Response to fundraising ideas ‘cruel’

Web Lead

To the Editor:

(Re: “Fundraising ideas a no-go for Creston town council)

Mayor Ron Toyota and Coun. Tanya Ducharme’s responses to Michael Bunn’s proposal were cruel — there is just no other way to say it. I phoned Mr. Bunn yesterday and apologized for their rudeness, and thanked him so much for being willing to step forward with ideas to help the town of Creston.

Mr. Bunn told me that he had the Creston and District Community Complex’s financials. Last year it took in $1 million and paid out $2 million. He wanted to help rectify that lack of sufficient finances, without having to up user fees to the CDCC, or upping taxes.

Mayor Toyota says he doesn’t want to get into competing with volunteer groups, and that was more or less echoed by Coun. Ducharme, who was concerned with “eroding the abilities of volunteer organizations to raise funds.” Giving/volunteering is not a competition, so that statement in itself is an oxymoron. Citizens that volunteer and come forward with ideas for helping should be applauded, encouraged and thanked!

If any volunteer group feels threatened by another volunteer group, then their motives are not right; hopefully, there are no groups that do feel that way, and those were just assumptions of Mayor Toyota and Coun. Ducharme. Giving and caring are not in competition — I can’t imagine thinking that duplicitous.

Mayor Toyota says that Mr. Bunn’s plead for the council’s help was a little premature and that the CDCC has to get approval from the Regional District of Central Kootenay — so please get approval! That’s your job. Help Mr. Bunn. Please do not think bureaucratically, but think flatline. Have the open-door policy to help people that are brave enough to come forward to help and care enough to spend their valuable time trying to help.

That being said, mistakes happen. This can be redeemed. Apologize to Mr. Bunn. You did vote to receive Mr. Bunn’s presentation for information. Talk to him about this some more, and please listen with openness, not fear of competition. I hope I soon get a call from Mr. Bunn saying that that occurred.

Rhonda Barter