I have just read the De Cotiis letter to Mayor Mussatto that is referred to in Brent Richter’s article in the NS News of 5 Dec.’12. In it the author squarely blames Councillors Bookham and Clark for his company not getting it’s way with having his project given the “green light” to proceed. These two councillors were simply doing their duty to the citizens of NV City by questioning the process by which the public meeting of 19 Nov. was being handled. It was clear that the process was flawed and lacked any semblance of transparency. The meeting was clearly held in a biased manner with normal procedures not being adhered to. Not to mention the stuff that went on in the ensuing couple of weeks.
Very few people were against the Onni project; who doesn’t want affordable housing and day care? It was the lack of transparency and the convoluted and obscure way that the huge density bonus was being “dished” out to Onni. Onni, would if the project were to go ahead, stood to make a huge profit from the project and the City not get nearly enough for the over-density given to Onni. For example; the bonus given to Onni to build an office building for “employment opportunity” was to completely pay for the building which Onni were keeping for themselves. Such a building would be valued in the 10’s of millions of dollars. What did the City get? – one million dollars to the City community fund. Also they would benefit from the revenue from tenants. This seems hardly an equitable exchange; so no wonder Mr. De Cotiis is “bent out of shape”. Mr. De Cotiss never mentioned this in his letter.
Mr. de Cotiis mentioned the public support for the project present at the Public Meeting but neglected to mention that two petitions were presented which had almost 2000 names in opposition to the project for whatever reasons. So the silent majority represented by these petitions, which certain councillors always want to hear from, were not listened to by these same councillors. Also not mentioned by Mr. De Cotiis, and which is the most troubling, is the fact that his company gave campaign contributions to certain supportive members of council. So one wonders who exactly was being undemocratic and unprofessional and, not to forget, biased toward this project?