Cloak of secrecy shrouds Gibson Centre's immediate future
Mayor Mike MacEachern has called a special meeting of council for
Tuesday night which will be closed to the press and public as
councillors hear the details of a "Confidential Report of the Council Appointed Working Group and Related Legal Advice" as it relates to the Gibson Cultural Centre.
To keep the matter private, the agenda item has been listed under
"Proposed Acquisition of Property Section 239 (2) (C) of the Gibson
Cultural Centre Building and Lands."
The "working group" appointed in March consists of the mayor, deputy
mayor Rick Milne, and
Ward 3 councillor Paul Whiteside who were "authorized to meet with
representatives of the GCC Board, (whose interim president is Christine
Brayford), and the Gibson
Centre Mortgage Holders" (members of the Gibson family), to determine
how the GCC to service an estimated $1.3 million mortgage owing to
members of the Gibson family, who hold the note after buying out the
previous debt. It was originally due last December, but granted a one
year extension which expires in December.
New Tecumseth, which has invested more than $1.3 million into the
facility, and continues to provide a $25,000 annual grant, has since
then, hired the GCC's Executive Director Angela Drainville for the
Parks, Recreation and Culture department, and whose job
responsibilities could include the GCC if the Town took it over and
kept it operating as an arts centre.
The Town's involvement with the GCC turned confidential following the
working group's apointment whose goal was to be "based on a
that ensures no ongoing substantial
additional funding requirements from the Town."
"The key word is substantial," mayor MacEachern explained back in
March. "The resolution authorizes discussion with the groups. I
can't predict what the outcome of these discussions would be nor what
role the Town would play."