Fraser Rec District Board answers questions
September 16, 2008
To the Editor:
Thank you Mel Black for your letter concerning the need of the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District to answer some questions.
Here are the rec. district’s answers to you queries.
– Why was executive Director Cindy Flores let go after the election? Because the time was right for the board to make a management change. The decision had no connection to the bond vote. Why the wait to inform her? The board wanted to be completely prepared.
– Was there a “settlement” reached with her? Yes, the board agreed upon a severance package for Cindy Flores in recognition of her years of service to the district.
– Why so little info on usage fees and general economics? These questions were answered and resolved in many public board and committee meetings prior to the bond vote in November 2007. Public input resulted in amendments prior to the bond vote to original plans relating to fees and the “general economics” of the project. Details about fees can be found on the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District’s Web site at http://www.fraservalleyrec.org. Also, the district hosted many advertised public meetings prior to the bond vote.
– Why developer questions long-term viability of the project? To our knowledge, the developer does not question the long-term viability of the project and in fact has donated 4.9 acres of land to the district.
– Does the board have legal right to encumber public property to a private party? Yes, it does. This reference to the so-called reversion clause reflects, once again, standard language when a developer deeds property to another owner in a specific development. Reversion clauses, such as this one, have extensive “cure” clauses that would allow the district time to remedy any situation that may arise relating to the clause and therefore preventing the reversion. In any case, the donation of the land estimated to be worth more than $4 million ” would not have occurred without such language.
– What is the source of developer’s power to dictate name? That source, simply, is that the developer had $4 million worth of real estate on a prime location that he was willing to donate to the rec. district for a rec. center. That “leverage,” if you will, entitles him to some added benefit, such as input on naming. The naming rights have been in the deal since the beginning. The contract reads that the name will be Grand Park Community Recreation Center or a mutually agreed upon name. The latter, we feel, gives us some flexibility on the naming rights.
– When will public see the entirety of the agreement reached with the developer? The document is available for public review at the offices of the Recreation District in Fraser. Also, a complete copy of the agreement is posted on this newspaper’s Web site. Any board member would be happy to discuss the agreement with citizens.
– Why hire a public relations professional? Well, the fact of your letter and the questions it raised reveals the need for the board to reach out to the public with positive, fact-based information. Our intent from the beginning was to provide factual information in a proactive manner to the public about the projects.
Thank you, Mel Black, for your interest. Board members and district staff are available to answer your questions.
Board of Directors
Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District