Email to Mayor: Who’ll Step Up, Take Responsibility?

Frank Murphy — October 12, 2010
Re:   Long road ahead to recover money
From:    <frankmurphy@shaw.ca>
To:    <Mayor&Council@nanaimo.ca>
CC:    <GeneralManagers@nanaimo.ca>

Mayor Ruttan,

I was concerned about a comment attributed to you in today’s Nanaimo News Bulletin (Long road ahead to recover hotel money, Nanaimo mayor says) and before I sent my response to the paper I wanted to ask you about it. It occurred to me that there is a very good chance that the comment is reported in error. This is the comment:

“Ruttan, who was elected in 2008, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the case eventually goes to an arbitrated settlement, adding that any money returned will be good for Nanaimo taxpayers.”

It is very difficult for me to believe that with a BC Supreme Court judgment in the City’s favour in hand, you would let the lawyers for the firms in default believe that you are already offering to have the matter settled by arbitration.

I sincerely hope you will be demanding a retraction from the paper as I can’t imagine that you said such a thing.

The article attributes to you also the comment that “many of these companies are shell companies with few assets.” Am I to believe that you do not in fact know if these contracts have or have ever had any enforceability?

Who will step up and take some responsibility here?  This comment was attributed to then Deputy City Manager Al Kenning in the Bulletin on November 12, 2008. Based on this assurance Nanaimo citizens voted for a new Mayor and Council days later.

“All costs and fees paid by the city for the project would also be returned to the city if it were found the contract was in default,” said Kenning. “

I would not for a second begrudge the professionals and politicians behind this project well deserved credit if it had succeeded. And it is completely without vindictiveness that I ask that — out of a sense of personal integrity and professional pride —  all concerned step up now and start taking responsibility for mistakes made.

Frank Murphy