine 🙂 I haven’t used as much water this past couple of months so I was able to buy one 🙂

  • Meghann Coughlan says:

    His mustang probably didn’t come with one lol

  • Without checking with the tax-payers, city staff and council concocted a stupid Memorandum of Understanding with the YMCA back in October of 2010.

    I do not believe the account given by Banman at all as to why the YMCA has temporarily withdrawn from their pursuit of the juicy gifts they almost had in hand. Sadly I don’t feel much reason to believe anything Mr. Banman says anymore.

    Fred Thiessen strikes me as a really quality guy, and most certainly not a fool, but Bruce Banman tried to play him for a fool last Monday evening, and one of those guys looks really shabby now.

    Not ending this odious MOU, an agreement that would have consigned us to a massive multi-million dollar cash give away to the very wealthy YMCA, for a new building on free land, that would house all sorts of health and fitness people who would compete for volunteers, donors and members – all resulting in a loss of money to other legitimate private ventures – WHO WOULD PAY TAXES, CONTRARY TO THE YMCA!…….Not ending this blatant abuse of our tax dollars is very troubling.

    Since October of 2010 there have been many changes in our city finances, in our city needs, in our awareness of what our mayors and councillors have been doing. To keep this antique document hanging as an albatross around our neck, a dark presence lurking in the shadows – indicates something is very wrong. The MOU commits Abbotsford taxpayer to 50% of the capital costs of the proposed new YMCA. Like as in HALF the total cost. What will HALF the cost be in 2014, or 2015 or 2016?

    Yet this mayor and council pretend we can all run along now and just trust our finances to their loving ministrations…….though in fact nothing has changed.

    The deal with the Y has been murky all along and Banman’s devious behaviour on Monday makes the thing all the more suspect.

    Someone please tell us what hold the YMCA has over Abbotsford staff, mayor and (most of) this council.

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