Fraser Rec District Board needs to answer a few questions
September 7, 2008
To the Editor:
The recent letters in the Daily News about the Fraser Valley Rec Center seem to show an ongoing concern in the community about that project but they don’t seem to have moved the Board to respond or attempt to remove itself from the hole it has dug.
I’d like to suggest that, if we are ever going to get to the point of having a rec center that isn’t tarnished for all time, the Board needs to give the community some answers to a few basic question and then, together, let’s see if we can figure out what can be done to clean up the debris and move on.
The questions that I believe deserve answers from the Board are:
– Why was the executive director fired immediately after the election?
– Why did the Board not inform her of their decision for several weeks?
– What, if any, settlement has been reached with her and does it involve public funds?
– Why has there been so little information regarding usage fees and general economics of the project? Could the answer to this question be why the developer seems to be questioning the long-term viability of the project?
– Does the Board have the legal authority to encumber a public property to a private party based on future usage, which is under control of the Board?
– What is (was) the source of the developer’s power to attempt to dictate the name of the facility to the Board?
– When will the public get to see the total agreement our representatives (the Board) have reached with the developer?
– Why Is it necessary for the Board to hire a taxpayer-funded public relations “professional” to speak to the community on the Board’s behalf?
– And a bonus question for the Sky-Hi Daily News. Why was the Aug. 22 news article on the site donation agreement relegated to the “Home and Properties” pullout section 22 pages back in the paper? And why was it one of the very few articles, probably the only news article, in the paper that day where the writer was not identified? The article reads more like a PR “professional’s” work than a news article, in my opinion.
The inescapable inference of the board’s actions since the election is that there was something seriously wrong with the election. If that is so, then the far better response by the board would have been to stop the process, clean up the problems publicly and then move on to a new election.
Instead, it appears the Board may have been so determined to build the center that it was willing to try to drive through the muck by hitting the throttle while stonewalling the problems. That’s not a “good government” practice and is almost always doomed to failure.
There are other questions lying around but I think that honest answers to the above, and a desire to get this project right, would go a long way toward drawing the Board and the community back together and provide a platform for moving forward together.
Let’s quit digging before the hole gets any deeper.