Sunday, October 27, 2013

Director Dixon-Warren vs Quesnel Councillors on NC Multicentre Fundraising Photo-Op

A number of weeks ago - the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Project brought to my attention an email that Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren sent to all of her North Cariboo colleagues (Cariboo RD Areas A, C and I Directors & Quesnel Council) that she will not participate in an upcoming fundraising photo opportunity (photo-op) for the North Cariboo Multicentre Project, given the North Cariboo region is in the throws of a referendum on Nov 9th, 2013

This email was highlighted in the Oct 25th, 2013 Quesnel Cariboo Observer article.  You can view that here (scanned version)

In that article - several Quesnel Councillors said the following:

Councillor Roodenburg -- If you are concerned about elected officials looking like they support the 'yes' side, perhaps you need to take a look at your Facebook page, etc and note you are constantly putting out information in regards to the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Project and their website (click here).  If that is not stating your opinion to the public, I don't know what is.  I have searched for 'positive' comments from you and I don't see any on any of those publications

Councillor Elliot - I'm not impartial.  As a referee for 30 years+ and seeing the conditions of Rink 1, we need this project.  The referendum passed (in 2008) and the people voted on it.  It is my job to work towards that goal.  But personally -- Am I for it? Yes, I am

Councillor Brisco - It's our job as elected officials to be for the Multi-centre Project and not to be impartial.  

Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren said this in reply:

In yesterday's Quesnel - Cariboo Observer newspaper, the following article was on the front page. It pertains to the fundraising that continues on for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Project. Firstly, it is necessary to acknowledge the VOLUNTEERS involved with the Fundraising Committee. Their time towards the project is commendable. I too am a volunteer for many projects / organisations and I know what that’s all about.
The article refers to comments that I have posted regarding the multi-centre on facebook. Yes, I do have concerns regarding the project given its magnitude and scope but I have never posted any comment on social media that states my favour or aversion to the project. Rather, I use social media for the sharing of information and informing residents what the options are. On Nov. 9th, residents will be asked a question. There are two ways to answer – “Yes” or “No”. This is not an equivalent of a “Pass” or “Fail”. Both answers have consequences and results which residents need to understand.
I realize that the CRD / NC Joint Planning Committee has a mandate from the November, 2008 referendum to support the project. That was 5 years ago and many things have changed since then. Some people who voted in that referendum have left the community; other residents have relocated to the North Cariboo since then and hence, did not vote in 2008. It is so critical that people who live in the North Cariboo TODAY understand what the referendum on Nov. 9th is all about. From my perspective, the focus should be on the Nov. 9th Referendum as that will determine what happens with the loan authorization bylaw. Currently, that Bylaw is set to expire in December, 2013.
People that have concerns are not being “negative” or “critical” which I often hear they are accused of. These people are not trouble makers. Rather, they are simply residents with concerns. We need to address their concerns and the fact that these people are engaged is good thing. The Coalition of Concerned Citizens for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Project is simply comprised of a group of such people… another group of VOLUNTEERS. I don’t see them as the “NO” side; rather they are interested in OPTIONS. But on Nov. 9th, the question being asked, is limited to having either a NO or YES answer. There is no “ plan B” on the ballet. The Coalition are encouraging a NO vote as it will provide an option for further discussion. They too need to be commended for a job well done. They are regular people that live in our community. They are our neighbours, our friends, and taxpayers. They have come together and worked hard to collect the information (some of which they found to be not easily available), to understand the facts assessed the project from different sides, and ask questions to ultimately become more well informed. I have assisted them in their quest for information and through this and I too have become more informed. I encourage people to look at their website – as it speaks to facts and information.

With great respect to these Quesnel Councillors - I believe they all have it DEAD WRONG.  It is NOT their job to be 'cheerleaders' for a project which is subject of a referendum but to do what Director Dixon-Warren has done -- get the information out and let residents make an informed decision.

As Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom pointed out herself:

It is up to individual elected officials to participate in photo-ops for the NC Multicentre Project

I profoundly regret the negative tone and message used by Quesnel Councillor L-A Roodenburg.  There was no need for it.  She only had to say that she supports the Multi-centre but she also supports the work done by Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren.  That would have been the polite and respectful thing to say

Meanwhile - the Central Cariboo will be soon voting in 2014 on a referendum request to borrow $10 million on an upgrade to our local Recreation Facility (Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex).  When the date of the referendum is announced here - I (and I suspect some elected officials here will as well) plan to use my social media tools (Facebook/Blog) to get the information out (pros/cons) for the 2014 referendum to my readers and let them decide if they want to authorize borrowing of $10 million to make upgrades to the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex which will include repairing our local swimming pool. There will be no spinning of information coming from the City of Williams Lake/Cariboo Regional District in regards to this as it occurs in 2014

Finally - great work by Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren so far on the Nov 9th referendum for the North Cariboo Multi-centre and Director Dixon-Warren, keep it up!!!

-- SBF


Anonymous said...

With Canfor closing it's doors and people moving away how is it prudent to rack up this much debt for sonething non essential? The folks loosing their jobs I'm sure are wondering how to put food in their kids mouths not I wish I had a nicer rink.

2enranged said...

I, as a member of CRD Director Dixon-Warren's area, appreciate her informative perspective. I am opposed to spending $30m when I believe a plan B should atleast be given some serious thought. I do believe we need a new arena and a theater has been in the "planning" for 30 years. In 2001, when the City began "thinking", perhaps rather than thinking "big", they should have been replacing the old arena. I am very dissappointed in the councillors mentioned and I am also very dissappointed in Mayor Mary posting in Scott Elliot's FB after the last Kangaroo's game, that "there will be no Plan B". Are we really that dictatorial, or just insecure?

Anonymous said...

Of course you appreciate her perspective you are against the project (you say so right in your comment). This is the whole point. This Director is obviously against the project too. Fair enough, as that is her right, but don't try to BS us into believing she is neutral. Any blind person can see she is not. At least the others are honest about it.
People who are in favor of the project are just as able to express their opinion as you are and your "disapointment" is misguided at best.
I ask a question of those who are against this project in its current format...Did you bother to show up and participate in ANY of the processes that led up to this plan? If not, your criticism after the fact is typical of today's "negative" sub-culture who sit back and criticize everything but are unwilling to meaninfully participate in any tangible way.
Even if you did I'm 100% confident the plans were based on the feedback received from the community and that this feedback represents the majority of feedback received. Maybe it doesn't represent yours, but that's the fun of living in a democracy where majority rules.
Don't like it? Then get involved, get your friends involved, heck, even run for office. Then at least you're doing something.

Anonymous said...

Yes, majority rules until a mill shuts down, people move away and the debt is piled on to those of us still here. Not quite so fair now is it. Perhaps those that vote yes should commit to paying their share even if they leave town.

Anonymous said...

Council knew the canfor closure was coming, so why didn't they alter their plans at that time?

Anonymous said...

All the spin is coming home to roost on this council just like the ship of fools. Look at them haggards....they can't be sleeping well, and for good reason....its not easy to sleep when you're always spinning.