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General News · 17th January 2010
Jenny Hiebert
As Regional Director I endeavored to maintain a neutral stance on all issues. Therefore, I was puzzled by Director Anderson's assertion (Jan. 15 letter) that I had emphasized the need of a tax to support Core Funding for Manson's Hall. A brief history of the creation of the Alternate Approval Process now before the community follows.

In 2007 the SCCA approached me, as your Director, with the concept of developing a tax to support Manson's Hall. An investigative meeting with both halls took place. The concept was discussed with CSRD staff but never got off the ground. The SCCA executive continued to press for a tax.

May 26, 2008, at the Vancouver Island Library Panel Discussion the SCCA executive presented a full report of needed hall maintenance and announced to the 50+ folks present that all other halls in the district recieved tax funding.

Nov. 2008 I stated in my last Howling Wolf article that both the Official Community Plan and the creation of a tax to provide hall core funding "would benefit from a larger community discussion" and that a Community Assessment of the latter would be placed on a projected 2009 priority list. (To me "Community Assessment" meant open community participation prior to an initiative moving through the board process.) Staff and Director Anderson received this list.

All that followed was done solely under the guidance of Director Anderson. The following information was gathered primarily through research of the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) minutes and Tideline's Regional Director's Special Section.

July 2009 Director Anderson mentioned in a Discovery Islander article that other halls in the SRD are funded by taxpayers and she would soon ask Cortes to consider the same.

August 27, 2009 the SRD Board approved the expenditure of $7500 from the Cortes feasibility study reserve fund to cover the cost of developing a business plan for a community hall grant service for Cortes Island.

August 31, 2009 representatives from the SCCA and SRD meet for vision & budget sessions. 14 people attend. (The list of attendees is available as Appendix C of the SCCA business plan. See next item.)

October 29, 2009 the SRD formally received a 149 page business plan from the SCCA dated Sept. 22, 2009. (The public can access this report by searching the SRD Board minutess available on line.) The SRD Board also voted that a bylaw to establish a community hall service for Cortes Island be prepared for further consideration.

Nov. 26, 2009 the SRD Board gives the Cortes Island Community Hall Service Establishing Bylaw #55 first, second, and third readings.

Dec. 20, 2009 in a report found on the Tideline Director Anderson announced that her next article would focus on the upcoming approval required to support our community halls through taxation.

January 8, 2010 Alternate Approval Process Forms arrive at island post offices.

January 15, 2010 letters from Director Anderson and the SCCA arrive in local mail boxes.
Comment by Jack Wills on 24th January 2010
"I do not aspire to neutrality. I have values for which I trust I was elected "- Noba Anderson

Perhaps there is a misapprehension on my part.
When I vote, I am voting for a person who would listen to the views of the electorate, then represent those views at the forum to which they were elected. I voted for a repersentative, not a carte blanche to promote a personal agenda.
Re: the three readings of bylaw #55 at one sitting, it may be "legal" though as for ethical.....perhaps less so.

Jack Wills
A neutral approach
Comment by Jenny Hiebert on 24th January 2010
Yes,as director, I made a conscious decision to set aside my personal point of view and remain neutral on all issues because I felt the position of regional director demanded I represent the point of view of the greater community not my personal point of view. . Being neutral enabled me to maintain an open mind, to be approachable to everyone and compelled me to actively seek direction from the community via public meetings. In aspiring to remain neutral, the principal values I was governed by were due process, open public consultation, and transparency.

comment on neutrality
Comment by Noba Anderson on 22nd January 2010
I did not write, say or intend that Jenny “emphasized the need for a tax to support core funding for Manson’s Hall.” I wrote that Jenny “emphasized that this issue needed further attention.” I was very careful about the distinction because she did not express her opinion to me, or in writing to you, on this issue. As Jenny states, she “endeavored to maintain a neutral stance on all issues” as your Regional Director. This is not my approach. I endeavor to maintain an open mind and to hear all sides of the issues. I do not aspire to neutrality. I have values for which I trust I was elected - community health and resiliency, as supported by our community spaces, is a strong one.

Noba Anderson