Posted by: HamptonIona | February 18, 2011

A Response to Katherine Hobb’s Statement

The following was Hampton Iona’s initial response to the email sent out from Katherine Hobb’s office regarding the continued delay by the City in obtaining an appraisal for the Convent site and determining the expected levy.

Dear Councillor Hobbs,

This is very disappointing on several fronts.  Firstly, we were told last night (February 16) that the appraisal value would be released today.  We are now being told that is won’t happen until March (and it doesn’t even say when in March). By the time staff releases this information, it will be almost impossible to meaningfully consult with the community and negotiate the price with Ashcroft (resulting in an expropriation hearing at the OMB) and meet the March 31 deadline.  City Hall is supposed to run for the benefit of the residents of Ottawa, not the Staff.

Secondly, and perhaps more tellingly, there is no mention of any source of funding other than a levy.  While City Hall may be looking for excuses to exclude every other source of funding, there is still no explanation why this appears to be the only park in Kitchissippi which appears not to be eligible for any money from the Ward park fund.  By not even mentioning that there could be some funding from the Cash In Lieu of park fund, it appears that the entire amount will have to be raised by levy.  If your office is still pursuing money from the park fund (which is not clear), you are doing a poor job of communicating this to the voters.

There is growing and widespread cynicism in the ward that the City has no interest in seeing Ashcroft lose any of their proposed development.  Between this message and the lack of any consultation with the community regarding which "adjacent" land would be taken as statutory parkland, it is hard not to succumb to such cynicism.

Regards

Lorne Cutler
President
Hampton Iona Community Group

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