By Greg Price
With the controversial recreation sponsorship contract being extended one-year between Sponsorship Connections and the Town of Taber by the slimmest of margins in a 4-3 town council vote in March, Taber Recreation Board members would like to see more in-depth reports from the company.
Through two phases of the agreement with Sponsorship Connections, the town has invested nearly $100,000 since November 2011, in which the return on investment has been a paltry $21,200 over three confirmed partners Farm Credit Canada, Taco Time, and ATB. Only Taco Time and ATB are renewables.
One of the provisions of the extended agreement to June 30, 2016 was Sponsorship Connections provide a monthly status report. Recreation board members saw the March status report during its April 2 meeting and some members were less than impressed with its lack of depth.
“I’d like to see more detail of what they are actually doing. This is very vague,” said Danielle Hansen, vice chairperson of the Taber Recreation Board of the March status report which does not differentiate if any of the suspects, prospects or dead prospects have changed from any earlier progress. “We’ve already seen this before, it’s information we already know. This doesn’t really show if they are doing anything. We want to see if they are actually working on this. I still have the last list we were given in closed session and we need to be able to reference to back to that. They could be typing up the same thing they did back then. We need to know if they are actually making progress.”
Aline Holmen, recreation manager for the Town of Taber cautioned that care needs to be used that some businesses may not want their names on reports that they have been contacted and refused as an example.
“We just have to be very careful with how that information is represented, but still give you some information that is valuable,” said Holmen.
Recreation board member and town councillor Randy Sparks echoed Hansen’s sentiment to pushing to see if any new efforts are actually being made by Sponsorship Connections with trying to acquire sponsorship funding from outside sources of town-owned assets.
“We’ve seen these exact numbers before. What we need to know is how many new contacts they have made, whether it was a phone contact or a personal contact. I don’t care who they contact, I don’t need to know the name because I think it could be an issue as Aline said,” said Sparks. “We need ot know what they have done this month. Was it a phone contact or a personal contact? was it positive, was it negative? There is nothing in this report.”
“I was at that meeting of council (with the 4-3 split vote to extend the contract). There was some very good discussion and I diid agree with what was said by some of the naysayers. Everybody is angry, everybody is upset,” said Luke Wijna, chairperson for the Taber Recreation Board.