Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sometimes A Boundary Is Just A Boundary....

....And Sometimes It May Be Less Than Nothing At All


Actually, it looks like it may have been all about 'adjustments'.

Here's the latest from Lori Culbert, Neal Hall and Kate Bird of the Vancouver Sun:

"The sites of three Christian schools in Chilliwack are among the properties the Agricultural Land Commission will investigate as it looks into farmland dealings in the Fraser Valley city, The Vancouver Sun has learned.

All three schools made their properties bigger by expanding into neighbouring farm land in the 1990s, through a process known as "boundary adjustments," according to documents obtained by The Sun under the Freedom of Information Act....."

Well, at least British Columbia Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell's former Law 'N Order Solicitor General John Les, who was Mayor of Chilliwack at the time, had nothing to do with these ones, right?


Except that there is this one teeny, tiny wrinkle which can also be found deep within the Culbert/Hall/Bird story:

"One of the files requested by the commission involves Timothy Christian elementary and secondary school at 50484 Castleman Rd. In 1992, it applied to enlarge its playing fields by moving the boundary line between it and the neighbouring farm at 50338 Castleman Rd.

Today, the school's property, owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, comprises 12.5 acres and its 2008 assessed value was nearly $6 million.

According to Les's disclosure records, his wife has been an employee of Timothy Christian school for about five years. She is a school bus driver, the school's principal said......"

But of course, that is just pure coincidence.

After all, Chilliwack is a small town where everybody knows everybody and works with everyone.

And, apparently, everyone sits on everyone else's boards too:

Frank Les, the brother of John Les, is a member of the board of the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack.

Also purely coincidentally, we're sure.

So, who actually made the decisions on all those 'adjustments'?

Well, it was a gaggle of municipal 'approving officers', one of whom signed off on at least two of three school boundary adjustments in question:

"In the 1990s, an "approving officer" with a municipal government could make certain boundary changes to agricultural properties without prior approval of the land commission or city council. {snippety do-dah} Grant Sanborn was the approving officer during most of that time, and signed off on two of the three school yard adjustments."

Again, this very likely just one more small town coincidence amongst many.

Including this one:

"Sanborn, who abruptly left his position as approving officer in 2000 and is now a consultant and chairman of the Cultus Lake Park Board, approved (then Mayor John) Les's Rosebank Place deal. People connected to that deal, as well as a few other more recent ALR applications undertaken by Sanborn's private consulting company, have said they have been interviewed by police."



No comments: