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General News · 20th February 2010
Sue Ellingsen
Dear John
“Your silence will be counted as support”- is intended to alert those of you who wish to object that it is time to do so. I’d say it worked fine. It is not an invention of Noba, but provincial law. Policies deemed adequate for the rest of the R.D. are deemed suitable for Cortes Island also.

“I applaud Jenny for taking the initiative”- I too applaud Jenny -but too bad she didn’t take the initiative to move on this when she was director. Jenny can assure you that this proposal comes as no surprise to herself or to those of us who attend SCCA meetings. The Community asked her to persue this funding three years ago.

“Proposed by-law 55 has enlightened the community to the lack of transparency -“ If you attended any of the SCCA AGM’s or were involved in any way with the SCCA you would know that there is full transparency for anyone with the time and interest to be there.

“Why were costs allowed to spiral out of control---“ Insurance for the community hall is $5,000 per year. Do you pay insurance, John? This has gone up lots since the 70’s and 80’s. Board members can no longer jimmy the wiring to save costs. The hall is a public assembly building and it is now necessary to hire a ticketed electrician to do repairs and changes. The Board is responsible for operating the building to public health standards. Furnaces have required replacing to the tune of $9,394.00. Fuel for these cost $8,405 from 08 to 09. You need to keep the tenants warm. Not so long ago you were on the Board of the Firefighters, (who are, incidently, funded at $1.00 per $1,000 assessed value) So you will be aware that the Board of the SCCA has spent tens of thousands to bring the building up to fire code. Haven’t seen you volunteering at the hall or at the Spring clean-up? Which volunteers do you think should be operating the hall, anyway?

“Whaletown Community Association-“ is quite a different association. Fewer programs are offered, they control and facilitate no long term rentals, they have far fewer short term rentals, they operate a much smaller and less complicated physical plant and perhaps have a stronger volunteer base at this time. Their heating costs alone are probably not more than 20% of what it costs to heat Manson’s Hall.

“A costly white elephant” You may be right, but some feel there is value to having a community meeting place and venue to operate those “expensive programs for the benefit of the few” I thought they were for all of us. Did you get a letter excluding yourself only?. You may have excluded yourself from the community experience by not participating or volunteering.

“What has gone wrong?” The times are a-changing. The volunteers are a little worn out. We live in a fabulous supportive community with half a dozen organizations with volunteer boards -and we have superb volunteers, but we need more to spread the work around.

So, John -I presume that you and those other folks who do not wish to fund the hall through taxation will grasp this opportunity to jump in, get onto that SCCA Board, do the fundraising just like it used to be done, maintain the building, do the bookkeeping) it’s more complicated than it used to be), hire cleaning staff,(or do it yourselves) do the maintenance, and hire a hall manager (unless of course you find you don’t need one) If you can do it all with volunteers, I say good for you. Best of luck, Sue
I agree and how about some compassion!
Comment by Lovena on 22nd February 2010
Thanks for this very well written letter! I have not wanted to get into the banter, but have been extremely frustrated with the negative tone of the letters; how about a little compassion for Noba!! She is actually DOING SOMETHING in her term as Regional Director; which is more than many others have done. It's so easy to throw stones, and I personally was shocked it was a former RD that was revving every body up, as she surely knows it's a thankless job and not a fabulous salary for the amount of work. I hope that Jenny at least had a LONG phone conversation with Noba, before she started writing all these letters, or perhaps a meeting in person. Come on folks, we all make mistakes, especially when we are new at the job, and especially when we are trying to get a lot done, like OCP reviews and funding for Halls. Let's have some kindness and compassion. There are real concerns in this world, like earthquakes in Haiti, let's use all this juice to get something done, rather than point fingers at each other.... and I heard not one person volunteered to be on the SCCA board. Let's view the current board for what they are: community heroes keeping the organization going. Thanks to all those on the SCCA board and those tireless Hall managers.
Thank you
Comment by Laura on 22nd February 2010
Thank you Sue for your words, well put !
Further Clarification
Comment by Richard Trueman on 20th February 2010
Considering only 456 people voted last election, 220 Nays are a sizable amount. I would think those who took the trouble to fill out and sign the form might be the people who take the time to go to the polls.
Just to clarify
Comment by romina on 20th February 2010
According to the 2006 census there are 1042 residents of Cortes. 815 are over the age of 19. All these people share the cost of living on Cortes whether through ownership and/or rental, and all these people use the services on Cortes in some form or other. 220 does not represent a majority.
Thanks, Sue
Comment by Catharine Bushe on 20th February 2010
Couldn't agree more with you letter, Sue.
Thanks Sue
Comment by Peter Jackel on 20th February 2010
Thank you, Sue, for taking the time to reply to John. I think you did a good job of it.