Friday, October 13, 2006

Saskatoon StarPhoenix letter to the editor – Mayor Don Atchison contradicts his promises – October 13, 2006

Mayor's actions in office contradict his promises

The StarPhoenix

Friday, October 13, 2006

How can voters trust Don Atchison as mayor again when he seems to have so little credibility?

In August 2001, he criticized the board of police commissioners for not telling the public why it dismissed former chief Dave Scott. Yet, as mayor in March 2006, he refused to tell residents why chief Russell Sabo's contract was not renewed.

Atchison said it was time to get Saskatoon off Statistics Canada's list of high-crime cities, yet we're No. 1 again.

He said he was against spending taxpayers' dollars on the Gathercole site and that no money was available to save the Gathercole building. Yet, after it was torn down, more than $20 million in public funds was miraculously found.

He said there would be no tax breaks for the spa hotel and that the city must receive every dollar of the land's value, yet Remai Ventures got the property at a firesale price and will receive incentives for its development.

Atchison said council sets the rules and must be consistent, yet the city bent those rules in making special deals with Remai, Persephone Theatre, Galaxy Cinemas and FirstPro (Wal-Mart).

Atchison said he'd spend every tax dollar as if it comes out of his own pocket, yet supported a 57-per-cent pay raise for councillors and recordbreaking budgets every year since 2003.

Atchison promised a tax freeze, yet taxes have risen every year since he became mayor.

Atchison says council has been transparent, yet the city's executive committee has conducted approximately 22 special closed-door meetings since October 2003.

Nine days after Justice David Wright released his scathing report on the death of Neil Stonechild, Atchison publicly admitted he had not yet read the whole report due to a busy schedule.

Saskatoon deserves a better mayor.

George Evanowich

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2006


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