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Councillors’ actions show small-minded politics
Re: Council within its rights to review Hyack (Letters, NewsLeader, Sept. 11)
In response to Ms. Christ’s letter, it seems to me that City Hall is somewhat selective when it wants to “keep tabs” on community groups that receive grants.
Where was the accountability on the original 12th Street Neighbourhood Society that was given $100,000 to provide grants to 12th Street businesses to beautify 12th Street in an Art Deco style? In fact, the society was so unaccountable, that it was dissolved by the Registrar of Companies for non-compliance with the Society Act.
It was not until the civic electors group Voice New Westminster pointed this out to City Hall and asked for an accounting to the taxpayers, that City Hall retained a lawyer to clean up the legal mess and obtained loose accountability.
Could it have been because councillors’ friends and potential future councillors were involved?
I do not agree with Ms. Christ’s comments that “City councillors have a right to step in and ensure the organization is operating properly.”
Due diligence should happen when a community group applies for a grant and financial accountability of how the grant was spent should be standard. Councillors do not have the “right to step in” and dictate their orders to the running of an organization.
For city councillors to be so deeply involved with and publicly vocal about the Hyack Festival Association’s personnel issue is unprofessional and demonstrates how small-minded politics are in New Westminster.