Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Monday's Legacy Corporation Annual Information meeting was a little lacking in actual information

By any indication, Monday evening's Annual Information Meeting on the Legacy Corporation, was mainly a required instrument of declaration as part of the formation of the corporation.

Corinne Bomben, the City's Financial Officer provided a brief report on the financial statement for the the city owned corporation that is used for land issues associated with Lot 444 at Tuck Inlet.

And by brief, we mean a basically a reading of the numbers on the balance sheet for the corporation as of the end of December, highlighting the value of the entity at this point which is listed at $18,000,000 or so, ten million of that purely on land value.

You can review the short overview of the balance sheet from the City's video archive starting at the one hour twenty five minute mark.

Other than those brief accounting notes, no other city staff official, or City Council member provided any other background on any of the mechanics and developments related to Legacy over the last nine months.

And while it's true that those in the Public Gallery did have a chance to ask questions if they wished, and no one did, the nature of the Legacy overview as part of the Committee of the Whole session structure meant that none of the six Council members or Mayor Brain were required to provide any of their thoughts on the City owned corporation.

That perhaps explains the silence of the Council members, but part of that lack of contribution from public to the process could be due to the lack of any real promotion of the opportunity, other than through the short mention in the Agenda notice posted to the city's website on Friday afternoon.

With no questions from the public and a Council that didn't offer comment during Committee of the Whole session (or take advantage of the Regular Council session of the night to share a few thoughts), we gather that means that officially, the Legacy Corporation Update process is now complete for another year.

Though considering the importance that the City is placing on the Tuck Inlet area as a potential engine for future growth, (and indications are that the Exxon-Mobil proposal is finding some forward movement) one might think that someone, anyone really on Council, at least would have some comments or observations as to how the Legacy Corporation is doing these days.

Bringing the topic to a Regular Council session (with a bit more notice for the public to taken note of) might offer up that opportunity.

Council could then ask that Robert Long, the City Manager, one of three senior City staff members on the Board of Legacy Corporation provide a more comprehensive update on what the current work of the Corporation has provided for and what may be on the horizon for the future.

City Council received a brief financial
update on the balances for the city
owned Legacy Corporation
As well, in a Regular Council session, Council members could if they get to feeling inquisitive, might also ask questions of the City Manager and offer up some of their thoughts as to whether the Legacy Corporation is meeting the expectations that Council had when it was set up in 2014.

The entire process of information sharing on Legacy Corporation in recent months, seems rather familiar for those that might follow Council events over the years.

The lack of information on Legacy, at times seems similar in nature to how the City handles affairs related to CityWest, that other investment property that it owns and one that also features senior city staff as members of the Board.

Council rarely brings the topic of the city owned communications company up during its regular council sessions, the only mention in fact comes when CityWest announces the level of dividend return to the city each year.

Any other interest in the company and its expansion to the east or decisions on communication issues in Prince Rupert seemingly either doesn't happen in a public meeting, or takes place in a closed session.

To this point, that seems to be the blueprint for the Legacy Corporation as well.

As for Monday's overview of the shiny new investment tool, the City can call it many things but what amounted to reading off the entries of the financial statement (something akin to reading out the entries from your bank statement) probably isn't quite what local residents might be hoping for as far as a comprehensive information update.

You can review some of our past items related to the Legacy Corporation here.

For further background on City Council developments see our archive page here.

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