Wednesday, 24 August 2016 14:43

Recent council candidate hasn't started on 'the right foot'

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For a candidate running on a platform of openness and honesty at City
Hall, Henry Banman sure hasn’t started on the right foot.

At his announcement on August 11, 2016, he reiterated that his terms on
city council from 1994 – 2000 were very productive for the city.  However,
he made several inaccurate statements that must be corrected for the
people of Swift Current to highlight his campaign of personal attacks and
misinformation, rather than a vision for the community.

1.     Population.  Henry Banman stated, “Our population was over 17,000
in 1997 and what is it now? Sixteen something?  Where did the thousand
people go?” Factually, Swift Currents population in 1996 was 14,890 and by
1999 it had dropped to 14,821, representing Mr. Banmans time on council.
The following census’ had the population was 14,946 in 2006 and 15,503 by
2011. (Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Canada)

2.     Construction.  Henry Banman stated, “In 1997 we wrote over $40
million of building permits, that’s more money, I contend than $88 million
was last year.” Factually, building permits for Swift Current in 1997 were
$16.1 million, not $40 million as stated by Mr. Banman.  The highest
annual construction during Mr. Banman’s time on council was $20.7 million
in 1998. (Source: City of Swift Current Building & Bylaw)

3.     Seniors Center.  Henry Banman stated, “When the seniors in Swift
Current asked them for a mere $20,000 to fix up their building and stay in
existence they had no money for them, they sent them packing”.  The
original story from swiftcurrentonline.comoutlining the challenges for the
senior center was the monthly operating costs, not capital upgrades. Mr.
Banman failed to mention the City waives property taxes of approximately
$4000 annually for the center and extended an invitation to continue
dialogue for a viable solution. (Source: letter to Senior Citizens Center,
July 2016)

4.     Inner City Housing Initiative.  Henry Banman gave himself full
credit for the cities infill bylaw which was recently applauded by council
when implemented on some downtown properties. “…they’re taking credit for
it now, but those two young bucks don’t know, they will after this
presentation, that I was the one that actually brought it to council.”  In
December 1997 Bert Enman, then City Engineer, brought a report to
Committee of the Whole regarding an Inner City Housing Initiative with the
City of Regina’s policy as the guide.  Mr. Enman recommended, “That the
committee of the whole recommend to council that they adopt an Inner City
Housing Initiative and authorize administration to take the necessary
steps to implement the Inner City Housing Initiative.” (Source: Committee
Report, December 4, 1997).

I think we can see the trend. Mr. Banman stated, “If you want to know the
truth, you just come and see me, because you’ll get it, and you’ll get all
of it.”  Apparently we’ll get “all of it” and then some.

Gordon Budd

Swift Current

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