Whitehead and Murray on Auchmar: Trust Us To Make Secret Deal With Secret Group

[![Photo by David Numan, CC-BY, via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/rkMds](http://joeycoleman.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/286771630_ffe9ac0ac4_z-336x252.jpg)](http://joeycoleman.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/286771630_ffe9ac0ac4_z.jpg)Photo by David Numan, CC-BY, via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/rkMds
One of the more disturbing developments of the past two weeks – other than the minimal consequences for senior City managers who oversaw a culture of misogyny that allowed for sexual harassment – was the attempt by Councillor Terry Whitehead, supported by City Manager Chris Murray, to make a [secret deal with a secret group](http://www.hamiltonnews.com/news/non-profit-group-makes-pitch-for-auchmar/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=non-profit-group-makes-pitch-for-auchmar) on the future of the Auchmar Estate.

The local non-profit organization approached Whitehead and asked to be awarded the management of Auchmar outside of the competitive proposal process the City is operating to determine the best proposals for the future of the crumbling site that is a drain on City resources.

Council voted, barely, to not bypass due process for Auchmar – mostly because City Manager Chris Murray stated he felt the secretive group to be credible and the offer to be worth pursuing.

Why did the City Manager’s Office get involved in this backroom maneuvering that undercut the City’s procurement process? We’ll likely never know.

Council spent over 30 minutes considering the idea of throwing out good process without knowing why this secretive group didn’t want to engage in the fair public proposal process.

It’s time for City Council to stop having double standards, stop making secretive backroom deals with taxpayers money, and its time for Council to pass a lobbyist registry to reveal exactly who these secretive groups are – a lobbyist registry that includes the lobbying of City staff, anything less will allow for more backroom dealings that undermine good governance.