120 years: a big deal?

Coquitlam will mark its 120th birthday on July 25. - tri-city newS FILE PHOTO
Coquitlam will mark its 120th birthday on July 25.
— image credit: tri-city newS FILE PHOTO

Coquitlam will mark its 120th year on July 25 but it won’t be much of a party for some city councillors, who have already branded marking the milestone as “opportunistic” in a civic election year.

During a 15-minute debate at Monday’s city council meeting, Coun. Lou Sekora took aim at city managers for bringing the topic forward and claimed the birthday is “a promotion to get certain people elected... I don’t think we’ll be celebrating the 121st, 122nd and 123rd.”

Sekora also raised a stink about the cost to market the birthday and pointed to a city manager’s report that offered no details about the finances.

His comments were echoed by Coun. Mae Reid, who called staff’s attempt to mark the special occasion “an embarrassment.”

“I do feel the timing is a little opportunistic,” Coun. Barrie Lynch said while also noting the “true costs” to advertise the event should be revealed, even if they are internal.

But the city’s communications manager, Dan McDonald, said the birthday promotion — which involves placing logos on brochures, newspaper ads, banners and other printed materials for existing spring and summer events and activities — won’t “cost any new dollars... All this is is an adjunct.”

Still, Lynch said the 120th will bring community pride and should be recognized.

“I think this is a very small project on, I think, a good return,” Coun. Brent Asmundson said.

Meanwhile, Coun. Neal Nicholson said he wants staff to get a jump start on the city’s 125th birthday celebrations in 2016.



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