Today, at 3 PM, Kinder Morgan will come before Abbotsford City Council to ask them to sign a MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING, regarding their proposed pipeline expansion.

An MOU is an extremely valuable document. K M lets us have a tiny insight as to how valuable this is by offering a little $1.3 clubhouse at the golf course, in return for the favour.

I’ve just asked Bill Flitton, the city clerk when this agenda item was made public, and he did not know so sent me to the communications desk, who wasn’t there.  So I’m going to assume that Lynn Perrin is correct, and that an offer of a club-house in exchange for an MOU was never made public, prior to this past Friday.  Only those who checked to see what was on the council agenda that comes out on Friday afternoon, would even have a clue.

BUT, for the many citizens who have been adamantly opposed to KM’s expansion proposal, …..here’s the problem.  You have to apply 10, (TEN) days in advance, if you want to be a delegation to a council meeting.

Let’s see.  Friday afternoon,….Saturday and Sunday are days off, at City Hall, and today is Monday.  Oh, I guess that does not work, does it?

Lynn the Lion-heart however called Bill Flitton at once, and asked that they make an exception for her, and grant her leave to speak to this proposed MOU.  (Some would call it a bribe.)

Below is a letter I sent to council regarding their MOU with the YMCA, with some things relevant to Kinder Morgan’s request, – highlighted red.

“COMMIT TO PROVIDE PUBLIC INFORMATION, EDUCATION, ADVOCACY AND OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY DECISIONS THAT AFFECT THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL CITIZENS.”

Please come to city hall today, and discuss this with Mayor and Council, BEFORE, they commit our city to something hardly a soul knew about.  And this clause from the desired MOU should give you an idea of just how underhanded these negotiations can be,……..

 

Clause from MOU

5. The Community agrees that prior to making any public announcements regarding this MOU, other than a public announcement solely regarding the existence of this MOU that it will provide a copy of said public announcement to Trans Mountain for approval.

Gerda

 

 

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The City of Abbotsford’s community sustainability charter
(http://www.abbotsford.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=1702) says that we:”Commit to provide public information, education, advocacy and opportunities to participate in community decisions that affect the quality of life for all citizens.”

Maybe I should re-write that in Capital letters, and maybe those folk who ask for our trust and our votes every three years, will think about what the Community Charter says.

This is supposed to be the guideline mayor and council use in running our city,……. COMMIT TO PROVIDE PUBLIC INFORMATION, EDUCATION, ADVOCACY AND OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY DECISIONS THAT AFFECT THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL CITIZENS.

I have repeatedly asked mayor, councillors and staff to provide newspaper ads, letters, or ANY proof to show they gave the public a heads-up, about their proposed gift of almost 18 million to the private, (for profit) enterprise, YMCA.

City Hall will not provide that evidence. They don’t because they can’t, because it never happened.They have never asked the people of Abbotsford, whether OR NOT – we wanted multiple millions of our dollars to be given away to the YMCA.

However, a fellow from the Y is now busily phoning ‘significant’ folk in town, trying to chat them up, with the goal of convincing enough of us – that a town sagging in debt, due to some bad management, should now cheerfully give the very very rich YMCA, a large chunk of change, plus free prime real-estate, plus tax-free status for any future business ventures they will conduct in their new building, (for the next 40 or so years).

Do our ‘leaders’ really believe that depleting our resources to grant this massive advantage on the Y is good for Abbotsford? What is really going on here?

If mayor, council and staff actually think this is so great, why the sneakiness? Why the attempt to jam this through before ever having provided advance, clear information? Why no notification and invitations for the public to ask questions, and voice their opinion?

Mayor and council are playing fast and loose with our money, without our permission. The sparse details we have been able to glean from city documents to date, is very contradictory.

Abbotsford tax-payers and City Hall need to ponder who the boss is here,…….Is it those who pay the bills, or are the ‘public SERVANTS’, the HIRELINGS in control?

Abbotsford, remind City Hall that they are there to SERVE you, the public, not to make sneaky deals or play big-shot with your money.

If mayor and council honestly know what is going on, (and that is not at all obvious here), and honestly believe it is for the good of the city they want to steward, lets have transparency.

“COMMIT TO PROVIDE PUBLIC INFORMATION, EDUCATION, ADVOCACY AND OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY DECISIONS THAT AFFECT THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL CITIZENS.”

City Hall, stop pretending that the self-interested employees of the YMCA will fulfill the above mandate for you.

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