Watching the drama around the so-called “cancellation” of the YMCA issue unfold has been interesting to say the least. There is one aspect that I can’t seem to get out of my head. I wonder what long-time Councillors must think of Mayor Banman’s actions.
Let’s take an example like John Smith. It was only 5 years ago that he was on top of the world. He could get anything done at the Council table he wanted. He relocated the Entertainment and Sports Complex to UFV instead of the spot planners had designated. He miraculously found $1 million in the Parks and Rec budget for his “Friendship Garden”. He really couldn’t be denied at the Council table. In fact, some say he was running the City and not Mayor Ferguson.
Fast forward to the night of the Council meeting where Mayor Banman announced the end of the YMCA deal … “alleged end” I should say … and John Smith didn’t even get a heads-up! Banman kept the YMCA letter from every Councillor, then fabricated his own excuse for setting aside the project. The Mayor did all that with virtually no consultation with Council.
Let me be clear. I used the word “fabricated” in the previous paragraph on purpose. The YMCA letter clearly says that they are going to work with our City Manager to develop a new plan for moving forward. Mayor Banman said the letter and the YMCA intended to set aside the project “indefinitely”. The letter speaks for itself, so either the Mayor is making this stuff up, or there are conversations going on that he is not telling us about … and he is certainly not telling Council.
So, I put it to long-time Councillors John Smith, Dave Loewen, Moe Gill, Simon Gibson and Patricia Ross … how does it feel to have a one-term Mayor act unilaterally and without consultation?
Who is pulling Banman’s strings? Whoever is giving him advice certainly doesn’t care what you councillors want. No matter who it is, it is obvious that City Council, at least on this issue, doesn’t belong to the elected councillors. The Mayor and his faceless cronies have you right where they want you … powerless.