Comment 75450

By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted March 26, 2012 at 23:48:58

In his opinion piece today titled "Is Bratina's conduct unbecoming of mayor?", Spectator columnist Andrew Dreschel notes that Mayor Bratina is the Chair of the HECFI subcommittee.

There are actually five members on the interim HECFI board: Mayor Bratina and Councillors Jason Farr, Chad Collins, Sam Merulla and Judi Partridge.

It is common knowledge that six bidders have applied to manage one or more of the HECFI facilities: 1. Katz Group/AEG (all 3 facilities); 2. Global Spectrum/Live Nation (all 3 facilities); 3. SMG/Forum Equity (all 3 facilities); 4. Carmen's/ Loren Leiberman (Hamilton Convention Centre only); 5. Vrancor (Hamilton Convention Centre only); 6. Sonic Unyon (Hamilton Place only).

A perusal of the 2010 Hamilton municipal election financial statements of the interim HECFI board members shows the following:

Mayor Bratina received a $250.00 contribution from Peter Mercanti, a $500.00 contribution from Sam Mercanti, and a $750.00 contribution from Darko Vranich;

Councillor Farr received a $250.00 contribution from Carmen's Inc. (Peter Mercanti);

Councillor Merulla received a $150.00 contribution from Carmen's (Peter Mercanti and Joe Mercanti).

The only members of the interim HECFI board who did not receive a 2010 campaign contribution from anyone affiliated with one of the current bidders to manage one or more of the HECFI facilities are Councillors Collins and Partridge:

City staff is scheduled to present a report on the six bids to manage the HECFI facilities to city council at the GIC meeting on April 4, 2012. Do Mayor Bratina, Councillor Farr and Councillor Merulla have a conflict of interest on the HECFI bids? If so, should they abstain from voting on any motion to consider the HECFI bids at the HECFI board meetings and/or at GIC/city council meetings?

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