I know it's been a while since I've posted on here, but it's certainly not because I haven't been active. Just check out my Facebook page and you'll know what I mean. Please go and 'like' the page if you haven't already, as you will find a lot more of my up to date postings on there.
There was an issue that came up today that I felt needed to be shared on this website. Another blatant disregard for public transparency, and honestly, I couldn't tell you why. Oh...wait. Yes, I could. But...for now, I'll let you do some digging and see if you can come to the obvious conclusion that I have, and hint at in this media release below.
Have a great January everyone!!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2017
CITY HALL SHUTS DOWN TRANSPARENCY ON LAND DEVELOPMENT TALK
Regina – At a meeting held at Regina City Hall on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, the Regina Executive Committee voted against allowing a full and open, transparent public discussion on the possibility of a Municipal Land Development Corporation (MLDC). In a rare 6-4 vote, a recommendation by Ward 8 City Councillor Mike O’Donnell was rejected, which would have simply allowed the information report to be considered once again at City Council on Monday, January 30, 2017. This would have been an opportunity for further meaningful discussion in a public format, as a larger number of Regina residents are aware of, and participate in, these regular City Council meetings.
After a two year delay, the City Administration drastically changed their recommendation from supporting a MLDC to advising against one, suggesting that land development can be accomplished within the current Administrative framework. As per the documentation from September 10, 2014, the Executive Committee at the time asked for City Administration to further review their recommendation to support the creation of a MLDC. Included in this request was for Administration to provide a further report outlining a model to govern City-owned lands and to provide recommendations on whether a separate corporation is required to govern. In the report brought before Executive Committee on January 18, 2017, there was minimal detail included as to why the City Administration took such a drastic change in their recommendation, other than a vague reference to how “conditions have changed” since it was last talked about in September 2014.
Chad Novak, with the Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group, addressed the Executive Committee on the subject. “It is clear that there is a bias within certain council members that they don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them.” Novak references the significant campaign donations provided to a number of former and current City Council members that could be perceived as having influenced their decision to deny the development of a MLDC, which could negatively impact long-standing developers within the City due to increased competition. “I hoped to see a really detailed report come back – especially after two long years – and all the Administration provided was nothing more than vague commentary to support a position that some council members obviously feel very strongly about.”
At this point, there is no indication that the subject will be brought up again in the future, but those that support the creation of a MLDC didn’t seem confident after the commentary at the meeting. The topic of a MLDC has not been brought forward to the voting public in either a public consultation process or a regular City Council meeting. This is a direct contradiction to the assertion of providing open and transparent processes by the City of Regina.
For more information, contact:
Chad Novak – Spokesperson
Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group
Phone: (306) 596-7685