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City can't afford to keep incumbents
Letter to editor
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Dear editor: We can no longer afford to keep Jimmy Hires and Marilyn Hodges on the Richmond Hill City Council. They are the only two remaining councilpersons who were involved in the out-of-control spending surrounding the City Center and amphitheater. The facts in this letter are taken from City Council meeting minutes posted on the Richmond Hill website, Additional information is available in these minutes.
• Jan. 8, 2008: A resident requested a public hearing on the City Center relocation and funding. This public hearing was denied by a motion which was seconded by Hires and supported by Hodges.
• Jan. 8, 2008: The City Council approved a list of six contractors to build the City Center. The motion made by Hodges and supported by Hires.
• March 18, 2008: The contractor was selected. The motion was seconded by Hodges and supported by Hires.
• Nov. 18, 2008: The maximum price contract for the City Center ($4,793,068) was approved by a motion seconded by Hires and supported Hodges.
• Sept. 15, 2009: Negotiations with the Wilderman Group for management of the City Center was begun by a motion seconded by Hires and supported by Hodges.
• Dec. 1, 2009: Hires moved to approve the Wilderman Group. Hodges seconded that motion.
• June 16, 2009: The amphitheater cost is projected to be $597,336. Hires moved to approve the amphitheater project, as presented. Hodges seconded the motion. Then-council members Hilliard and Bickley opposed the motion, but then-mayor Richard Davis voted with Hires and Hodges and the project was approved.
In a previous article, it was noted that Hires and Hodges voted for the expenditure of funds, about $6.2 million, for the City Center with no aquatic center, even though a pool was a feature desired by the voters. Hires and Hodges then spent another half-million dollars for an inadequate amphitheater. This does not count the loss to taxpayers of more than $900,000 in 2010 through the City Center management agreement.
We’re closing on $8 million in poorly spent tax dollars – your tax dollars. The council meeting minutes clearly show who was behind this debacle.

Darryl F. Petermann
Richmond Hill

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