Andre Rivette Lone Councilor to Balk at Unsecured Interest Free Loan to Kinsmen Cornwall Lift Off 2011

Cornwall ON – Today Cornwall City Council granted a discombobulated Lift Off team an unsecured short term interest free loan of $30,000.

One councilor voted against it, Andre Rivettte.  Kudos to him.

As a small business owner and home owner I’m shocked and stunned.   Is City Hall really in the banking business now?

Can small businesses or citizens whose houses are flooded go to the city for a free 3 month loan?   That’s a novel approach that could be productive for Cornwall, but will it be available to all?

I know if we had $30,000 loaned to us as well as all the other dollars given to Lift Off we’d be able to hire four people for the summer and invest in some new equipment.   I’m sure other businesses would love free loans.

Kinsmen Cornwall Lift Off according to some other media is a signature event for Cornwall.   Why is it run by volunteers as it is? IF the city is going to give over $75,000 for a single event why does the city or Team Cornwall run it?

The Kinsmen name is on it; why didn’t this group step up with the short term funding?   This volunteer group has now had two presidents resign in less than a year including founder Chris Savard.   Surely this is a warning sign that warranted more due diligence before issuing unsecured funding?  And what about other promoters?   Does Jeff Brunet now get a free loan to bring in talent?  Can any promoter get this sort of assistance?

I think this was a bad decision.  From what I’m hearing a lot of other people did too.    Is this all about politics?

Either way if Cornwall gets burnt on this loan who answers for it?   Is this much money on this one event the best bang for the buck for Cornwall to invest in?

Valid questions asked of me today which I hope in the following days some of the city management and council will answer.

Here is what Councilor Rivette, the lone councilor to vote against giving Lift Off these dollars had to say:

Good Afternoon Jamie

Here are some numbers that will make you shake your head.

City In kind service anywhere between 20K to 30K dollars to set up, overtime and clean up the park.

In kind service in the Police budget for security for this event is $ 10,000 in overtime which I requested to be cut at a Police budget but the Mayor refuse to support it.

$ 10,000 given to the event out of the Economic Development budget.

Council approving and additional $ 30,000 loan with no security.????? I’m not even sure if putting the taxpayers dollars at risk is even legal. I like to make it VERY CLEAR, I did not support the motion.

TOTAL city tax dollars being used for this event….between $ 70.000 to $ 80,000.

My question is why was council only advised at the 11 th hour of this request at a special meeting called today when the Mayor knew about it two months ago ??

My only hope now is that we will have a full transparency in the dollars the City is putting out for this event.

Do I believe it’s a good event…Yes, do I believe the city taxpayers should be asked to pay $70,000 to $ 80,000 dollars to support this event NOOOOOOOOO !!

Councillor Andre Rivette


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