02/18 - I have been waiting for the promoters of an events centre multiplex to bring out their heavy artillery to win the March 11 referendum. It’s been eerily still on that front of the campaign.
Virtually everything to date is coming
from those who are against the project.
I’ve been waiting for the council majority to release point-by-point arguments why this is a good deal for our community, not the bad deal painted by the opponents.
We’ve been to the open houses
where information is presented in bureaucratese – not in every-day English. That’s not the fault of city employees, bureaucrats don’t include guarantees when they give financial projections which are nothing more than conjecture and guesses.
It’s not their job to be the sales staff.
What I would like to hear from the city council majority that created this issue would be to come forward and sell us on their project, why we should vote yes in the referendum.
there will be no tax increases is great. I’m from Missouri on that one; I need to be shown. It may be true, but how can we pull off this miracle? Is it the fact that the “mortgages” we have on other projects are about to be retired and we’ll
have that money available for a new project? When is the Port Theatre paid off, the Nanaimo Ice Centre, the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre? Surely a council member should be able to find that out and provide it to the public. That way people would believe the no-tax-increase
mantra. “Trust me” doesn’t cut it for $80 million.
The site chosen is another bone of contention for various reasons. Why hasn’t anyone addressed those concerns? If people don’t get the answers they make up their own and
accept them as fact. Nanaimoites have a particular love for their waterfront.
Parking is another issue, what’s been presented doesn’t cut it. Has anyone from the city tried to create paid parking deal on the adjacent Nanaimo Port Authority
land? There are acres and acres of paved land already there. The cost of parking meters or even ticket staff on event nights would not be that great in return for the possible revenue.
We’ve had untold financial benefits for our community dangled
in front of us. If that is the case, how about getting some local business leaders to come forward and tell us they are supporting this project, and why. We haven’t heard from the business community, other than those who fear increased taxation. Where
is the Chamber of Commerce on this?
One other impediment that many opponents see is the concept design drawings which look more like a cattle barn with a grass roof than a modern centre for all kinds of community events. The public I’ve met aren’t
buying it. A cultural component can be included in numerous other ways. Why have the councillors not emphasized that this picture is just a concept, the finished product should be a lot more acceptable. We hope.
What is the status of the of the Western
Hockey League proposal, who are the owners and what financial commitment are they prepared to guarantee? That is possibly the biggest concern, so somebody needs to come out of the shadows. I am told the ownership group is very well heeled and able to make
a go of a franchise here. Okay, then give us the facts. They need to put their money where their mouth is. They want to be our “partner” in this, then they have to come out front and say “yes we’re here to make this work”.
Many arenas sell naming rights for tons of money, have any initiatives been undertaken by the city to secure a naming agreement, even before we vote? What are the prospects?
What we’ve been given to date is a pig in a poke, no hard facts, just
hopes and dreams. “Just trust us,” doesn’t cut it.
There has been no champion for the cause, no salesman for the Yes side. There are more open houses, can we at least have someone standing up and providing a sales job? Standing back
and waiting for someone to speak up does not exactly enure public confidence.
If the supporters don’t put up a much better campaign, and the referendum is defeated, we will have wasted all the money that has already gone into this project –
up to $1 million up in smoke with nothing tangible to show for it.
It’s in the hands of the five members of council who voted for this project. I’m waiting for someone to tell me why I should vote Yes.
Space is available for them
on this website.
So far the only thing voters will be deciding on his borrowing $80 million without anything concrete to tell them what they’ll get for the $80 million.
They have until March 11 to lay all the cards on the table. That’s
three weeks, only 21 days. The clock is ticking.