The eye of the Eagle

After Leslie Baird’s refusal to have a public debate with me, I had to Change of venue and the intention. Her excuse was: “there’s nothing further to discuss with him”?
Her declining the invitation for a public debate clearly shows how the current administration refuses to accept being accountable for how our tax dollars are spent.

Come to the event on Wednesday, October 17th, at 7 PM at the Masonic Hall on Dunsmuir St. so we can plan together how we can improve the situation at City Hall.

The intention of the gathering is to present the evidence of why a change of Mayor is of utmost importance to maintain the viability of a growing community that is in the risk of losing control of its environment and infrastructure and fall into chaos.

I had a conversation with Leslie Baird at the Wandering Moose in Cumberland, my first question was:

“Why do you think I am running for Mayor against you?”

Leslie Baird’s answer: “I have no idea”

my thought: “that is the right answer for your performance as the Mayor of Cumberland”

All the questions that I asked that day were answered poorly and inaccurately, so I wanted to have an opportunity to ask those questions in a public debate, so we could all hear her answers and have an opinion.

These are a couple of examples of what the residents of Cumberland must know to realize that we cannot continue under the current administration:

1.- According to bylaw # 914 of 2009, the estimated cost of the Village Sewer, Water and Drainage Improvement Project, including expenses incidental thereto, was the sum of $5,300,000 million of which $3,642,000 was eligible for a Provincial Grant, in accordance with general plans on file in the municipal office and to do all things necessary in connection therewith and without limiting the generality of the foregoing: a) To borrow upon the credit of the Municipality a sum not exceeding $2,500,000.

According to the Statement of Financial Information from 2011, the amount of the loan was $1,732,000, to be paired with $3,642,000 from a Provincial Grant. The Mayor Claims that the money was used to upgrade the lagoon system by dredging it and taking the biosolids to the landfill, now we are being asked authorization to borrow $4.4 million for the same project and spend 9.7 million or more for upgrading a sewer lagoon system that according to an old-time resident, has been there since she arrived in 1958, and has not worked for at least 19 years, this project can be done for less than 3 million.

When I Google search Paul Nash, the LWMP project coordinator that is behind this project, the following story came up:…/former-mayor-has-no…

It is not a good report, but the Mayor claims that he won an award for his expertise in sewer plants, he is quite incompetent according to this story.

Despite claims that Sechelt’s new wastewater treatment plant would serve the growing community “for the next 20 years,” former mayor John Henderson would not comment on the Urban Systems report presented to council last week that projected the plant will likely need to be expanded within six years at a cost of nearly $23 million.

“I think that’s just something that the district is dealing with and it’s not something I really want to get involved with,” Henderson said this week.

Coast Reporter tried contacting former water resource center project manager Paul Nash for clarification on the number discrepancy, but Nash did not return calls.

is this what the current Mayor of Cumberland is going to say when the project fails?

One big issue that has not been mentioned is: what is the municipality going to do with the 900 + M3/day of sewer the Village produces while the work is being done? Raw sewer into the Trent River for months? Years?

Say “NO” to the borrowing of 4.4 million for a 9.7 million project that is not likely to work.

2.- When I asked the Mayor about her personal expenses, she claims that she spends a lot of money learning, just like the rest of the council. She claims that she went to school to learn how to be a Mayor when I asked her where is that school? She didn’t answer.

Her expenses for 2017, $13,539.78, are the highest expense account of all the elected officials in the Comox Valley. Courtenay’s Mayor was $5,070 for 2017.

Then I asked about the expenses of going to the Vancouver’s Union of BC Municipalities convention in 2017.

Cumberland is a Village of 3,753 residents as of 2016. Do you think it is fair for the Mayor to spend $315/night at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on a Signature Harbour Mountain View room ($1,866 for 5 nights) during the 2017 Union of BC Municipalities Convention? $ 3,347.82 on a five-day event?

She said that that is what she needs to spend to create the relationships that the village needs; is this true?

She could have stayed at St. Regis Hotel Standard Room $209/night (Rate includes breakfast and WIFI),

I spoke to the UBCM administration staff and they inform me that by doing an early bird registration it would have cost $475 instead of $1,058, I imagine it was the same for the hotel rates because she didn’t book it in advance.

Just applying these two options, the grand total would have been $1,927, $1,420 cheaper, just with a little effort.

2017 UBCM conference expenses
• BC Ferried & taxies UBCM $69.95
• Correct cab fare to UBCM $(20.00)
• Fairmont Hotel Vancouver UBCM $1339.52
• Fairmont Pacific Rim – UBCM hotel deposit $334.88
• Hotel deposit UBCM 2017 $191.68
• Travel BC Ferries $14.08
• UBCM Hotel difference $56.51
• UBCM registration $1058.00
• UBCM Travel Ferries $44.85
• UBCM travel Vancouver $258.35

UBCM conference expenses Total $ 3,347.82

I don’t know if other members of the council attended this convention, but if they did, I imagine the expenses were just as high, how can we ask them to be frugal if the Mayor is not?

Another disproportionate amount is the total expenses of the Village of Cumberland’s employees: $131,523 with 4,000 residents, to compare to Courtenay’s: $ 186,568, with 25,000 residents to share that.

The list of irregularities goes on and on, we must stop this.