Ewart Brown wants to seize Corporation's $half billion in assets
Government wants Corporation's $500m assets, fear City Hall leaders
Members of the Corporation of Hamilton answer questions from the audience during last night's town hall meeting at City Hall. Photo by Mark Tatem
The Corporation of Hamilton believe the Government wants its assets valued at approximately half a billion dollars.
Last night the Corporation held a public meeting at which many discussed the Government's decision to pay $800,000 for consultants to look into reforming both the Corporation of Hamilton and St. George's.
Previously Minister Walter Roban has said he has never claimed the municipalities would be closed and last night added they have nothing to fear.
But yesterday Mayor Charles Gosling questioned if reform was really the Government's intention for the municipalities.
And he noted that the five areas the consultants are being paid to look into include words such as "seamlessly absorb" operations preformed by the municipalities and "transfer" the operations to various Government Ministries. The consultants have also been tasked with overseeing the" actual implementation of said plan until the transition is complete".
"This is reform," Mayor Gosling questioned last night to approximately 100 people at City Hall. "I have written to the Minster and asked him to clarify."
Councillor Nick Swan spoke later in the evening when asked about the Corporation's financial standing, he said: "If Government were to absorb the Corporation of Hamilton and its hundreds of millions in assets that would allow them to increase their borrowing, because they would have more assets."
The Corporation owns 32 buildings across Hamilton as well as parks and parking lots totalling approximately 32 acres. It believes, when valued in today's prices, its assets could run up to half a billion dollars.
Mayor Gosling added that there was no reference to absorbing the municipalities in Bermuda's constitution, he said: "The US system is to listen to their constitutional forefathers and I think it is time Bermuda listens to its own forefathers."
And he questioned why so much was being spent on the consultants, commenting: "Are they really that scared of our intellectual negotiating skills? Or are their arguments that empty?"
He said several reforms, such as expanding the voting register, had already been drafted in 2008 and were now in the hands of Minister Walter Roban. But he said the Municipalities Act would need be amended if such reforms were to happen. This must be done by sitting Members of Parliament and not the Corporation's governing body.
"We know some of the Act is archaic," he said, using the same term Government officials have used to describe the 1923 Municipalities. "Several recommendations have been made to update it."
The Mayor urged members of the public who were concerned that the municipalities could be absorbed into the Government's framework to speak to Members of Parliament.
"We have the right to free speech," he said. "Contact the MPs whose constituencies include the Corporation of Hamilton land; Wayne Furbert, Ashfield DeVent, Michael Weeks, Louise Jackson and Patricia Gordon-Pamplin – she has responsibility for White's Island.
"Contact Minister Walter Roban who has responsibility for this process.
"If the eight of us are the only ones that make any noise we are going to fail," he said referring to himself and his team of councillor
Having destroyed Tourism,Retail,law & order,night life, taxi business, and sent International Business packing,now Brown and his Cabinet colleagues have earmarked $800,000.00 in spending to set the stage for the PLP government takeover of the Corporations of Hamilton and St. George's!
Ewart Brown 's gang of thieves want to continue they'r destruction of Bda.Inc. by looting the Corporations assets,$ half billion in assets, and re distribute public property for his friends & family, just as he did with Stonington hotel given to plp donor,John Jeffries for Coco Reef hotel and condos.
This has NOTHING to do with reform,his friends & family want to to build a casino on the waterfront and skim al the profits for themselves, turning Hamilton into a Kingston Jamaica ghetto .