I spent most of the evening writing a different post with all sorts of goodies about what happened at the Olympic Village meeting at City Hall. Forget all that, I’ll post it later because Gary Mason’s dropped a cluster bomb.
Citing an unnamed source, Mason reports that city council has known for years that things have been not so good with the Olympic Village. In 2007, city staff confirmed that the developer, Millennium, was in “anticipatory default” — meaning the company wasn’t expected to live up to its commitments. But rather than get out of the deal and steer clear of trouble, the city stayed in and upped the ante with a loan guarantee and a completion guarantee. Why? Read it and weep:
According to a source, council decided to press ahead with Millennium as developer despite revelations it was in anticipatory default, because halting the project at that point and finding another firm to take over would imperil deadline obligations the city had with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games.
Mason’s column also sheds light on the “resignation” of Estelle Lo, the city’s former CFO. Mason says Ms. Lo “did not want to resign but was forced to by [then-city manager Judy Rogers], who found the CFO’s constant questioning of the village financing a drag on the process.”
It’s not just Vancouver, it’s Gary Mason’s Vancouver.
Photo credit: Eyesplash Mikul