Questions for Mayor Pond and Council

Hopefully I am not breaching any etiquette but since Mayor Pond has chosen to join HTMF, it occurred to me that starting a thread of questions that the Mayor and his council could address in a cost effective and public manner would be welcomed by all citizens of Prince Rupert.

To this end, I would like to contribute my post which appears to have gone off topic in another thread that concerns the recent controversy surrounding the city’s hiring and contracting out practices.

Welcome to HTMF Herb and by all means don’t apologize for providing your perspective, opinions and defenses. Open and transparent politics is what you’ve always paid lip service to, so we are glad to see you’re putting your money where your mouth is.

An interesting analysis of my feelings regarding my service to the City but what I really resent is the mismanagement of CityWest under your administration(s) and the secrecy in which the City and CityWest operates.

To be specific, what I resent is that the planned negative impact on the City’s cash flow was never made clear to the City of Prince Rupert at the outset and the actual impact that has occurred since the acquisition of Skeena Cable has been significant;

Since you were first elected, the impact on my residential taxes and fee’s is as follows;;topic=10032.0;attach=4088

In short since you became Mayor, my taxes have gone up 48% as compared to an inflation rate of 15% and our deteriorating water, sewer and road infrastructure has not been addressed in any significant way!

If this appalling performance was limited to your financial mismanagement, those more charitable may overlook this, however on the social front the same appalling failure of leadership is apparent as reported under the following headline by the Northern View;

Crime stats show many 10-year highs in Prince Rupert … 67064.html

Actually Herb, I’ve asked you and Mr. Howie to release the value of CityWest as determined by the truly independent valuation that was ordered while I was on the board but received after I left. The market value of CityWest by itself has no real value to competitors unless CityWest is for sale.

Turning to the information that is available to the public, I invite HTMF’rs to compare the disclosure available to anyone interested in Rogers to the disclosure available to the citizens of Prince Rupert regarding their asset.

Roger’s Investor’s Relations … erview.asp

CityWest Investor Relations

Those who look deeper will find that in 2005 and 2006, the basic financial statements for all companies in the CityWest group were posted while in 2007 only the financial statements for the mothership were posted. Most public companies and I include CityWest in this definition also post quarterly statements of performance but CityWest does not provide this nor does it provide any Board or Management commentary.

So with the foregoing in mind Herb, here are a couple of questions for you Herb to allow the public to form their own opinions based on facts;

  1. What is the current market value of CityWest as determined by the last independent study completed? In other word, what would the city receive net from the sale of CityWest?

  2. Who completed it and on what date?

  3. What is the current compensation paid to the Chair and Directors of CityWest?

  4. What was the original level of dividends that was planned for when Mr. Kumar under your leadership had the first Business plan prepared for CityWest to incorporate and seek bank financing to acquire Skeena Cable?

  5. Who did the original valuation of the Skeena Cable acquisition and what compensation did this firm or individual receive for the valuation and any other services that were completed in the year Skeena Cable was purchased?

In closing Herb, I am glad to see you have subsequently changed your mind about never posting here again and I look forward to your answers to the foregoing questions.

Easy way to get a “market value” for Citywest:  sell a small percentage on the open market.  Sell 5% of the company and you’ll get a sense of what the rest is worth.

Just like Rogers.  Ted Rogers owns 91% of the company, and the other 9% is publicly traded.  So you can extrapolate how much Ted’s shares are worth (ie: what the market would pay for them) by the current trading price.

Private valuations are bullshit.  A company is worth what somebody will pay for it, not what someone “thinks” it’s worth.

What I want to know is who was the brainiac who decided that Citywest Mobile services would be dragged kicking and screaming into the 1990’s by choosing a digital CDMA instead of the next generation or GSM technologies.  Was it the same people who told the local press that “they checked around Prince Rupert, and nobody wants data services”?

It was a really smart move, “oh shit! Rogers is coming to town, and they’ll be renting DVDs!  I know, we’ll open a Citywest store that rents BETA tapes!  Yay!”

The Mayor might make occasional visits… but he’s posted twice in nearly 6 years of office. Don’t hold your breath. As for Councilors, they all have full time jobs, some have children, and quite frankly most don’t have the time to sift through the threads of HTMF.

The Mayor has always stated that he’s open to people contacting him directly, and if you insist on making things public then you should go to a Council meeting.

I’m assuming that then you don’t have a full-time job or kids?  Apparently not because you spend an awful lot of time on here. :smiley:

Honestly, I appreciate your viewpoints.  Alternative viewpoints give me something to think about…even yours MiG :smiley:

“I hear there are rumours on the internets.”

Yes, you can pretend to be “above” the internets, but my stats don’t lie.  We get more than 1000 unique visitors per day.  Most of them are from Prince Rupert.

Herb Pond isn’t too busy to read HTMF – and if he is, he has people (hired “practically legally” or otherwise) that forward things to him, I’m sure.

I didn’t say he was too busy, I just said that the track record doesn’t show that he’ll suddenly become an avid HTMFer.

Any seriously concerned citizen shouldn’t be above the traditional methods by which to have your voice heard.

The City of Prince Rupert has enlisted the help of a lawyer to decide whether or not Mayor Pond’s actions were illegal. On top of that, he didn’t say that what he did was “pracitally legal”. What he said was:

Come on Mig. He’s saying that what he did with Council was practical in terms of time and convenience. He was not stating that he thought what he did was “almost legal”. He was clear in pointing out that lawyers–oh wait. I’ll clear this up.

Lawyer: a person whose profession is to represent clients in a court of law or to advise or act for clients in other legal matters.

not: Licensed teacher OR webmaster OR eccentric.

He’ll see what a LAWYER thinks regarding whether or not this situation actually represents illegal action.

I am interested in knowing the answer to this question.  I cannot believe that our city administration would have willingly incorporated CityWest while removing it’s revenue effectively from the municipality during one of the, if not the most, challenging economic times in our history.  How could we lose the Tax revenue from Skeena Cell and then lose CityWest revenue during such a time?  This incorporation has to be seen as a failure at this point.


Pay attention to this…

We all have to abide by the law.  It is there to protect us and we cannot allow it to be compromised when anyone, especially someone holding public office, feels like it.

And some one else can see a lawyer and they will have an opposite opinion. Thats how they make their money. We all fight, they ring the cash register.

Just need to ask this again. Why did Herb not answer the question many months ago when he was asked? He had the answer and if it had come out then it would not be the mess that it is. If you think your right then what do you have to hide?

He has put Mr. Howie in a conflict of intrest no matter what. By proceeding the way he did forces mr.Howie to inform council and Herb of the proper process in hiring a contractor. Mr. Howie did not do this so what other conclusions can one come up with? Bottom line, who benefited from witholding the instructions of proper procedure?

What did he mean by “the legalists are right”?

Are you saying that he actually meant “the legalists are wrong”?

You’re also saying that what he did was “practical in terms of time and convenience” in that all those council meetings since he signed the contract, it was not practical to pass a motion?  You know how many meetings there have been since he signed the contract? 

Lawyer: a person whose profession is to represent clients in a court of law or to advise or act for clients in other legal matters.[/quote]

Great, here’s what a lawyer who specializes in these things had to say to The Northern View:

[quote]Michael Vaughan, a municipal lawyer with the Vancouver-based Owen Bird Law Corporation, points out that a resolution of council isn’t always necessary for the City to enter into a contract if the authority to enter a contract is included in the budget. However, Bylaw No. 3213-2006, the Five Year Financial Plan passed on May 8, 2006, does not include such a provision in either the minutes or the bylaw itself, and Pond said that departments are allowed to hire and spend within their designated budget. And while Vaughan said that that authority may be given under a General Procedures bylaw, Council Procedure Bylaw 3092, 2000 does not include such a provision either.

And according to section 122 of the Community Charter, “An act or proceeding of a council is not valid unless it is authorized or adopted by bylaw or resolution at a council meeting”.

“Council usually deals with employment matters in camera for employees not under the collective agreement. Other agreements are subject to council ratification…Employment matters for those outside of a collective agreement would usually go to council and they would ratify that in a meeting. That is the typical procedure,” said Vaughan.

“If there is not a general bylaw or resolution authorizing the manager to enter into the contract, then council should have to ratify it.” [/quote]

Now he’s pretty clear. 

You already stated earlier that you thought that this was illegal.  Are you changing your mind again?

He’s already said “the legalists are right” and a lawyer seems to agree with him – can you spin that for me to mean “the legalists are wrong” ?  I really want to see you do that, it would be an interesting exercise for you. 

Hi Eccentric,

I enjoy your opinions and defense of the mayor but Herb is correct in stating that I have asked my questions in public meetings before.

As for comments on the current controversy, there is a thread is dealing with that (Topic: Questions concerning City Manager and his wife) and I suggest we keep this thread for other types of questions that are equally as important for the citizens to consider and their elected officials to answer or not as they choose.

As for insisting on making things public, I thought that what democracy thrived on! Whether the elected officials choose to use 21st century tools to communicate to the public, that of course is their choice. After all if our self styled Luddite Mayor can post here… I’m sure the rest of the council are also capable.

Nice omission everyone, but the quote continues:

Again, he is admitting no wrongdoing–he is simply stating that if you look through the minutes you’re correct in concluding that there was no formal resolution. Even Michael Vaughan–who didn’t seem to take much time analyzing the situation–stated that Council only need be involved indirectly, which they were.

Eccrentric, the last time I checked, Herb was one member of Council - or did something change in the past election?

Exercise of powers by bylaw or resolution

122  (1) A council may only exercise its authority by resolution or bylaw.

(2) If an enactment provides that a council is required or empowered to exercise a power by bylaw, that power may only be exercised by bylaw.

(3) If a council may exercise a power by resolution, that power may also be exercised by bylaw.

(4) An act or proceeding of a council is not valid unless it is authorized or adopted by bylaw or resolution at a council meeting.

As I said before, he’s also CEO. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying that you’re foolish if you’ve already made your decision regarding this issue–which you evidently have.

Any seriously concerned citizen shouldn’t be above the traditional methods by which to have your voice heard. [/quote]

I certainly hope you are not suggesting we don’t have the right to assembly - even if it is a virtual assembly.

Though I often disagree with your perspectives, I respect your willingness to present other viewpoints than the predominantly “left” leaning ones often posting.

Perhaps you can engage some other “right” leaning people to engage in this conversation also. This conversation would definitely benefit from a broader range of perspectives.

So would council.

After all, yours is only one viewpoint - I would hate to form an opinion of the political “right” in Prince Rupert based only on your postings.

Absolutely I have made my decision that I believe my Mayor and Council should be held accountable to the people they work for!!

What is truly foolish is adamantly holding to an opinion even in the face of all logical arguments.

As I have said before - defending someone JUST BECAUSE you voted for them is - IMHO- just straight up silliness.

Eccrentric, you make absolutely no sense.  Yes, I have formed an opinion in respect to this issue due to the fact that the documents that were retrieved under the FOI Act clearly speaks for itself. 

Let us all wait and see what Mayor Pond and Mr. Howie have to say tomorrow night regarding their total disregard by not informing the public on their decision to hire Ms. Hesse shall we…

Hi all;

Lets keep the discussions on the Mayor and Ms. Hesse to the thread started by the not so mysterious Ms. AnnaA … 032.0.html

Other issues that maybe of concern to others that pay some of the highest municipal taxes in BC is what our Council has done to ensure our municipality is efficiently run. In business, a good indicator is  staffing levels between comparable operations so I’ve pulled off the following stats on comparable municipalities to Prince Rupert.

The discrepancy between other municipalities and Prince Rupert is astounding and I would invite comments from council or any one that may be able to shed light on why our staffing levels are so high, yet our infrastructure is still in such a lousy state of repair?

BTW - These stats are taking from Civic Net and are compiled there from surveys completed by the municipalites themselves.

[attachments over a year old automatically deleted]

Hi All!

Just so that you know how I arrived at the conclusion that we are in one of the highest taxed municipalities in B.C. the attached chart was compiled from tax stats available to anyone on Civicnet

The attached is a large file so give it some time for the image to appear.

[attachments over a year old automatically deleted]

holy cow! what the heck are all those people doing? There can’t be that many railings to paint, flower beds to replant, and trees to trim?

what i find silly, is there are tons of full time skilled/semi-skilled city workers spending hours at a time doing this crap. What should be done is all those people on welfare who can work, but can’t find a job that they can keep, should be put to work for the city? Just speaking for myself, I always felt I should be doing SOMETHING while on Social Assistance, and any monkey can lift a paint brush or dig a ditch…

please don’t think I’m making out that people on SA as lazy, I think mis/under-employed would be a better way to look at it.

Also those stupid banners downtown piss me off, “historic downtown”? I understand our city has a small downtown, but did they really have to spend all that cash (and tick off some citizens) to put these stupid things up, like someone would walk through, and think "hmm I wonder where “old” prince rupert starts and “new” does?

those numbers are for city employees  and citywest employees  :smiley: is that true?

I wonder how many local business owners like to see their taxes so high, while the city basically subsidizes Citywest.  How would people feel if the City borrowed money to buy and run their own Chinese restaurant, or their own video rental shop?

Doesn’t make much sense to me.