Email to Mayor: Who’ll Step Up, Take Responsibility?
Frank Murphy — October 12, 2010
Re: Long road ahead to recover money
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.
Any bets on which will come first, the Hotel Money or the Hotel. The ones who should bear ultimate responsibility should be our ex Mayor, MLA Cantelon and any Councillor who supported the project to begin with.
If, after my broker told me that corporation X was a going concern and advised me to buy its stock, it turned out that my broker had not done due diligence and the company was a shell company with no assets and my money was gone, would I not have a case against my broker? Is it different in public life? Can taxpayer money be so casually misdirected without consequence?
Mayor Ruttan’s reply:
Subject: RE: Long road ahead to recover hotel money, Nanaimo mayor says
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2010 16:58:31 -0700
From: Mayor John Ruttan
To: ‘Frank Murphy’
CC: Mayor&Council , GENERAL MANAGERS , Marilyn Smith
You will recall from a number of recent newspaper reports that the City of Nanaimo commenced an Action against both Millennium (Nanaimo) and Suro Developments. Millennium (Nanaimo) filed a dispute, and in all likelihood, this matter will ultimately be resolved by the Courts. While it is somewhat unlikely at this time, there may be an opportunity to go to arbitration to resolve this matter with Millennium in a more timely manner and at a substantially reduced legal cost. I am not advocating this step but suggesting it as an alternative.
Suro Developments did not file a Notice of Dispute and as a result, the City of Nanaimo was awarded a Default Judgement. Clearly arbitration is out of the question in this case. It should be noted that securing a default judgement against Suro Developments does not provide the taxpayers of Nanaimo with any assurance that the money owed to the City of Nanaimo will be immediately forthcoming. To imply otherwise would be deceitful.
Mayor John R Ruttan
“and before I sent my response to the paper I wanted to ask you about it.”
This would indicate you are interested in getting the facts before going public??
Yet, you publish it on your blog before getting a reply?? What is wrong with that picture?
This is a good example of the ‘gotcha’ mentality that is common to blogs,and why politicians avoid them like the plague.
The email was sent to the mayor from a private citizen, it does not reference ‘Nanaimo City Hall Blog’.
The reply was not addressed to the blog either. Finally publishing the letter before the reply, is an example of why journalists tend to look down their noses at ‘blogs’.
Too bad, as they could be a serious alternative to mainstream media, but they need to clean up their own acts a bit first.
Ouch IC! Did you have a comment on the Mayor’s response included here exactly as it was received? And received by this blogger yes who also is logged on as “nanaimocityhall blog” (the admin) — and it should and will appear under my name. That’s my real name IC — I stand behind my words and opinions — What’s yours?
I am not commenting on anyone’s comments, I am commenting on the deception of suggesting you did not want to publish a letter to the editor before giving the Mayor a chance to respond, and then, before he responds, publish it on an open forum, which is no different than the letter to the editor.
My name is of no importance, my comments on the lack of ethics which have and are giving blogs a bad name, can stand on their own.
Your point is taken and registered IC that this and other blogs have been a great disappointment to you. It is remarkably similar to an opinion expressed here by an earlier commenter (speaking of clever deception).
I was also coming to the same conclusion that your “name is of no consequence”. Anyway I assume this means you’ll continue in your search to find a blog that better suits you I wish you the best of luck with that.
Couple quick things. IC some newspapers do have blogs, managed by journalists. One question not being asked is did the City file suit against SURO’s parent company TRIARC?
Gord: this is from Ron’s post June 18 —
“On Tuesday, June 15, the City Of Nanaimo filed a claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against Millennium Nanaimo Properties Ltd. and Suro Development Company (what ever happened to Triarc?) for the recovery of $3,045,058.02 in fees, cost charges and expenses provided to them by the city under the amended partnering agreement. A copy of the filing is here: [Court Filing No. Nan-S-S-60133]”
This is the link to to Court Filing document:
Click to access millennium-suro-suit.pdf
Is it significant that Suro is not identified as a limited company?
Very significant. Many of us remember TRIARC setting up Suro to deal with it’s Canadian Interests. Soooo why did the City not file a claim against them? One could likely take years to disect every aspect of the deal that was made and still only find 50% of the truth. I wonder if it is posible for the Citizens of Nanaimo to file a class action suit against the councillors of the day who supported the whole NNC deal?