Haldimand council touts itself as open and transparent but it is not. The debacle of the new Cayuga library is one example. Haldimand CAO Donald Boyle recently released papers from a 2015 closed session of council (indicating it should not have been closed), claiming that the location of the new library was changed because no patent for the Market Square lands had ever been issued. However, some residents were able to find the patent within a couple of weeks, eliminating CAO Boyle’s concern regarding ownership.
The absence of a patent is the latest in a parade of excuses from this council to explain why they couldn’t build at the Market Square, but residents have subsequently proven every excuse to be false. All during this time the cost of the project has escalated by the millions to include buying the old hotel and land, asbestos abatement, demolition, and more.
Meanwhile, residents’ repeated concerns for safety at the new site and their overwhelming preference for the original Market Square location were completely ignored by council.
If the real problem was the patent, why were residents insulted with a series of different lame, easily debunked excuses? This deception by our council calls into question every other project, for example, the new $30 million administration building.
We cannot afford these bad decisions. Haldimand County council needs the support of a competent senior staff and residents need a council that pays more than lip service to transparency.
Bonnie Stephens, Cayuga