Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bureaucratic attempt to Rewrite History on the MAP Grandstand?

Jordan Bateman of Langley Politics.Com has posted “Grandstand grandstanding” where he posts a new Township document with a frequently asked Questions report on the MAP Grandstand. Clearly from our perspective it confirms everything Councillor Kim Richter has said about the project. Richter first broke the story here in LFP in her previous 3 part series Grandstand column. Essentially the report says the same she said with some very disturbing and we think misleading embellishments and distortions. The report essentially says;

  1. Initial budget was $3.0 million (Grant application went in on February 2001 and was approved in 2004)

  2. In 2004 Council approved an increase to $4.0 million (it was recosted & apparently staff wanted to up it to $5.7 million then. Council seems to have had some brains by apparently saying no to $5.7 million)

  3. In 2005 Staff wanted another $1.2 million, approved by Council except for Richter but they won upping it to $5.2 million (Wow, they almost got their previous $5.7 money anyhow! Report says increased costs were for roof area increase and complete bleacher seating and roughed in areas. What the heck are all these? Sounds like cost plus items. And what the heck is Phase 2 or Phase 1 for that matter? Is there an expensive Phase 2 coming?)

  4. It says Township is ultimately on the hook for $2.965 Million (and they are still trying to get money from the City and any body else they can to mitigate the project’s cost! Good luck. The City obviously also never knew that the budget really was supposedly $4.0, $5.2 or $5.7 million, because they are still committed only to the same portion of the original $1 million City/Township portion of the $3 million. Even after all this time! Unbelievable!)

So this report says what we already know. It agrees with Councillor Richter. These are the facts and they remain unchanged.

What we at Langley Free Press find very disturbing is in the real intent and curious undercurrent of the document which is glaringly set in sophisticated bureaucratic gobbley gook. Most importantly it also shockingly seems to be back dooring an admonishment and also suggests muzzling of the facts is necessary and requested of Richter or anyone else who would dare to question or criticize the cost overruns on the Grandstand in public. I can’t believe any level of government would blatantly promote the conscious censoring of opinions and facts on any taxpayer paid venture. Are all these accidental or deliberate? Essentially the report blatantly suggests that vocal concerns for spending tax dollars on this project could harm the public’s perception of the project and further fundraising for the project. The tail is trying to wag the dog! Gee, the only vocal person has been Richter! How dare she! Yet it agrees with Richter’s exposé on the project. It just seems to try and gloss up the whole thing and almost literally badly attempts to rewrite history.

We ask what is really behind this bureaucratic piece of fluff and why? Let’s face it folks we can add too, $3 million, up to $4 million, up to $5.2. Million and we pay $3 million in the end hoping to get the City to pony up their share. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Don’t be fooled.

We thank Langley Politics.com for bringing our attention to the document they posted today. But we also have to ask why is Jordan Bateman of Langley Politics.com posting this bureaucratic document and titling the posting “Grandstand grandstanding”? Who is he suggesting is grandstanding? Why is he suggesting this? What is his alternative to shed light on this and other significant public issues not reported in the traditional media? Will he answer these questions?

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