Is this any way to run a business?


chatham-kent city hallweb

Dear Mayor Hope:

Since you long ago added the term CEO to your official title, it’s in that capacity we’re writing to you today.

As shareholders in Chatham-Kent (and local business owners) we’ve noted that two members of our board of directors (councillors Vercouteren and Bondy) have had to file Freedom of Information Act requests to learn financial details about the John D. Bradley Convention Centre and Chatham Kent Police Service.

These board members were placed in their positions by shareholders to look after their interests, so it’s perplexing that they can’t get what they need to do their job.

It would seem that if a board member asked staff for a simple financial accounting of the Bradley Centre (you know, who rents it, how much they pay, what the expenses are, etc.) the answer should be, “yes, sir,” not, “here are some links; you can look it up.”

We know it’s embarrassing that the centre’s losses may total $1 million by the end of the year and that the consultant you hired was about $2.5 million off on the centre’s projected economic benefit, but that would seem to indicate the need to look at the figures, don’t you agree?

If you have the numbers, perhaps sharing them would help generate ideas.

If you don’t have them, why not?

As for the police budget, we know you’re a big fan of the CKPS. We are too, for the most part. With about 60 members making more than $100,000, however, it’s a big cost.  We know council can’t make changes to the budget but it would be nice if we could see the entire picture.

Before you trot out the “we can’t do it, provincial legislation, etc.” excuses check out this link:

See, it doesn’t have to be a big secret. Sarnia even opens some budget sessions to the public. And since as a board member you know what’s in the budget and the other mayoral candidates don’t, doesn’t it just seem fair to have a level playing field?

Why don’t you embrace all this as part of that open and transparent thing politicians trot out when they want us to renew their contracts every four years?

If we do renew your contract, you’ll have about $1 million as mayor.  A million-dollar mayor, wow. And who says we aren’t making progress? Good for you. Whether it’s good for us is still to be determined.


  1. Oh no Jim. Sounds like your a naysayer. Can't have that now can we. Negativity and all that. Lol
    I seems to recall during the last election that I warned about this centre and it's future losses before it was built the incumbents laughed and mocked. Seems these days common sense and spending five minutes on Google is beyond the abilities of elected officials.

  2. I've been saying this for 5 years and yet have been accused of making false allegations and being political. I ask again how we can possibly make any semblance of an informed decision when we are refused all the facts and figures to do it. Without all the facts available, it is impossible to make that call. Cherry picking the information fed to council can greatly influence and make the vote a directed result.

  3. Short, sweet and to the point..What gives any elected official the right to hide facts and figures? Hiding the truth and giving the runaround only take up time that could be used in so many other areas. Time is money, right! Or maybe it’s more likely that the truth will hurt. In any case, voters be warned and choose someone who actually wants to help Chathamkent , instead of benefiting only the chosen few.

  4. he needs to be voted out, has not done anything for chatham, keeps going to China on our tax money. nothing for chatham at all. i like how this letter was written not rude or mean but to the point. i would like to hear and see what was asked for

  5. No wonder the cops in CK are so hot on speeding on the 401…they have $600k to fill for salaries before the constables get paid….

  6. The responsibility to respond to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests rests with administration, specifically the Municipal Clerk, not the Mayor or any other member of Council. All of the reports on the John D. Bradley Convention Centre have been summarized and shared with all members of Council. I shared a copy of the summary with Mr. Blake. These reports include the decision to invest in a Conference / Exhibition Center, the construction budget, the awarding of the contract to Compass to operate the Centre, financial reports and an summary of who has rented space. Reports presented to Open Council meetings are posted on the Municipal website prior to the Council meeting to ensure that they are available to the public.

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