Dear City Hall


#1

thenorthernview.com/news/294853631.html

thenorthernview.com/news/294851521.html

if your wondering where to get the money for these things might I suggest the dummy corporation you set up that has $7 million dollars sitting in its account, not to mention the extra $10 million you will get by the end of this year from Exxon.


#2

So, you have proof of said allegations?


#3

Heh. I doubt it. A dummy corporation and a slush fund?! I’ll wait for Jabber63 to provide evidence of the dummy corporation and the slush fund. This is flame bait. Classic trolling.


#4

ummm the corporation they set up to accept the money from Exxon for purchasing the land for the LNG plant, I call it a dummy corporation

thenorthernview.com/news/260716281.html

second last paragraph


#5

[quote=“Jabber63”]ummm the corporation they set up to accept the money from Exxon for purchasing the land for the LNG plant, I call it a dummy corporation

thenorthernview.com/news/260716281.html

second last paragraph[/quote]

I see nothing illicit with the mentioned corporation, it appears all above board. I see no mention of $7,000,000 sitting in the account. It seems you are attempting to paint a shady picture of city business transactions.


#6

I would probably describe the Legacy Corporation as a ‘shell’, but calling it a ‘dummy’ is actually quite apt. It should not be taken as a pejorative.

The corporation was set up to circumvent restrictions in the Community Charter as to how proceeds from a land sale or lease can be spent if the City holds title. Running transactions through the corporation gives greater flexibility in that the revenue does not have to be spent on capital items.

The corporation’s officers are all civic employees, who besides being appointed by the council take day-to-day instructions from them, so the ‘controlling mind’ is really the council as represented by the mayor. In that sense the corporation is a dummy; it’s not intended to be autonomous. That’s good, unless one prefers the Citywest model of non-accountability and low rates of return on investment.

As for allegations of a slush fund, not being above board or being illicit, I read none of that in Jabber69’s comments or in the viewpaper link. Information flow about the Legacy Corporation always has been rather piecemeal and overall quite sketchy. The City really should prepare a consolidation at some point, but the $7 million number is accurate or at least pretty close.

If you go to this North Coast Review article which appropriately alludes to “Lingering questions on the Legacy Corporation” < princerupert.ca/sites/defaul … 20item.pdf >.

Scroll down to page 6 (some may have to put on their reading glasses) and it will be seen that CFO Bomben has incorporated into the proposed budget $6 million of revenue from the Legacy Corporation over the next four years. It would make sense that the corporation is holding money in reserve ($1 million sounds about right) to pay for consultants, studies, regulatory appearances etc relating to the Exxon proposal.

Most of the $6 million is for the “Economic Growth Project”. What on earth is that one may ask? Well, that’s for the mayor and council to explain, but I think it relates to the Prepare for Growth program, which according to the CFO is “to provide us with the capacity necessary to plan for major projects and attract the resources” (pg 3). To me, that translates into the money will be spent on additional staffing, but I may be wrong. Whatever it is, it is projected to cost $4.8 million while $1.2 million from the Legacy Corporation is to be spent on capital projects. If I have got any of that wrong I’m sure that better information will be issued in due course.

All that Jabber69 is saying, by my read, is that maybe more of that corporation revenue should be spent on capital items like the new RCMP facility, which is an unavoidable expense, that has tax implications. That strikes me as fair comment, and perhaps a question that could be incorporated into the smart phone poll that will be part of the upcoming forum on the budget.


#7

BTravenn,

Thanks for the thorough explanation. I stand corrected. My apologies, Jabber63.


#8

yep that is all I was implying wasn’t implying it was a slush fund
apologies accepted S


#9

Ok now that we shook hands, and had beers. Where is the $10 million coming from ?


#10

From Exxon of course, if after a year it is still interested in Lot 444. I don’t recall the exact amount, but I believe that Jabber63 is at least generally correct in saying that it is $10 million. To fact-check that would require some research.

The City has released that information, but their communications tend to be scattered, piecemeal and at times difficult to decrypt. There have been reports in Northern View, whose coverage of civic politics has become rather sparse in recent months, and North Coast Review provides a recap and commentary on every council meeting with links to source information.

The City’s communications are quite weak, which is not surprising as a small municipality dealing with some big issues. The City would do well to follow the example of big government by issuing media releases that provide financial details in summary form.

The agreement with Exxon, for instance, is modeled on the Province’s agreements with Aurora and Woodside for Grassy Point. Here is a link to the media release on the Aurora agreement: < newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/11/a … point.html >.

Underneath the usual comments about how great and awesome everything is, there is a bullet form summary of the main financial details and other terms of the agreement. That kind of information is generally lacking from the City’s communications. There isn’t a media release on the civic web site that sets out the highlights of the agreement with Exxon.

That reflects a generic problem. For instance, there was a media release last year on the PILT settlement with the Port, but it did not report the central issue, which is how much money the Port was to pay the City and when: < princerupert.ca/node/263 >. That was reported in bits and pieces elsewhere, which is an odd way of doing things.

Similarly, there was a media release about the exclusivity agreement between the City and Watson Island LNG Corporation: < princerupert.ca/node/237 > which for reasons unknown did not report the financial terms. According to Court filings, which are public documents, WILNG was to pay $500,000 from August to end of December, when the agreement expired.

As discussed on another thread, details about financing for the Cow Bay marina are similarly lacking. Apparently the City wishes to respect the wishes of its partners, which is understandable up to a point, but all of the public entities mentioned in that story are subject to public disclosure requirements under federal or provincial legislation.

At the risk of inviting a fusillade of abusive remarks and childish cartoons and photo montages, that the Mayor’s personal Facebook page has become a leading news source says to me that while there is concern in some quarters about improving communications, not everybody in City hall is on board with that objective. Councillor Mirau was probably on the right track when he suggested that the City needs to have a communications officer, at least during periods of high activity.


#11