I continue to be troubled by many questions.
Here’s one of them: How did the city of Vancouver come to pass a zoning change adding a “major casino” use to the BC Place lands, months before BC Place issued an RFP for development proposals on the site?
There’s no hint as to who made the request in the official city report. It just appears like the angel Gabriel anouncing the gestation of the casino deal in a short two line ODP amendment.
So I’ve been FOIing the documents behind the ODP process… And I found issue notes prepared by the resident evil genius facilitating the process – Mr. Ken Dobell.
As I’ve noted, the issue notes link PavCo directly to the Casino proposal, making it clear that the City Engineering department had concerns about PavCo’s plan for a large floor plate in order to hold a greatly expanded casino.
The problem is that this took place about nine months before Pavco issued its request for proposals and a year before it “selected” Paragon and its “proposal” to put a greatly expanded Casino on the site.
Why is this important? Because it appears that nine months before the RFP Pavco was already arguing with the City for the Casino. And it’s wrong to set up one proponent far in advance to win a bid nobody else knows about. Some people say that that kind of thing is very close to procurement fraud.
So I continued to poke around and asked PavCo for a list of meetings Mr. Dobell had with PavCo officials during the ODP process in the spring, summer and fall of 2008.
I got back a list of meetings related to Mr. Dobell’s role with VANOC and the Convention Centre project but nothing after 2007 and nothing having to do with the redevelopment of the BC Place lands or the stadium.
Except, I didn’t just ask PavCo for a list of those meetings. At the same time I asked the city for Mr. Dobell’s invoices during 2008, including his invoices for various meetings he attended.
What did the City tell me? Mr. Dobell billed the City of Vancouver for 515 minutes of meetings with PavCo officials between April and October 2008.
That means one of two things: Either PavCo isn’t telling the truth. Its officials did meet with Ken Dobell during the period. Or PavCo officials didn’t meet with Mr. Dobell and he incorrectly billed the city thousands of dollars for imaginary meetings.
I’m betting it is PavCo who’s not telling the truth about the meetings. Which raises another question? Why?