Monday, 20 October 2014

City Hall - The Next Generation!

Following is my presentation to the Committee Of The Whole (COW) - 20 Oct, 2014. With some clarifications added here: seeing that an individual member of The Whole is only allowed 5 whole minutes - once a month - to state a case to Council. Altogether 15 whole minutes tops for 3 - and if there are only 2 or just 1: it's still only 5 whole minutes per. After a presentation any Councillor may respond with whatever he/she wants - while not necessarily allowing the presenter a reply to it. Particularly when the original topic is inconvenient.
And this is pretty much how far our elected Council will interact with individuals from among those they no longer are a part of - once given the job. By same. The greater part of The Whole!
Democracy in action.

As will be the upcoming local election - and here's how some of it is shaping-up-or-not at City Hall.

COW Presentation
The City of Kelowna traditionally has prepared those even just considering to run for City Council to be somewhat familiar with what they may be getting into.

This has never been done in Nelson - and orientation-meetings for the new group - nobody-knows-when next year - will be of dubious merit. Because the faster they then will have to go - the behinder they then will have to get!

Can't you just see them: breathless and bewildered from the start! No wonder the 2 "new" Councillors say: it takes about a year to get used and into it. It probably wouldn't have to with mindfully measured preparation. Even though the "old" ones talk about hoping for fresh blood, new energy and ideas in a new Council: fresh blood, new energy and ideas present a threat to City Hall's ("old" ones, any "old" ones there) status quo. So wearing the "new" ones down - making them feel dependent - is the way to go. Whatever fresh blood, new energy and ideas brought along largely used-up rather soonish - just to survive. And then fit in.

COW Presentation
Proactively connecting with the electorate ought to be of high priority to Councillors - but never here! True: they have been bogged-down in paper-trails and meetings. Also true: this has left them with no appetite for direct contact with the great unwashed. Although all of it is THE job: the old-timers just stick to their routines - while the 2 now "newish" ones are leaving after one term. They clearly didn't know what they were in for when they tried to walk their idealism on the 2nd Floor.

In fact - with them - now the 3 most recent additions to Council quit after a single term.

So if the incoming babes in the woods are not adequately prepared: this may turn into a bigger problem than ever - seeing there are more of them this time. This probable problem should have been anticipated and - once and for all - addressed. Experience and integrity ought to have dictated the need! The bigger picture! Nelson! But - no! So there may be drudgery - and 1 additional year of that - for at least some of the new "new" ones!
A meeting of individual would-be-candidates with a Councillor of his/her choice - while helpful, what with City Hall not rallying at all - is bound to be subjective.

Of particular concern - for us on the outside anyway - is the very real possibility of a complete change of elected administration. None of the would-be-Councillors really know their way through today's City Hall culture - and current ones will hardly talk about that - with total strangers, anyway.

Their basic introduction to it all - before formal orientation whenever, once elected - would benefit the would-be-mayor-from-outside as well. Many of the same issues and getting to know each other: some of them eventually colleagues.

COW Presentation
What has increasingly colored my view of the current administration's performance - thus my concern now for timely and comprehensive orientation for the new Council - are cases of blatant conflicts of interest within this administration - and Council looking-on.

Personal interests along the 2nd Floor being rather different from professional interest in the electorate as a whole. Will the next Council eventually be instructed from well-entrenched routine or personal responsibility? Who would instruct the possibly new mayor? The CAO?

3 examples of conflict:
The Japanese-earthquake help benefiting only the egos of a very small unfocused group in Nelson and their decisive 2nd-Floor guidance - with Council looking-on.
The parking-variance put in place for Nelson Commons before even applied for - with Council looking-on and promptly granting it.
The drawn-out free P.R. effort on the City's website by quote/unquote staff for Nelson Landing - with Council looking-on.

Now there's a possibility of conflicts of interest reaching inside Council itself. Justin Pelant's - if continuing - presidency of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce (NDCC) would conceivably put him in frequent conflict in and possibly beyond the Council Chamber. He already has made this presidency part of his campaign - although he should have resigned from it as soon as he announced his candidacy. Even if not re-elected as NDCC President in December - aside from a very-grey-indeed-area overlap - he would still be on its Board.

From another angle: with his work for the NDCC as either/or; also on the Board of Nelson and District Economic Development; all this on top of running a business full-time to support a family: how could he possibly give focused attention to the endless minutiae of a Councillor's work?

Wheels within wheels?

On one hand the idea of a whole new elected administration is very appealing for obvious reasons - on the other hand scary: this may turn into 
City Hall - A Reality Show!

Only 3 out of 6 Councillors are present at this COW. 2 of those absent are the ones leaving (anyway) - the 3rd is running for mayor against the current one who is present and will seek re-election. Awkward!
Although this is an important meeting insofar as the Police Board is present full-force to make its pitch for the Provisional Police Budget For 2015.
This minimal-interest Councillor-attendance is the old glass half-full or half-empty thing. Councillor/Chair Macdonald says small but strong - giving it an unconvincing half-full spin. There will be 3 more meetings of this here Council - and one must wonder about possibly ever-diminishing Councillor-attendance in them.
And then there were none!
Glass empty!

To some degree it matters who's in office, but it matters more how much pressure they're under from the public.
                                                                             Noam Chomsky


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Destination: Nelson! (Part 5) - The Sound of Color

This is the 5th and last in a series - the focus of all on breathing life into downtown Nelson: turning beige apathy into exciting experience - exciting at any time of the day and year! Simply by applying bright color in paint and light.

Destination: Nelson! (Part 1)
6 Sep, 2014
Destination: Nelson! (Part 2) - Festival of Lights
13 Sep, 2014
Destination: Nelson! (Part 3) - The (Extra)Ordinary
24 Sep, 2014
Destination: Nelson! (Part 4) - (Trans)Formation
4 Oct, 2014


The preceding posts have largely been looking at downtown-lighting - particularly important as Nelson pretty much turns it and itself off - period - by about 7pm: thereby missing-out on an opportunity to engage tourists and locals late into the evening. An alive environment providing a much-needed go-to destination - with sustainable economic benefits for the city.

Appropriate core-lighting comprises: street-lighting during much of the year needed am/pm; festive lighting; highlighting architectural aspects. No break-down into special-purpose functions necessary - if the design as a whole is exceptionally inclusive: for a Nelson alive 24/7!

Downtown - literally the heart of the matter and darkness - now remains curiously unaddressed by the Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan. Anyplace but - the planned Hall St. appendix just more unremarkable sameness - while downtown should be the center of (re)development from which all else radiates outward.

For the day color must be provided with paint - this after dark complemented by/complementing lighting. What with daytime downtown-dinginess much of the year: the need for a more stimulating environment is crucial during the day as well as in the evening. As simplistic as it may sound: color via any medium can make that happen.

Tanya Tagaq - an Inuit  throat-singer - recently wins the Polaris Prize for Animism as best Canadian album - period - of the year. Much of her work - while structured - is intuitive-improvisational and often performed a capella. She does not read/write music in the traditional sense.

The Kronos Quartet is a US-based chamber ensemble - best known for its work with minimalist/new music written by outside composers. While members are highly disciplined, accomplished "professionally trained" musicians - their work often is improvisational/interpretive in collaborative efforts with musicians from other genres and performers of/in varying disciplines.

When Tagaq and Kronos decide to collaborate on creating a piece of music - Tagaq its center - they need to establish a language which allows them to "technically" structure musically - without the traditionally accepted means she is unfamiliar with.
So Kronos devise a very basic musical language "written" on individual same-size sheets of paper: single dots of different colors in their center. 
They lay-out these sheets side-by-side and discuss with Tagaq the order they might be in musically for the piece they all are about to give life. Relating to color emotionally/intuitively - Tagaq immediately wants blue and black placed next to each other and red at the very end because that's when I freak out!

The piece they create is Nunavut - available on:

The expressive quality of a soprano coloratura in usually operatic works is very light-fluttery-florid - probably the extreme opposite of Tagaq's bare-footed Urmensch style. Coloratura stems from the Latin colorare: to color.


Holi is an annual festival in India and today much of the world: a time of renewal and shared good-times - rekindling the warmth in relationships neglected too long or gone cold and celebrating the coming of spring in all its explosiveness after dull winter. 
This awakening of all alive symbolized in everybody using all colors possible to throw at each other - dry/wet and washing-off later - while wandering along the streets in groups playing music, singing and dancing.


Imagine the awakening power, influence color can have on Baker Street, downtown, Nelson-as-a-whole and the emotions of people there - so busy-busy-busy! that they can't wait for street-lights to change!

mvrdv hometown


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Co-op: Banking On The CBT!

This follows
The Co-op After Extensive Consultation
27 Sep. 2014

The Co-op AGM, 24 Sep.: many have been looking forward to this, expecting to - at very long last - hear hard facts about the Nelson Commons project. With none forthcoming over the past 2 years - all Co-op member-owners(M-O) have been receiving: a steady stream of repetitious superficial sales-pitches for condos. Provided they signed-up for the electronic newsletter especially created for them.
So who knows!
This after the Co-op declares in the Common Ground, May 2014 issue that there has been extensive community consultation on the project. A whopping 20 of those in AGM attendance are concerned (non-co-op) members of said community - 74 are M-Os.

But not even M-Os have been consulted - so when one of them asks almost immediately to have the topic moved into the AGM proper for a by now very necessary back-and-forth: Board President Brynne quashes the idea just like that! While this topic is what most have come for!

Putting a deciding spin on the proceedings: this - plus a right away literally falling-apart public-address system (an omen?) and the room's heating turned to just-having-to-sweat-it-out tropical!

The accountant presents whatever accountants present; then Board Director Pigott continues with financial report number-columns-forever, using a hand-held microphone - while audience-members are left to their own devices - none! - when they have a question. So they can't hear each other - meaning the Board/Management (B/M) can't hear them either. They - here obtusely deaf to the problem - (habitually) don't facilitate two-way communication!

This at-arm's-length AGM: showing no respect for M-Os and non-members-although-possibly-store-customers! Or even those maybe here for a condo!

Incidentally - with a clear lack of interest within the general community and despite the in Common Ground touted 12.000 M-Os - only 2 outsiders are running for 3 Board vacancies. One of them makes it in - the 2 incumbents are promptly re-elected: Pigott one of them. The status quo comfortingly maintained!

Back at the AGM: after a long stretch of Pigott only, he sort-of does share his mic with audience-members; eventually someone turns-off the heat.

But by now our brains have been thoroughly fried - well done! - so when the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) pops-up among financial providers/partners on an overhead-projection - acronym only, no context of its own - this finds no immediate response from the audience.

Though many discuss it after - fresh air to breathe and at a distance from the AGM: what could the CBT possibly have to do with a totally for-profit, non-co-op, non-social-housing development? Seeing that it is generally known for providing financial assistance to community initiatives, social agendas, artistic expressions. Need-based issues wrapped in ethics!
But this???
The bottom-line of my in-depth talk later with Investment Manager O'Doherty: at this point the CBT is neither in nor contemplating a partnership of any kind with Nelson Commons - there has been informational conversation only! Under given circumstances: this CBT mention in the Co-op's financial planning is totally inappropriate.
Thoroughly experienced in all manners of investing: the CBT sometimes does invest in commercial ventures but - only after careful all-around consideration and within their ethical parameters - never to just make a quick buck.

So what else and next and how secure(d) for real is financing-as-a-whole for Nelson Commons? Rhetorical questions: we'll never know!
What we do know: Pigott - having a refreshingly candid moment - admits to Plan B (store only - if condos crumble) thus far not having been financially planned for, because: we are confident there will be no need for Plan B.

The Co-op's Financial Manager is leaving after 1 year in the job.

The CBT is currently making the rounds to gather info on how best to serve the region in the future. An informal Nelson workshop - open to all concerns, ideas - will be held at
Rod & Gun Club
Wed. 15 Oct.
11:00am - 2:00pm/4:00pm - 6:00pm
For more info on how to participate in shaping the CBT's path:




The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.
                                                                                Andre Gide

Common Ground
May 2014
The Commons - the story of our time
Two Local Examples


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Destination: Nelson! (Part 4) - (Trans)Formation

4th in a series of 5 after
Destination: Nelson! (Part 1)
6 Sep. 2014
Destination: Nelson! (Part 2) - Festival of Lights
13 Sep. 2014
Destination: Nelson! (Part 3) - The (Extra)Ordinary
24 Sep. 2014

Anecdotally and for ages - specific colors have been associated with specific emotions, states of being: red roses but also seeing red (no, the bull does not respond to the color but becomes irritated by the waving of the cape - who wouldn't!); from Mood Indigo to black moods; blue movies and purple prose; green for great expectations (on the far side of the hill) but also green with envy; the yellow ribbon 'round the old oak-tree; the grey area of pink-for-girls and blue-for-boys; virginal white; black widows' weeds here - while white for the grieving in Asian countries.

Tradition has it in Japan that a woman should not wear red after the age of 40; in China - for centuries - yellow was exclusively reserved (with deadly consequences - if) for the-only-son-of-heaven emperor.
When I was a child - wearing combinations of green/blue, red/pink, red/purple was unthinkable - worlds in collision! Only beige, blue, brown, green and grey were safe!

Scientifically it has been proven that certain colors can have a soothing-thus-healing effect in medical settings, schools. And prisons. I changed primary-care physicians here when my previous one moved into a wall-by-wall black and apple-green office without windows: DOA!

So - as we have come to know the transformational quality of color: it seems reasonable that an appropriately colored environment will also have a positive thus swaying influence on - shoppers! Downtown shoppers!

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art!
                                                                                         Andy Warhol


But first imagine downtown the way it will soon look for most of a year: no hanging flower-baskets, empty flower-beds used as ashtrays by a multitude of the aware, bare trees - and exhausted heritage-buildings. The whole not a problem for most Nelsonites: heritage-type mud-puddle colors form the local rainbow. Plus - for long stretches - pedestrians only look at their feet anyway: slushy-icy sidewalks!
Downtown is a getting-stuff-done habit - as opposed to being an all-around pleasurable experience.

So now imagine the same downtown during the same dead-zone phase - but bright, energetic, ALIVE WITH COLOR! Look up - look way up! Color in paint and light! And safe sidewalks connecting all!
No unremarkable "festive" twinkle up-and-down trees, lamp-posts: buildings themselves are painted/lit in competition with each other to draw-in customers, guests!

Wasting money puts you in a real party mood!
                                                                        Andy Warhol

Downtown becoming a destination: previously unconnected shopping-islets morphed into one conceptual environment - an infectious transformation for/with locals and tourists alike!

All images here are of only one building and one room in this building: the House of Light, headquarters of Skira D.O.O. Electrical Installation Design in Pula, Croatia. Treatment of the outside is a demonstration of Skira's work - the inside is a laboratory for experimental application of light on moods: creating and altering them.


Next/last in the series:
Destination: Nelson! (Part 5) - The Sound of Color


Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Co-op After Extensive Community Consultation

At the Co-op's AGM, Sep. 24 - an employee/member-owner asks to have the Nelson Commons issue included in the AGM proper - as opposed to leaving it until the Member Information Meeting (MIM) segment at the end.This is significant: Having various condo-concerns raised by member-owners (M-O) - and discussed/responded to in the AGM - is very different from listening to tailor-made info and possibly being able to respond and then to only that in the shorter MIM.
The switch is promptly denied by the Board President. While - no surprise, surprise! and no procedural difficulties - items on the agenda for the MIM are moved into the AGM. She also allows: a meeting addressing the redevelopment could be called for all members at some point - and immediately buries that hot potato under other stuff! Never to mention it again!
Helped along nicely with a persistently malfunctioning microphone and the air-con blasting hot until half-way through. The M-Os promptly go numb - with the Prez not once encouraging the few who do speak to speak-up.
This AGM couldn't have been planned any better! For Management/Board (M/B)! Phew! Close one!
Then - the anonymous person writing the now-on-line Board Blog: AGM & MIM Report about the meetings: at great lengths places items actually dealt with in the AGM as handled in the MIM!
Where am I? What 27 mill real-estate development? 
Just sayin'!

This after Common Ground reports under -
The Commons - The story of our time
Two local examples
Archive: May 2014 -
the condo-project initially is planned after extensive community consultation.
No, no, no - the community is never consulted, neither are M-Os: this project is cooked-up by the M/B behind very closed doors - since then moved forward totally lacking transparency, accountability!
Thus untrue!

Many M-Os understandably are concerned - feel disregarded as such, jerked-around, really! If democracy is to be found at this Co-op in this AGM in this MIM: it is political instead of social. Following the Harper's dictum: We're only doing what you elected us to do. Actually - simply following our own rules - we can do anything we want so there, M-Os!

More (or significantly less) Common Ground:

12.000 Members
The Co-op has no grasp on how many members are active, inactive, have moved away, died, lost interest, whatever - thus its claim to now having 12.000 members is a self-glorifying exaggeration. Not to forget: Nelson only has about 10.000 inhabitants.
Thus untrue!
74 of these 12.000 members and 20 non-members! attend this AGM.

Units Sold
...half of the Nelson Commons units have been sold, with construction slated for this summer, a model for co-ops and progressive commons housing initiatives.
The Co-op has not sold 27 units by April 2014, when this issue is prepared.
Thus untrue!

A Model for Co-ops
The condo-block is just that. It is not a model for co-ops (housing?): the only connection with this co-op is the condos being planned by 2 specifically created by it non-co-op-companies and its store-space downstairs to be rented from one-or-the-other. While totally without co-operative input from M-Os.
Thus untrue!

Progressive Housing
Progressive commons housing initiative is just so much gluten-free tree-hugging come-on: this is a generic for-profit condo-development! Neither particularly cheap nor particularly pleasing aesthetically! With nothing commons about it - the environment/location and Nelsonites' attitude - except for the name's cool-factor.
Thus untrue! 

On Uncommonly Shaky Ground
So much for the Kootenay Co-op in Common Ground - its motto:
Healthy People - Healthy Planet
It's all connected
Weeell - not so much to the reader/M-O - through facts and adequate research - before actually published as vainglorious Co-op bluster!

More AGM
And more disconnect from M-Os - they barely appearing in reports this and that presented. One exception: the announcement that this year M-Os will not receive the customary yearly rebate -  supposedly it wouldn't make sense financially. M-Os in the audience are not gentled into this, asked for their understanding: this is announced as just one more decision by the Board!

One of the directors - in charge of outreach and pleased with his motivational self - talks about how much more info is going out to M-Os this year than ever before.
What he fails to mention: none of the deluge of condo-info in various forms is hard, satisfyingly up-to-date-informative - it's all repetitious condo-soft-sell. This too may be called outreach: but behind automatic gluten-free tree-hugging fuzziness - deliberately obfuscating.
When he applauds the president-about-to-resign - I bet she's ready! - for her total wonderfulness - many M-Os/guests don't join-in.

Another director - according to the Star, Sep. 26 - claims in the MIM: There's little that management knows that the membership doesn't (sic). Nice try! Superficially this may be the case, what with endless financial reports handed-out and run ad nauseam for M-Os in the AGM - comfortingly-safely taking-up much time - but the membership still knows nothing about the period between just before the condo-decision made and this AGM's numbers-only presented - spanning over 2 years!

Common Purpose
What becomes clear in this meeting: they all work hard to make THEIR project happen, and with having to sharply focus their inexperienced collective energy - they create their own simplified exclusive reality - gestalt - with its own path and values. And within that operative give-up their commonality - the co-.

So - M-Os don't enter: no common ground!

The Condos?
What's (un)clear from this AGM: financing of the project seems fragmented, partly based on conjecture - this contingent on that. It reminds me of making a payment due on one credit-card with another with another....... 


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Destination: Nelson! (Part 3) - The Extra(Ordinary)

This 3rd in a series of 5 follows:
Destination: Nelson! (Part 1)
6 Sep. 2014
Destination: Nelson! (Part 2) - Festival of Lights
13 Sep. 2014

The reason for this series found in the name: turning Nelson! proper into a destination-with-distinct-purpose instead of it remaining just a stopover-with-shopping-possibilities: provided currency exchange-rates are favorable.

With Baker Street the center of the Nelson universe: there bringing much-touted and relied-on heritage manifestations into the present is vital for attracting the multitude. The whole - rather drab in collective coma most of the year - only during high tourist-season somewhat screened behind leafy trees and brash-petunia flower-baskets/beds. And pretty much closing-down - little to do for tourists, anybody really! - after about 7pm.
With stores closing around 5 - rather obvious economic opportunities curiously remain unrecognized thus untapped by the downtown-business group!

The idea behind these posts is to color heritage-downtown - as done successfully all over the Western world - with brightly-energetic paint for daytime and lighting-magic added after dark. Then - the downtown experience blocked to vehicle-traffic: Nelson alive! and open for memorable socializing, entertaining - business! - well into the night! High energy!

The City - with no vision of itself for now and the future - consistently leaves stabs at improvement to outside-consultants: off-the-rack results promptly unremarkable - none ever focused on a Nelson transformation. At best fits-and-spurts without cohesive purpose.
The latest consultant is on the way: for "lighting, benches and banners" - vaguely announced by the Chief Administrative Officer - not his job! - with Council - clearly theirs - passively silent. Low energy!
The city's self-limiting scope - represented by the in-name-only Downtown Master Plan - makes one wonder what creative long-term impact this consultant may be ready to bring - aside from more comfort-clutter. Seeing that he will probably spring from the M&Ms group - responsible for said in-name-only plan. 

He promotes an architectural design concept that goes beyond utilization, where lighting can have a high impact on a person's emotional states.

He is Dean Skira - an acclaimed architectural-lighting designer - widely working/awarded internationally. As a matter of course - taking lighting past the merely functional-if-pretty - in urban, landscape, commercial and residential settings - to being artistic statements.
From gently, sensitively illuminating a whole town of considerable age and beauty in Croatia to edgy light-towers in the Italian Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, in Venice, Italy arguably the most prestigious international arts meet.
Light - medium for artistic expression.


This project changes industrial blight into a magical environment of majestic proportions. Cranes in the harbor of Pula, Croatia.

The extraordinary ordinary!

Nelson with possibilities beyond predictable heritage and current administration: the first step needs to be a locally con/perceived vision - no matter how fuzzy, inarticulate in the beginning. But in movement! Clearly - experts of whatever kind would eventually enter: but only as support - not to originate!

We can be and do better!

Next post:
Destination: Nelson! (Part 4) - (Trans)Formation


Skira D.O.O. Electrical Installation Design
Pula, Croatia


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Co-op AGM: Questions to ask!

Recently I receive a message from an out-of-town reader of this blog: Not a Co-op member/owner (M/O) - only vaguely informed but curious about the planned new store and Nelson Commons - she e-mails the Board a few weeks ago, wanting to know if guests are welcome at the upcoming AGM. No reply, and - getting the not-interested/welcome vibe - will pass on this co-operative(?) group! Forthwith!

Now it seems the Co-op may actually build its mythical condos: this based on an announcement banks may lower the required condo-sales to 33 - which the Co-op thinks it may reach easily, currently being at 29 - and once this number is met financing kicking-in.
Deirdrie Lang, GM, tells me the announcement whether-or-not may be made at the end of September, and when I ask why not at the AGM - the logical time and place - she wriggles. Mays for days!

The definitive decision to build will raise several questions needing to be asked by so-called M/Os - the appropriate time and probably only opportunity to nail down witnessed answers: the AGM!

The idea to build condos comes from needing to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible to pay-off incurred debts and build whatever. This via Russell Precious, project-manager of whatever-to-be-built - the inexperienced Board getting in-line behind him. Building condos with a store downstairs is the superficially reasonable way to go: selling 54 units to the most adoring among the flock of Co-op-junkies seems like a walk in the park.

Enough indeed pre-pre-buy - feeding this presumption. But - when actual sales start: many don't take the next step. And when asked in astonishment why not - many say: we want to see it built before we commit. 
Which - of course - is horse-puckie! 
They pre-pre-buy because for a moment they feel special, closer to the Co-op-thing - the altar! - while not actually having to commit to anything. Heretics! And - this being Nelson - folks will go anywhere anyway, particularly if free food is involved.

But - if any of them genuinely are in condo-mode - they also may be considering the other 2 more recent local developments. In all-around wait-and-see dither.  
Yet you can only dither so long: buying-before-building is the way it goes, with banks needing to see buyers' cheque-book commitment before committing themselves. This applies to all 3.

So the Co-op sells one here one there - eventually realizing they'll not meet the original quota of 40+. Soon dropping this condo-gestalt is not an option any longer: 
We Must Build This Dammit!!! 
Arriving at some understanding with their bankers - the sales-quota is to be lowered to 33.

That's where it stands - teeters - now!

1. Question
Considering the already too-long gestation-period of this building in a dodgy market: only 33 out of 54 condos sold before breaking ground means enormous risk for banks. Which wouldn't take this risk without a sort-of collateralized debt obligation. 
In this situation translating into the current store - its location not belonging to the Co-op; the store-fixtures fund; the far-from-paid-off Extra property.
Giving the store away - literally?
So - what exactly is offered as collateral by the Co-op to satisfy courted lenders?

2. Question
The 1.7 mill store-fixtures fund - according to fine print - actually can be applied to just about anything the Board decides. And these funds will not be needed for quite some time.
So - how certain exactly can the lenders be that their unsecured-to-begin-with loans will actually be there for outfitting the store - when its time comes eventually?

3. Question
Just building these condos does not automatically guarantee more buyers. Particularly as some out there - seriously considering a condo-purchase - may be waiting for life to be breathed into the other 2 local projects in the planning: The Crossing at Granite Pointe and Nelson Landing. These 3 currently planned developments may cross-cancel each other - definitely weaken interest. 
Also - in the condo-market - unless buying purely for investment-purposes in strong large urban markets - a building too long in the making and then with too many vacancies is considered with suspicion. Condos here would be a very risky non-live-in investment for someone who's not swimming in the stuff!
So - who exactly is expected to buy 21 empties when?

It seems the real problems are only just beginning for the Co-op with this way-lowered quota - thus possibly imminent fixation-construction of vacancies! Once started: financial obligations have to be met consistently, fully. Otherwise banks - and potentially potential buyers - will get tetchy!
A house of cards.....!

Bonus Question
With may this and may that and total lack of transparency/accountability thus far - it is still possible the building will not happen after all. Which once again needs raising the question frequently asked before - never answered! - the ONLY one of importance in a no-condos-after-all scenario:
So - how much money in total - a single amount! - has been spent on preparing for the unapproved-by-M/Os Nelson Commons endeavor?

You own this pop-stand! So ask! And don't be satisfied until "they" demonstrably satisfy you! Now! Here!
While you're at it: what's with recently/currently looking for a financial/grocery manager? Key positions!

Co-op AGM
New Grand Hotel, Vernon St.
Wednesday, Sep. 24
6:00 pm

Kevin Curtis