Just as many of us were feeling a sense of optimism with a fresh start in Ottawa, it seems that the Harper style of governance – described by one well-know B.C. journalist as top-down, bullying, my-way-or-the-highway – has been adopted by our local mayor.
Harper, known as a party of one for his style of arbitrary, behind-closed-doors decision-making appears to have been adopted by council in their decisions to fire the Mission Heritage Association (MHA) regarding overseeing the operation of Heritage Park, giving a death sentence to the observatory, and moving the animal shelter to Chilliwack.
It seems that despite a great many concerned citizens and presentations to council to rethink these decisions, the “we know best” attitude prevails.
In a September issue of the Mission Record, Mayor Hawes said that buildings in Heritage Park would require $575,000 worth of work to bring them up to “standard,” which may or may not be true, and that there was no money in the budget this year to address that.
Assuming that the figures are correct, how is it that there is $2.9 million for an artificial turf field at the Sports Park and $500,000 for a skateboard park, but nothing for Heritage Park, which is used by people of all ages and interests, not just sports?
I had previously been told by Mayor Hawes that the money for the turf was coming out of the Community Works Gas Tax Revenue Fund.
When asked about the fund at the Nov. 2 council meeting, Mayor Hawes said that Mission received $1.6 million a year from that fund, which is shown on the operating revenue chart provided at the budget presentation lumped in with user fees and other revenue at 29 per cent.
When asked where the other $1.3 million was coming from, he said that there was an accumulation of $6 million in the fund.
That would leave $4.7 million in that fund which does not seem to be accounted for.
Or if he meant the entire $2.9 million was coming out of the $6 million, that would still leave $3.1 million in the fund.