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.
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