LETTER: Gazebo funding isn’t a conflict of interest

Re: How the City is paying for a gazebo at Village Square Park

Your recent article reports on a new $105,000 gazebo for Village Square Park. Part of the funding for the gazebo ($30,000) is coming from Waste Management through a Community Initiatives Fund (CIF). At the same time Waste Management is negotiations with the City to develop a new Host Municipality Agreement for the new landfill at their Carp Road facility.

At first blush it would appear to be a potential for negotiations conflict. However conditions of the CIF reveal that funds do not come from Waste Management but rather interest earned on $1,000,000 given to Waste Management by the City back in 2001.

So in reality there is no conflict of interest in the gazebo funding. But unless the public knows the details of the CIF it is easy to understand how there can be a perceived conflict of interest.

The public should be fully aware of the historical financial agreements between the City and Waste Management which have provided funds that appear to come from the private sector but in reality are public funds.

Harold Moore
West Carleton


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3 thoughts on “LETTER: Gazebo funding isn’t a conflict of interest”

  1. I can agree, based on this, that there is technically no “conflict”. However, what I still do not like, is that when the city was asked where the money came from, they said $30K was a “donation” from Waste Management. If it is public funds, the City should of just said 30K from the City earned from interest. They didn’t need to say Waste Management’s name because they are not “donating” it. Nor should they have their name on any plaque or be there for the ribbon cutting ceremony (because they didn’t donate it!). I feel the City purposely gave their name out in order to make Waste Management look good (like they are giving back). Politics. So, in the end, it kind of is a conflict still if the City is behaving shady.

  2. There is no reason for Waste Management or their name to appear anywhere in relation to this gazebo. It would make as much sense to have the bank there since they’re the ones paying the interest that’s actually funding it.
    One thing the City clearly doesn’t understand is the meaning of the word “donate”. The $1M was part of a business deal that WMI made with the City. They were ‘purchasing’ the ability to do something they wanted – they ‘donated’ nothing.

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