I have never been hostile to the idea of the Council helping community organisations, providing the deal is transparent and can be justified.
So when some people were getting in a complete frazzle over the $2.8m loan to Newmarket Soccer Club last year, I was altogether more relaxed.
I see the Town has now confirmed that the loan has now been taken over by a commercial bank and the Town will have collected more than $125,000 in interest above the $2.8m loan which will be repaid in full.
Sounds OK to me.
The Newmarket Era - which regularly fails to see the big picture - had serious reservations at the time. The Town, it said, had "jumped the gun".
Councillor Maddie Di Muccio, foaming at the mouth, denounced the rescue deal in her blog on 5 September 2013. She wrote:
“In what can only be described as one of the most bizarre and unprecedented decisions Newmarket Council has come up with this term, Mayor Tony Van Bynen, Regional Councillor John Taylor, and Councillors Emanuel, Twinney and Hempen decided that it would be a brilliant investment to pay off a 2.8 million dollar loan to save a floundering Newmarket Soccer Club that nobody else – including banks – saw fit to invest in. Myself, Councillors Sponga and Kerwin voted against the deal; and Councillor Vegh was absent.”
Most of her venom was directed at the Mayor, Tony Van Bynen, and Regional Councillor John Taylor. But she is a woman who doesn’t forget.
Seven months later, still fulminating with rage, she was reminding her Twitter followers:
@RockNRollCroll let’s not forget the other councillors who supported this taxpayer fiasco: Tom Hempen, Chris Emanuel and Jane Twinney.
4.37pm – 28 March 14
Meanwhile, Newmarket Soccer Club seems to be on the way up.
And good luck to them.
24 days to the election.