Just to set the record straight I would like to dispel the latest rhetoric coming out of Gibsons town hall regarding the costs attributed to the George Hotel and who is to blame. The information is misleading and one sided and does not tell the whole story of the true costs of this project.
The Mayor and officials at town hall are telling the public about how certain people and groups are costing the town money for legal fees. What they do not tell you is that they have left people no alternative as they have not listened, they did not negotiate the height as they promised at election time, they have disregarded our OCP, they have shirked their responsibility to protect our aquifer and they have given away our assets. As in the U.S., the courts have become the only option for us, the electorate.
If the town wants to have a real conversation with an accounting of the true costs then they will have to be upfront and tabulate them all for us to see. The real costs of the George go far and beyond this issue and if the public cares to know perhaps they will be enlightened.
Perhaps the real costs of this project have not even begun but let’s just start by what we know. The give-away of Winn Road to the developer at an approximate value of $1million at today’s prices. Then there is the water lease give-away, the destruction of Winegarden Park for construction, with only $100,000 given back from the developer to undo the damage after having use of the park for construction purposes for two years at least. There is the give-away of 17 precious, visible street parking spots in return for some obscure spaces in the underground parking.
If the mayor wants to talk legal fees then I am sure we will be astounded at the amount of legal fees the town staff has accrued to bring this development to this stage. Also, let’s add up all the hours town staff have spent on this, including overtime as well as the many engineering and geotechnical reports necessary to protect our town. So, yes, let’s have a true accounting that is open and transparent, a running tab for all of us to see, instead of selected info that suits our politicians’ purposes.