Letter to the Editor – Kevin Parkinson on Conflict of Interest Raised at Waterfront Meeting in Cornwall Ontario

Letter to the Editor – Kevin Parkinson on Conflict of Interest Raised at Waterfront Meeting in Cornwall Ontario

 

It appears that the conflict of issue guidelines are not being applied fairly with respect to the planning of Cornwall’s Lamoureux Park. Several local residents raised this concern at a recent waterfront meeting on June 12 at the Civic Complex.

 

At issue is the potential to develop a small parcel of land east of the Complex to build a condominium. It became clear as the meeting progressed that the majority of residents in attendance strongly opposed this option.

 

The purpose of conflict of interest guidelines is to protect the public interest in all matters. In the case of waterfront development for the city of Cornwall, it is paramount that committee members do not have a private interest in the outcome of decisions.

 

What some people may not realize is that a conflict of interest disclosure may only be declared by an individual. Therefore, you may think that someone has, or should have a conflict of interest on a certain topic, but if that person doesn’t recognize it or acknowledge it, nothing happens.

 

Now, with that context in mind, imagine the shock when Cornwall residents saw that a local developer, Guy Menard was leading a presentation about the future of Lamoureux Park, and suggesting the possibility of  building a condominium in the adjacent parking lot. Despite what Mr. Menard says or does, this is an obvious conflict of interest. How can a developer, someone who makes his living in the construction industry, be a reliable steward for public lands?

 

What is also disconcerting, is that a member of the committee, Roy Perkins, a local building supplier, lobbied hard to get committee members to support the building of a condominium in that space, as reported in the June 16, 2011 minutes of the Waterfront Committee.

 

What is going on here?  There seems to be very little respect for the intelligence of the people of Cornwall.

 

This is why alarm bells went off at the June 16 meeting. People were upset that the public meeting was being called after certain committee members and others on city council had flushed out the ‘right’ future for the park. As former MP Ed Lumley pointed out last week, the waterfront land was set aside in the 70’s for the people, and it is clear that the people do not want to sell off their interest.

 

Now would be an excellent time for the City of Cornwall to step up to the plate, and give new meaning to the often quoted ‘transparency and openness’ mantra that you hear at every council meeting.

 

Fairness and ethical behaviour must always be carried out, and be seen to be carried out at any function carried out by the City of Cornwall.

 

I would suggest that the waterfront committee has lost confidence of the majority of the citizens of Cornwall.

 

I think it’s time to press the reset button.

Kevin Parkinson – Cornwall Ontario

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6 Responses to "Letter to the Editor – Kevin Parkinson on Conflict of Interest Raised at Waterfront Meeting in Cornwall Ontario"

  1. Mr.Magoo   June 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Mr. Editor,

    RE: Kevin’s letter, regarding the WATERFRONT COM.

    Excellent comments on “conflict of interest”, espeacially & obviously referring to the Waterfront Committee ! The only error was part of your letter and I quote,

    ” What is also disconcerting, is that a former member of the committee, Roy Perkins, a local building supplier, lobbied hard to get committee members to support the building of a condominium in that
    space, as reported in the June 16, 2011 minutes of the Waterfront Committee.”

    Mr. Perkins was a member & still is a member of the Waterfront Committee !
    Hopefully, the make-up of that committee, will change drastically, after to-nights meeting, of that embattled Committee ?

  2. Kevin   June 21, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Yes, thank you Mr. Magoo and to others for pointing out my error in referring to Mr. Perkins as a “former” member of the waterfront committee.

    He is still an active member. I apologize for the error.

    I have notified the media of this error and a correction will be forthcoming.

  3. TJ C.   June 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    “People were upset that the public meeting was being called after certain committee members and others on city council had flushed out the ‘right’ future for the park.”

    I think the term you’re looking for is “fleshed out”

    Adj. 1. fleshed out – given substance or detail; completed; “a plan fleshed out with statistics and details”

  4. bigfellow   June 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Thanks to Kevin Parkinson and Mr Magoo for setting the truth of the matter concerning of the “waterfront gang” the “WC”, and the the “gang” at City hall.
    It’s time ladies and gentlemen of Cornwall, for a complete change in this area of contention.
    I’ve read in The Standard Freeholder where our newest councillor is trying to raise the fine of $150 to a higher rate, possibly $300
    for not keeping your grounds clean.
    Has he ever thought that this is hard time living and perhaps there are a lot of people out of work or has lost thier employment due to no fault of thier own?
    What are you/courts going to do with these people who cannot pay the fine? Have them sent off to the chain gang?
    This is what I have been preaching – before you open your mouth, take a deep breath and look outside the box, look at reality.
    Are you really trying to push/force people out of Cornwall?
    Hope you like being on the council to a deserted city.
    Have a nice day.
    Have a nice day.

  5. Nugget11   June 21, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    As for the Waterfront Committee advancing their proposal to develop a condominium near the Aquatic Centre, to the people of Cornwall, they must of had a consensus as a whole, to let us know what they were in favor for at last weeks’ presentation
    As we know, that proposal has resoundly been shut down, defeated, overthrown, by a large cross-section of the population of Cornwall.
    Was that a vote of confidence of the Waterfront Committee?
    If that was the case, resignation of the committee should follow soon!

  6. Richard Komorowski   June 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    @TJC
    “Flushed out” vs. “Fleshed out”

    You’re correct in pointing out that “fleshed out” should have probably been used instead of “flushed out.”

    However, bear in mind that the Waterfront Committee is also known as the “WC”, and that WC is the common abbreviation for a “Water Closet” (archaic British English for a flushable toilet). Therefore, flushed when used in reference to the city’s WC (Waterfront Committee) is also both appropriate and correct.

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