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Coast Capital Compensation Watch

I’ve been meaning to post about this but the situation involving Auditor General John Doyle and MLA Eric Foster got me off track.

I learned about Coast Capital Compensation Watch from Michael Eso. At first I was a little worried it was some kind of banking scam. Since then I’ve had a chat with the person organizing this campaign, Phil Embley, and verified that the petition is legitimate. He comes across as a sincere individual who is genuinely concerned about the future of credit unions in British Columbia. My wife and I have both mailed him our signed petitions.

We like Coast Capital but we also feel there are very few opportunities for members to have a genuine say in the governance of the organization.  This petition would help to change that:

“In 2006, Coast Capital Savings changed the Credit Union Rules to permit Directors to set their own remuneration within a policy framework that is not working out and should be changed.  We need 300 members to sign a petition so that we can require the Board of Directors to allow members to vote on a Special Resolution returning Board Remuneration to the members.”

The web site lists a deadline of January 24th. Phil says if a petition arrives a couple of days after the deadline it will still be accepted. If you are a member of Coast Capital, please take a moment to sign the petition. You can send it to him by email, fax or snail mail.

Exclusive: Lot next to MLA Eric Foster’s constituency office also owned by Kalview Park Enterprises

Here is a new development for those following the media reports about MLA Eric Foster and the renovations of his Vernon-Monashee constituency office. It turns out that the lot next door to Foster’s constituency office is also owned by the same company.

The property in question is a parking lot at 3211 31 Ave in Vernon. A document from the Kamloops Land Title Office shows that it was purchased by Kalview Park Enterprises Ltd for $108,001.91. Like the purchase of Eric Foster’s constituency office at 3209 31 Ave, this lot was bought days before the May 12, 2009 general election in British Columbia.

It is unclear whether the Conflict of Interest Commissioner was aware of this additional property when reviewing the details of the renovations of Foster’s constituency office. Nor is it clear whether this additional property was part of the audit conducted by Auditor General John Doyle.

Kalview Park Enterprises was created through an amalgamation of two numbered companies on March 1, 2009.

Email to Okanagan Assessment Office

Here is my email to the Okanagan Region of BC Assessment regarding MLA Eric Foster’s constituency office in Vernon:

In addition to my complaint below, and pursuant to Section 39 of the Assessment Act, I am requesting the Property Assessment Review Panel do the following:

1) Compel Eric Foster to attend the hearing as a witness. Mr. Foster leases the building at 3209 31 Avenue in Vernon and he approved and directed its renovation. His presence at the hearing is required so he can answer questions about renovations, lease payments and other matters directly related to the market value of the property.

2) Order Mr. Eric Foster to disclose all documents in his possession or control that are related to renovations, changes or improvements at 3209 31 Avenue in Vernon. I require copies of these documents prior to the hearing so I can present evidence regarding the actual market value of this property.

Please note that the failure of the Property Assessment Review Panel to issue these orders will, in all likelihood, create grounds for an appeal.

Complaint filed with BC Assessment regarding assessed value of Vernon-Monashee MLA’s constituency office

I’ve filed an online complaint with BC Assessment regarding their assessed value of the building leased by the MLA for Vernon-Monashee. Here is my complaint:

“Recent media reports suggest that in 2009, the individual leasing 3209 31st Avenue in Vernon – Mr. Eric Foster – spent as much as $78,000 on building renovations. This property is currently assessed at $187,100. Given the renos, I believe its actual market value to be higher.”

(If you are not familiar with this building, here is a good summary of the issues from the Vernon Morning Star.)

The complaint will be heard by the Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP). A date has not been set yet, but the Panel is required to hold the hearing by March 15th. The hearing will be open to the public.

I will be asking the Panel to compel Mr. Foster to appear as a witness at the hearing and also to produce financial documents regarding the 2009 renovations. This way he can demonstrate the value added to the property through the expenditure of public funds. The authority for the Panel to compel witnesses and order disclosure is found in Section 39 of the Assessment Act.

I am looking for someone in the Vernon area to represent me as an agent in this matter. This would be on a pro bono basis. I am seeking a person with a background in law and real estate who is passionate about accountability and fiscal responsibility. If you would like to be my agent, please contact me.

Follow me on Facebook or Twitter if you would like to be updated on further developments.

Families First

“Families First” is more than a slogan. It is also a Cabinet-level committee, protected from public scrutiny by Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.