This whole RM of Piapot fiasco started during National Anti-Bullying Week; I believe it is no coincidence.
It is blatant corruption and bullying… see for yourself! You cannot change what you don’t acknowledge!
I attended the RM of Piapot meeting January 9. I addressed council. I spoke about the level of accountability that Chinook School Division called on me, as secretary-treasurer, about the property and belongings that were in the school during the closing process. I spoke about the advertisement the RM of Piapot placed in the newspaper in April 2008, requesting proposals for the utilization of the Piapot School property. I spoke about the fact that Barry Weiss submitted a proposal and it was accepted. The entire community was made aware of this.
There was a discussion about them not knowing (the new members) and the older ones perhaps not remembering. I said that I think that then it is the administrator’s job to find out and bring the previous motions to the awareness of council.
I reiterated the agreement they made with Barry Weiss, and about the motions on the books. (At the last meeting they were presented with a document by Don Beveridge stating at least a dozen motions that are on record regarding this situation. I published three in the paper in my previous letter to the editor.) I then asked them on what principle did they want the property broken into seven separate pieces?
Several answered, “To give fair access, so that anyone could have any piece of it, like in a land sale of a farm divided up into quarter sections etc.”
During the discussion, Barry Weiss’ representative, Don Beveridge, offered a document which I read. It was the legal document that they (the RM of Piapot) had lawyer Jacob Weibe write back in 2008, with the intent to make transferring the title to the property known as the Piapot School as effortlessly as possible from Chinook School Division to the Rm of Piapot No. 110 and then to Barry Weiss. (It is several pages but includes this excerpt) … The Weiss Gallery would purchase the property from the RM of Piapot, buying the land at its current market value, plus the school outbuildings for the administrative token of one dollar!
So to conclude my address to council, before leaving the table, to be 100 per cent true to myself and them, so that I can look myself in the mirror and know that I, as a very concerned citizen who is committed to keeping my political leaders (who are friends and neighbors) accountable and uphold democratic integrity; as awkward and uncomfortable as it is, I reread their agreement:
… The Weiss Gallery would purchase the property from the RM of Piapot, buying the land at its current market value, plus the school outbuildings for the administrative token of one dollar!
I looked them in the eyes. The answer was yes!
They then proceeded to “open the tenders,” which were all clearly previously opened and were now just all together in an envelope. Barry Weiss’ was the highest bid.
We were all asked to leave the room for an in-camera session.
When we went back in the room two motions were made: to accept Weiss Gallery’s tender; by recorded vote…not carried. To accept a different tender which was lower; by recorded vote…carried.
Again, we were asked to leave the room. I went into the bathroom and cried. I cannot help but acknowledge that this is blatant bullying and corruption; an unmistakable abuse of power! The real ironic thing is that they could be overheard exclaiming how they are the ones being bullied! Really! Seriously! Please… this is what must change; The Old Boys Club way of doing politics is so entrenched that they think it is normal and acceptable behaviour and are affronted when they are called on to be accountable.
Now it will go to the Court of Queen’s Bench and we, the ratepayers, are forced to pay to defend bullying. It’s distasteful!
There are three honorable men in this that I sincerely wish to acknowledge; Doug Casey, Graham Markert, and John Wagner who all voted to uphold the integrity of council.