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Home Affairs: Mayor’s claims “misleading and untrue”

Government has rejected as “misleading and untrue” suggestions by City of Hamilton Mayor Graeme Outerbridge that it did not meet with City Hall in its first nine weeks in office.

Premier Craig Cannonier and Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy met with the Corporation within weeks of taking office following the December 17 election, a Home Affairs spokesperson said in a press release issued this morning.

“A follow-up meeting with the Corporation's Development Team was planned pending the receipt of the lease and other related documents,” the spokesperson added.

“In fact the Minister has met on numerous occasions with the Corporation and its representatives during the period. Concerns regarding the Request For Proposal process, the work flowing from the Ombudsman's investigation and Municipalities Reform have all been topics of discussion. And the Ministry anxiously awaits the outcome of the Ombudsman's submission.”

The release added: “The public will already be aware that the Ministry confirmed receipt of the outstanding waterfront lease in June this year, and due diligence work is now in progress.”

In a fresh public relations initiative aimed at addressing concerns about the City of Hamilton waterfront redevelopment project, Mr Outerbridge told media organisations yesterday that City Hall had attempted to meet with the Government for nine weeks after the election.

“Any suggestion that the Government failed to meet with the Corporation of Hamilton on this matter within the first nine weeks of its tenure is therefore misleading and untrue,” the Ministry spokesperson said this morning.

Relations between the new administration and the Corporation of Hamilton got off to a frosty start when City Hall went ahead with a press conference - against the Government's expressed wishes - announcing their selected developer for the Hamilton waterfront project in January.

Government said then that it had not done its due diligence on the project.

The City then stalled on handing over all the documents relating to the project, including the 262 year lease of 26 acres of waterfront and other property.

The lease was finally handed to Government in June - six months after it had taken office.

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Published September 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm (Updated September 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm)

Home Affairs: Mayor’s claims “misleading and untrue”

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