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.
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.