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OMG

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Reply with quote  #26 
Murray.....Could we have had a petition concerning building the school in Erin Ridge?
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #27 
OMG ....... FYI, the Erin Ridge Residents' Action Committee (ERRAC) did at the time discuss the idea of a petition but were dissuaded by the fact that just as with the library borrowing it would require 10% of the population of St. Albert. Being that the issue was of a localized nature it was felt that we would unlikely be able to generate much concern or interest outside of Erin Ridge or even very far beyond the immediate Eldorado Park area. Just as there is now  a Municipal Election was looming so we chose the to try to exploit that option instead.




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Ted Durham

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Reply with quote  #28 
I read the Gazette today and their write up.  I believe Sec. 254 of the MGA also states that you cannot purchase land with borrowed money unless a borrowing by-law is passed which "has" to go in front of the voters in the form of a plebiscite. Hence, negotiations for land was very premature and again, we were in violation of the MGA. It is scary that our council would proceed with borrowing up to $65 million for three projects without going to the public. I think Wes Broadhead summed it up the best in council meeting Monday night when he said that they were well informed and knew more about this than the residents of St. Albert and that council knew better how to spend our money than us. If he was so informed, it was interesting to see how quickly 6700 signatures to have a plebiscite on the library issue were obtained.  Nolan isn't running again nor is Osborne supposedly, so we are left with Cathy and Wes.  Wes has to go and Cathy has to be defeated when she runs for mayor.  I don't mind one bit having anyone run for mayor, but we need intelligent people who can run a city by listening to the people.  She changed her tune on this vote as to vote against the plan Sheena put forward would be political suicide.  But remember the last election when she gave lip service to the Erin Ridge residents and proceeded to vote against them when she got elected.
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Reply with quote  #29 
I tire of Broadhed's insistence that taxpayers are not well enough informed to make a decision. Details mean squat to most people. The only question that requires a response is do you want to spend the money or not. And NOT is the operative word right now.
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #30 
Try not to be too hard on dear old Wes as one has to realize that his logic is the result having been very well 'programmed' over the years. [rolleyes]
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Steve Stone

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Reply with quote  #31 
I call him the LRT MAN. (Little Respect for Taxpayers).
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Reply with quote  #32 
Is this actually the law? "the fact that just as with the library borrowing it would require 10% of the population of St. Albert?"

Only those 18 and residents of St. Albert can Vote and sign these petitions.. so why isn't it 10% of that population?  Why should 2 year olds count in this 10% number?

Clearly those who made this rule up do not want to hear from the people and think they know better. 

Can a council change this 10% rule to reflect the voting population only or is this a provincial regulation.   



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Reply with quote  #33 
The regulations regarding municipal petitions are outlined in the MGA (Municipal Government Act) and set by the provincial government. In my view the criteria required are obstructionist and designed to discourage citizens from attempting such a petition. 
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Reply with quote  #34 
There is a new story regarding the library added to today's front page. I could not get it ready in time for publication earlier today, but it does ask some hard questions about a so-called 'branch' library.
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Reply with quote  #35 
I see the "Student and Writer" guest commentary suggests this Branch Library is a must.  Yes, it is a must if you don't pay property taxes and are a student.  Reality often changes ones view on tax and spend thinking when you are taxed and have little to spend.. 
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Steve Stone

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Reply with quote  #36 
An Open Letter to City Council - Branch Library Project

It seems like every time I turn around a new scandal appears where Council is involved. It appears that most of Council is swamped in a Culture of Waste. The list of wasteful and thoughtless spending seems to be never-ending.

At this time, there is no need to rehash the wasted millions of dollars spent over the past few years, but now we are witnessing yet another bout of mindlessness that makes the previous ones look like child’s play.

We have already spent $100,000.00 on what appears as a biased self-interest research done by the Library Board and another $30,000.00 on a dubious survey that was in my opinion, less than honest.

Both surveys have raised suspicions of them being designed for a pre-engineered outcome, geared towards a manipulated result to satisfy a special self-interest group at the expense of taxpayers.

I am not suggesting that anyone on Council has knowingly participated in this waste; rather I do suspect that Council has been misled by the Library Board in going down this “garden path”.

What has recently come to light is the Library Board Director, Mr. P. Bailey, has an agreement with the City to raise $500,000.00 to furnish the branch library. Where is this money? Has anything been done about that commitment? Or was it simply a “carrot” to lead Council down where the Library wants them to go? Are we ignoring that commitment made by Mr. Bailey?

I now ask of you all on Council to investigate the following:

(1)   Determine if the Library Board’s commitment to raise $500,000.00 is a farce. Have they done anything to collect these funds? If so, how much have been raised?

(2)   Undertake an in-depth scrutiny of the Library’s survey to determine its authenticity in terms of figures used; were they real and not trumped up and biased? From this, we can evaluate if it is honestly needed.

(3)   Decide if we want to support the library’s many services and programs which do not qualify as library functions and responsibilities. These many services and programs are rightly suited to be provided by other organizations (e.g. Senior’s Club, Community Halls, Child Day Care Services, Schools, Churches, Volunteer Youth Groups, etc.).

(4)   Investigate the above three points with an outcome of satisfied and right conclusions before there is any further discussion about proceeding with a new branch library.  

 

Thank you for your consideration.

Steve Stone

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OMG

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Reply with quote  #37 
First it is a branch library. Then swimming pool, arena, gymnastics and soccer field of dreams. Sick of these TAKERS.
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Reply with quote  #38 
OMG - Everything after the Library in your comments actually brings in people into the city and improves the quality of life of the city.    Library has no benefit.   
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Willy

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Reply with quote  #39 
Interesting letter in today's Gazette by Mark Cassidy. Some very valid points that should be embarrassing to both the proponents for the library and the city. Putting the cart so far ahead of the horse that its not funny.

The thought also struck me while reading Marks letter is... "I wonder where the Chamber of Commerce is on this?" Their efforts for a new building failed and all of a sudden the library is the new push. I am wondering if they are quietly behind this thinking they can piggy back on the library and sneak in the back door?
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #40 
As per Willy's query, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were! [rolleyes]
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danapop

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Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy
Interesting letter in today's Gazette by Mark Cassidy. Some very valid points that should be embarrassing to both the proponents for the library and the city. Putting the cart so far ahead of the horse that its not funny. The thought also struck me while reading Marks letter is... "I wonder where the Chamber of Commerce is on this?" Their efforts for a new building failed and all of a sudden the library is the new push. I am wondering if they are quietly behind this thinking they can piggy back on the library and sneak in the back door?


By very valid points do you mean inaccurate points?  The original cost of the project was slated at $18.2M in the project charter OA-005 that was approved.  
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Willy

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Reply with quote  #42 
Dana,
I'm not sure what your point is and how it pertains to my comment about the letter to the editor or my question about the Chamber of Commerce. By the way, on the Library's website at https://www.sapl.ca/about-us/a-new-library.html states that Council has approved spending to $17,492,150.00 which was amended to $21,900,000.00. So it appears to me that Mr Cassidy's letter is accurate. The letter was not so much about how many dollars as it was more about how they are going about the whole process backwards with double standards while being illegal as well. (The illegal part is my contribution and not in Mr Cassidy's letter)

So what ever your point was - it's moot, irrelevant and appears to be an attempt to distract from the context of the letter, my observation of the cart ahead of the horse and my question about the Chamber of Commerce.

I encourage everyone to read Mr. Cassidy's letter. Its bang on and very relevant.
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #43 
I'm not exactly sure if the cart is before the horse or vice versa but what I am absolutely certain of is that the intent was to 'saddle' us all (i.e. taxpayers) with the bill!  [nono]
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danapop

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Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy
Dana, I'm not sure what your point is and how it pertains to my comment about the letter to the editor or my question about the Chamber of Commerce. By the way, on the Library's website at https://www.sapl.ca/about-us/a-new-library.html states that Council has approved spending to $17,492,150.00 which was amended to $21,900,000.00. So it appears to me that Mr Cassidy's letter is accurate. The letter was not so much about how many dollars as it was more about how they are going about the whole process backwards with double standards while being illegal as well. (The illegal part is my contribution and not in Mr Cassidy's letter) So what ever your point was - it's moot, irrelevant and appears to be an attempt to distract from the context of the letter, my observation of the cart ahead of the horse and my question about the Chamber of Commerce. I encourage everyone to read Mr. Cassidy's letter. Its bang on and very relevant.


No, the letter was not accurate.  The project has been approved for $17.4M.  This was NOT changed to 21.9M.  That was for the borrowing bylaw.  Any amount ovee the $17.4M would need to come back to council for approval.  

The borrowing bylaw is different.  It is a "preapproval" on the funds.  Basically, it is like going to a bank and getting approved for a $500,000 mortgage.  You by a $400,000 house you only borrow $400,000. 

The reason the borrowing bylaw is done more than the cost of the of project (same as project 9) is so that if there is cost overruns the city and administration does not need to bring a new borrowing bylaw back saving time and money.  

My point was that the overarching theme of Mark's letter was the funds to be raised by the library group and is speculation that the cost of the library increased because they didnt raise the funds.  That is Grade A conspiracy theory and I disproved that by showing the cost of the library actually decreased not increased.  

There is no double standard.  Nothing is illegal.  

If you are actually asserting something illegal has been done I highly suggest you pony up the evidence or retract the slanderous statement.  
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Willy

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Reply with quote  #45 
Dana as I understand it the city started the shopping and negotiating for land before any bylaw was passed to do so. Ergo putting the cart before the horse, ergo in violation of bylaw, ergo illegal. If I am wrong I will happily retract my statement and apologize.
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #46 
How about we stop playing shell games with the numbers as if a six or seven figure number more or less really has any bearing on the principle of the matter. Oh my, I must have forgotten that principles in politics just about everywhere have long gone the way of the Dodo Bird to wit, it is glaringly apparent that we in our little microcosm of St. Albert are no exception.
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danapop

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Reply with quote  #47 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Lambert
How about we stop playing shell games with the numbers as if a six or seven figure number more or less really has any bearing on the principle of the matter. Oh my, I must have forgotten that principles in politics just about everywhere have long gone the way of the Dodo Bird to wit, it is glaringly apparent that we in our little microcosm of St. Albert are no exception.


I agree, but the crux of Mark's letter was based on the 400K difference and the subsequent conspiracy theory that this is how the library avoided fundraising.  
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danapop

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Reply with quote  #48 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy
Dana as I understand it the city started the shopping and negotiating for land before any bylaw was passed to do so. Ergo putting the cart before the horse, ergo in violation of bylaw, ergo illegal. If I am wrong I will happily retract my statement and apologize.


The Project Charter was Approved in November 2015 for $18.2M.
In November 2016, council approved debt financing as the preferred method to fund the project they previously approved. 
After that, Administration entered into land negotiations. 
The petition was presented putting the financing of the project in jeopardy.
Administration immediately stopped land discussions.  

That is exactly how it went down and exactly how it should have went down.

An analogy would be you going to the bank to buy a house and get approved for a mortgage of $500,000 based on your income.  Three months later you have not purchased yet, but you lost your job so you stop looking for houses.  
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Willy

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Reply with quote  #49 
Dana, Ive found this on the the 'net. Don't see your figure anywhere and it recommends the project be "funded". Doesn't say how its funded or for how much $$. Muchless that funding is/was "approved" as you say. Only the out comes, goals and priorities were approved. In other words council approved of the concept of a branch library not the financial aspect. Also shows a couple different options as to what it might cost based on the 2 options shown. My understanding is that they cannot start shopping and negotiating on land until the borrowing bylaw (finances) is in place, or as you say pre-approved - that didn't happen until this year). This was voted on very recently - it appears that this was happening in 2015. Ergo putting the cart before the horse.

http://pbtech.org/clients/stalbert/attch/stalbertcc08182014/3.2_Community_Library_Branch.pdf
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Willy

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Reply with quote  #50 
Just a thought.... and a question.... or a few.... The project charter discusses funding options of P3, provincial and federal funding. Have any grants or funding been applied for or secured for this project from these sources?

Also while acknowledging that the library will remain where it is the project charter talks as tho' St. Albert doesn't have a library.
I realize that when this was drawn up location was mostly speculation. How ever why would they think the site right next to Costco (north side) be a good choice? Right next to or in the largest commercial development in St Albert must be the most expensive location possible? As others have said the old London Drugs location would be a very suitable location and cost cociderably less.

$21m. = $1m per square foot. That seems extremely expensive. I know borrowing was pre-approved for up to $21m. but name me a project in this city that has come in on or under budget.


http://pbtech.org/clients/stalbert/attch/stalbertcc08182014/3.2_Community_Library_Branch.pdf
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