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Op-ed: Caster Oil (by Peter Children)

This morning I received a call from a prestigious real estate developer.  After pleasantries we touched on the All Events Center , or whatever it’s called that is being readied to shove down the throats of the citizens of this city like a teaspoon of Caster Oil.

We talked about the “horse people” who come here with their steeds to jump fences and do whatever else they do.  One of the things they do best is spend money….they leave a lot of cash in this town in housing and dining. First of all, it takes a lot of money to maintain a horse and those who haul these magnificent beasts around the country have the funds to play that game.  Hockey….I’m not so sure.

What we have here is a group who are used to getting whatever they want, and what they want most is to build a very large edifice downtown or on the fringe of the loop for their kids to play hockey in…and they want to be very comfortable sitting there while they watch their progeny wack a puck across the ice.  Oh I forgot…they want you to pay for it.

I am not against this wet dream, I am against over building it to the point it too will suffer from excessive operating cost as related to possible income…much the same as the Park Inn Hotel.  The people living here will not be responsible for any short fall related to the hotel, but that will not hold true with the hockey rink.  Your property taxes will increase. What I envision is this; the council will try and raise the taxes before it is built so after the lights go out the increase will already be in place.

What drives people most? Money is in first place, sex comes in second, the rest isn’t important. There are more than one who served on the mayor’s handpicked committee who expect to directly profit from this aberration in some form or another. When you get into the millions of dollars and locals dip their hands into the bucket, more than a few dollars will stick to these hands, and that is OK but it should not be the basis of decision.  If commissions are to be paid, it’s better if they are paid locally, if material needs to be supplied, it’s better if it is supplied locally……as long as everything is open to fair bidding by anyone who wishes to offer a quote, and the winner is not decided behind closed doors.

One last thought; if there is to be a committee, it should be picked by someone not affiliated with government, it should be a citizen’s committee made up of local taxpayers who are vetted throughly to verify they have no dog in that fight., and not hand picked individuals who bow to Mr. Six-pack.

Peter Children

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