New Westminster's mayor defied public opinion
Mayor Wright went doggedly beyond his mandate to defend the ramrodding through of the financing of the office building as part of the civic centre now named “The Anvil.”
Wright defied the public’s strong admonition of the process by hiding the funding for the office building behind the smoke screen of an “Alternative Approval Process” for a referendum in which the office building borrowing is not mentioned although well known to the public. This is probably illegal. It is certainly improper.
What is outrageous is the name calling of his opponents as “losers” in BC Business magazine last October. He has failed to make any apologies to the over 2,000 voters who asked for a formal referendum which would give all voters an opportunity to use their democratic rights and vote yea or nay. As it stands, there were no votes cast against holding a referendum. He was happy to have the non-voters carry the issue and insult those who did vote to have a referendum. Was he afraid to have a formal referendum where all the facts would be revealed to the taxpayers? It must be accepted that the series of disastrous mistakes leading to the present situation require the project to proceed whatever the cost. The significant mistake was in losing the knowledgeable partner who would carry the risk.
A wise mayor would have been more cautious, accepted the limits of council to act without taxpayer authorization, been public with all activities relating to the project and sought the taxpayers understanding and support.
Wright has messed his nest by his derogatory words on top of the mistakes.