Wow, what a night.
July 24 was a night of emotion and heart felt thoughts on the Gates Lake Facility. But we have learned one thing for certain; our illustrious leaders know how to spend money that isn’t theirs.
I guess it shouldn’t come as any great shock really, on one side we have them trying to push through an expenditure and use the Gates house at any cost, which by the way has gone up.
On the other side, we have a faction that wants to do the right thing but is being bullied into doing the wrong thing. Ahhh, schoolyard politics once again are rearing its ugly head.
So let’s break this down. The original plan, which we were originally told was going to be just under a million dollars, and now at the July 24 meeting is now just over a million, had us a three-storey house in which the top floor couldn’t be used for the public, so the lower two floors would be rearranged to have a 600 to 700 square foot meeting room.
Now we have on the table to have a house that will have the top floor unusable by the public, lower turned into storage and the middle floor being a 600 to 700 square foot meeting room and a 5,000 square foot building that will be situated on the property so that it eats up a quarter of the parking, all this for the paltry sum of 1.2 million dollars.
Of course it won’t be held at that, if memory serves us all, we heard the same thing about the Pemberton Community Hall. That disaster started at $5 million to $6 million and ballooned to $12 million, and we still don’t have a room to have a function or play game of floor hockey.
During the July 24 meeting we heard from many folks that had some very valid concerns, but one thing kept coming up was: “ What is this going to cost us? ” to which we heard examples of how the taxation formula worked and how it would be next to nothing.
Then near the end of the meeting our perennial leader, Susie Gimse, informed all of the crowd, that they know now we can’t afford the community center we have presently and how taxes may need to be raised to help pay for it, but there shouldn’t be a problem paying for the Gates Facility… huh? I said “ Pardon? ” and the crowd laughed nervously. So Susie, if we can’t afford the one we got now, why are we fighting to build another one that will be inadequate and under used?
I heard this once, and it seems to hold some water: “Don’t try to outsmart your common sense.” I know I’ve said this before, but in this time of world austerity, and when there are so many places with “for sale” signs on them, and everyone’s dollar is being stretched beyond the limit, is this the kind of money that needs to spent right now?
There is an option available that is less than half of the budget, but it being purposely overlooked.
It should be noted that not all members of the board are down with this “Boondoggle” but there seems to a lack of judgment or perhaps a level of persuasion that is inhibiting fiscal responsibility in the favor of us… the taxpayer.
Remember, we only rent these people for three years at a time, and for some, that is 15 years too many.