Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cllr. Jordan Bateman Accuses Mayor Green of Unauthorized 'Secret Council In-Camera' Release of P3 Partnership Status (Part 3 of 6)

Councillor Jordan Bateman has accused new Mayor Rick Green of a very serious offense as reported by Bateman’s newspaper colleague, Mathew Claxton. It was published by Bateman’s former employer, the Langley Advance, yesterday. Specifically, "Bateman accused the mayor of bringing the issue out of an in camera meeting without a council motion to do so."

These comments from Councillor Jordan Bateman come as a result of Mayor Rick Green's Bombshell Revelation (also reported by the Province newspaper) at the last Council meeting (December 15, 2008) that no P3 agreement was, or is, in place for the Langley Events Centre on 200th Street which is scheduled to be opened in April 2009.

Today's Langley Times also quotes Councillor Jordan Bateman who said Tuesday that it is clear that Green “does not understand the process,” and a construction contract has been in place since the project’s inception.

The Langley Advance reports that Councillor Jordan Bateman said "he found Green's comments disappointing". Bateman was further reported to say "I'm disappointed the mayor made a public issue of it".

As reported in The Langley Advance, Bateman's excuse was that "all partners were waiting to see what stipulations the federal government would attach if they joined as a funding partner."

Really? At what point should a government sign an agreement to get the best deal for the taxpayers it represents? (Most people would think this should be done well before the ribbon was cut - Langley however seems to be cutting this a little close given that it’s now December and the ribbon on the Events Centre will be cut in 4 months [just before the next provincial election] and there’s still no official/legal deal!). One has to worry more now, what this will cost the taxpayers at this late stage?

Many are puzzled by Bateman’s rationale of waiting for the Federal Government mainly because the Feds would have been a very small minority partner with only $5 million of the total $56 million project. Up until Councillor Bateman's recent comments, there was never any public illusion that the federal Government would be a partner in this Events Centre P3. In fact, all public comments up until now were that the Township was only seeking a one time $5 million federal grant. Not a partnership. The partnership was with the provincial government. Specifically via Rich Coleman, (former) Minister of Forestry and Langley Township MLA who wanted to showcase BC lumber in his home town.

Interesting too how this project was never in the Township’s long term financial plan until 6 months after Councillor Bateman got elected who just also happens to be Rich Coleman’s former Communications Officer and is now Coleman’s Constituency President.

It’s also funny how “in camera” issues are now front and center according to Councillor Bateman.

Just recently, other Council “in camera” issues were leaked concerning firefighting resources. Funny how that particular “in camera” leak generated no public comment from Councillor Bateman, yet caused a flurry of broadcast emails to Council similar to those that Mayor Green referred to on Monday.

One of Mayor Rick Green's major election platforms was transparency in Government. In fact, Mayor Rick Green's inaugural speech specifically focused on transparency.

In contrast, Councillor Jordan Bateman’s inaugural speech was silent on the issue of council transparency.

Within less than one month of being elected, could all this political nonsense simply be because Mr. Bateman intends to challenge Mr. Green for the Mayoralty in 2011?

If so, Mr. Bateman should just come clean now and spare Township residents all the political muck that it looks like he intends to sling over the next 3 years.
See Part 6 of 6
See Part 5 of 6
See Part 4 of 6
See Part 2 of 6
See Part 1 of 6

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