Wrong-doing is just an opinion

Letters

While Mayor Evans continues to pronounce no wrong doing in the boat launch contract award, she might consider this fact; not being wrong, does not mean you are right.

A legal opinion that there was nothing illegal in awarding the contract is just that, a legal opinion. Is the opinion based on criminal law, civil law, or common law? We will never know because legal opinions are the curtain which our administration uses to keep us in the dark.

As for not having done anything wrong, one must consider the word ‘wrong’. A very demonstrative professor from Philosophy 101, comes to mind.  He did his best to educate us in the ways and means of reasoning and logical thought.

He emphasized the inadequacy of words such as ‘wrong’, ‘right’, ‘good’, ‘bad’, etc., calling them empty, non-specific, worthless, and a bane of meaningful expression. He was given to throwing chalk, dared we utter such words.

How valid are the mayor’s claims that the district did nothing wrong? She claims ‘no council member who voted for Heavy Metal Marine was influenced by the alleged free work done by HMM.’

This is true, because council members voted to award the contract to HMM on December 7, 2010, but as of February 7, 2011, council members had no idea what was in the agreement.

It is common practice to have council vote on such documents without having them in hand.  Is it wrong?  Who knows. It certainly is a failure of leadership, both elected and non-elected. It is irresponsible, negligent, and arrogant.

Mayor Evans goes to considerable length to explain that nothing is owed to HMM from previous work because they did not do work for the district, but for the developers of Mariners’ Village. She sidesteps the issue of claims in the agreement that in some way Sooke promised ‘commitment of Sooke Marine projects to HMM’. Why would anyone sign a document with such language in it?

Which opens yet another issue. Council on Dec. 7, 2010 voted to authorize the mayor and CAO to execute the contract with HMM. Mayor Evans, however, never signed the document. It is signed for the district by CAO Evan Parliament, who has neither that authority, nor the authorization of council.

CAO Parliament proudly claims he was ‘protecting the taxpayers’ when he used language that made HMM unhappy. How is putting his signature to a document that claims the district owes HMM $200,000 for past work, plus the inside track in the tender process, protecting the taxpayer?  The real questions here are: did he read the document before signing it, and where was Mayor Evans?

Council also authorized the mayor and CAO to sign the Boardwalk Construction Agreement on September 17, 2007. This document is also signed by CAO Parliament, but not by Mayor Evans.

Mayor Evans is likely correct when she announces no wrong doing. Wrong doing would involve intent, and intent would involve knowledge of, and attention to, the issues at hand.

 Remember folks, this is the same gang that is currently negotiating a 21-year agreement with EPCOR. This should concern us all.

Gail Hall

Sooke