Friday, January 5, 2018

Opaque Transparency?

Because it certainly isn't it must be opaqueness.

Reprinted below are two letters to Morning Star regarding land sale of the McMechan Reservoir.

Dec.31/17 from Al Cotsworth, who was formerly the Manager of Greater Vernon Water:

On the front page of the Nov. 29 Morning Star I saw that the City of Vernon is selling the McMechan reservoir site to a developer. The reservoir is immediately west of Mutrie Road between 39th and 43rd Avenues and page 6 of the issue shows a notice of the sale with a map. The site contains approximately 7.9 hectares [19.6 acres] and the City has reached a negotiated selling price of $6.49 million, or $821,500 per hectare [$331,000 per acre]. I have no idea if this price is fair or not, however I agree with Councillor Scott Anderson that the free market should have determined a price, rather than a negotiated price with a single developer. No doubt the City used at least one professional land appraiser, but, this is still an estimate. The free market also precludes the accusation of favouritism.
Al Cotsworth

and the second letter, also from Dec.31/17:

I am writing in response to the article that appeared in The Morning Star on Nov. 29, “Old reservoir sold to developer”.
From reading this article, it appears that a developer approached the city with a plan to develop the property and the deal is being negotiated.
I was upset when I read that the land is being sold to a developer without going to tender. Isn’t it shocking that there does not appear to be a governance structure in place that mandates that transactions of this magnitude be put out to tender?
Even given the fact that price is sometimes not the most important or only consideration – a Request for Bids/Proposals can establish the criteria under which all bidders will be evaluated equally.
As it stands, how can we be sure that the best option for our beautiful city was chosen?
Deb Turnbull

Clear as mud.

Nothing's changed, it seems.

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