fake Bells Corners election (part 2)

Fake election cancelled! The bogus Westcliffe Estates Community Association doesn’t have a secretary or a treasurer, and its website is, as usual, all but blank, so here are my unauthorized draft minutes for the Pythonesque AGM.
at the table (7): Bill Quinn, WECA president-for-life; Marilyn Wong, former WECA treasurer (resigned); Adam Watt, alleged WECA vice-president; Jill Salley, former WECA secretary (resigned); Carolyn Robson, WECA youth representive; Catherine Gardener, WECA “accessiblity officer”
City of Ottawa: Nancy Cairns, one of Rick’s many “executive assistants”
(absent: Terrilyn Hawley-Walters, WECA “membership officer”; Roland Hall, WECA sports director)
in the audience (8): a crabby middle-aged guy, Adam’s kid and his wife, an elderly couple, an elderly gent sitting to my right, two young women sitting to my left, the friendly rent-a-cop. So 15 people for the only WECA public meeting of the year. 16 if you count the kid.
Have I forgotten anyone?
I’m not counting Jean-Luc Cooke’s wife Caitlin or her friend Jen Samuel from the corrupt Lynwood Village Community Association – they stayed outside.
Assuming that everyone except me had paid Bill the $10 fee to be a member, SEVEN people had the right to vote for the politicians who will speak on behalf of the roughly 5000 Westcliffe residents. Holy low turnout!
Don’t know about Tanya, but the other Rick-appointees/Coffee & Company insiders should hang their heads in shame. It’s NOT okay to appropriate PUBLIC resources and use them for PRIVATE gain.
Last year there were only THREE residents and most of the board was absent, so I guess seven this year isn’t so bad.
The planned fake election didn’t take place – ZERO candidates, so nobody to vote for. Bill will have to appoint someone if he needs another flunky on the board – only right-wing true believers with a mean streak need apply. Maybe Bill’s buddy and role model, fellow hug-a-thug Terry Kilrea is interested? Perhaps Lowell Green – bullies love pulpits.
Facebook bullies Sue Romaniuk or Lisa Marie Darragh would be a good fit.
Maybe Tristan Maack, the great owlhunter himself, who left this charming “anonymous” comment on my blog, will step up to the plate?
There couldn’t have been a vote anyway – the WECA constitution requires that 20 voters be present for the meeting to take place. So no business could be conducted (as is the case every year).
Nevertheless, a brief pseudo-meeting did proceed, revealing a few nuggets of new information.
It started late because Bill told us we had to wait for “the City of Ottawa representative” to show. My ears perked up – was Rick, Jim or a City planner the mystery tardy guest? No such luck, it was only Nancy, Rick’s “girl-in-short-pants” (hired to replace Rick’s hitman Jay Tysick).
Bill introduced the people at the table and then each one got a chance to speak:
Bill: “Everything’s great. Everyone wants sidewalks along the Westcliffe strip but what can we do? It’s classified as as a rural street (huh?) so ditches are okay. Myers is not cooperating. We made a capital expense this year for some sun shades.”
Marilyn: “Hi, I have a few copies of the financial statement. We have about 8 grand in the kitty.”
The woman to my left let me take a photo of the copy she was sharing with her neighbour.
Adam: “Hello, I’m the WECA webmaster.”
Jillian and Carolyn introduced themselves and then it was Catherine Gardner’s turn: “It’s been a good year for accessiblity – WE (?) managed to get a lot done,” she said, after listing all the roadwork projects on Seyton and Westcliffe and the new sections of sidewalk. Catherine and Bill are trying to take credit for the repaving?
Nancy: “Rick’s holding a budget consultation next Saturday at the Sportsplex so please come out and be consulted.”
I asked Bill about the Greenbelt being gobbled to the south (it’s already been approved – construction will start soon) and to the north (the transit plan calls for a tunnel under the Queensway from Bayshore to park light-rail trains on the Veggie Trail Farms/Shouldice leased land).
He had no idea what I was talking about.
I asked Bill if EVERYONE paid rent to use the building and he confirmed that WECA board members with home-based businesses (Terrilyn, Roland, etc.) and other friends get free access to boost their bottom line, just like at the Lynwood Park community building.
Scoop for WECA and LVCA board members: Jim’s budget has a $41M deficit, and the City’s top bureaucrats and shiftless middle-level managers (think Fremp) have to find the bucks somewhere.
So crooked community associations will no longer have building revenue as a cash cow – lucrative tenants will soon have to book through the City. Fake community association honchos will have to either impose higher membership fees or get even more corporate and political funding.

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2 Responses to fake Bells Corners election (part 2)

  1. Jeff says:

    I will agree that I was crabby, a result of the important issues being discussed. But is 37 middle-aged? I think I have at least a couple of years left before I have to wear that title.

    What do you propose to make the situation better? If everyone got the flyer in their mailbox and only 6-7 residents showed up, then what does that say about the state of community associations? This same declining interest is seen in other service clubs across the country.

    – I’m sorry for calling you crabby, Jeff – I was just yanking your chain. Ditto for the middle-aged crack – I would have pegged you for about 32.

    What do I propose to get more people to show up for a Westcliffe Estates Community Association AGM meeting? I have MANY suggestions for Bill, Catherine and Megan F. – this is just a taste:

    #1 Don’t charge admission. Since when is it okay to make people pay for the privilege of voting?

    #2 Be transparent – why should Westcliffe residents have to visit my blog to find out what’s REALLY going on at the “community” association? Why can’t basic stuff like the WECA constitution, the finances, the minutes from meetings, info on who gets the building for free and who has to pay, etc. be posted on the WECA website?

    answer: Because there’s something to hide!

    Bill, Catherine, Roland, Terrilyn and the other weenies: the councillor has your back but the Auditor General of the City of Ottawa has you by the short and curlies.

    #3 Avoid conflict of interests – it is NOT okay that insiders who are either board members or friends of board members get free access to the community building while regular residents pay through the nose.

    • Jeff says:

      Craig, I have pretty thick skin, regardless of what you call me, and I will still sleep like a baby at night.

      1# I agree with you about the admission fee for voting. Many people likely did not come to the meeting because they read in the flyer or on social media that they were obligated to provide $10 and do not see the value the community association can provide. To most people it’s that building in the park they have never been inside. As the financials showed, they do not need to charge membership fees, the amount brought in is insignificant and is not required to conduct annual business. I am not sure how the city mandates association governance, but if it can be done away with, it should.

      #2 I also see no reason why the annual financials should not be posted online. It is public money correct? As for meeting minutes, they should be taken and posted. At the very least, this will allow the community to see what is being discussed on their behalf and it may motivate them to engage with WECA, either because they agree with the initiatives or want to assist. Or conversely, they do not agree and want to ensure that their voice is heard. Either way, I see it as a win-win on the community engagement/growth of the association front.

      #3 Here is where we may disagree, and I admit I do not know the City’s regulations on this. If a board member is “very occasionally” using the community center for not-for-profit purposes and it does not conflict with another booking of the building, then I think we just overlook that. I would see it as a small repayment to them for the community service they provide by volunteering their time on the board. If it is for profit purposes, then anyone who understands ethics would likely agree that that is unethical conduct. One would hope that for people who do not have a strong ethical background, that there are City regulations that outline to them that they are doing something wrong.

      You have some very valid points here, my friend, and I certainly do not have the corporate and historical knowledge about the Bells Corners political dynamic that you do. If I could provide one piece of advice that I am sure you have heard before: if you want to have your voice heard in a meaningful manner, please consider toning it down, or frankly getting rid of the damaging rhetoric. Being the mean guy must get tiring after a while, right?

      Talk to you again,

      – Jeff, thanks for taking the time to comment. Finally someone who is willing to talk seriously about the issues I’m raising instead of just flinging insults at me. Some people think that if it’s only on Facebook they can say whatever they like free of all legal consequences and criminal prosecution.

      What Tristan and the other cyberbullies don’t understand: once you post something to Facebook you can’t take it back – a record exists and it can be used to sue or prosecute you. For example, if I were to post on Facebook “Jeff XXXX is stalking his ex-wife and the police are investigating” and then almost immediately delete the comment after gathering a few likes from people who hate Jeff XXXX, I can be sued.

      The Bells Corners cyberbullies should also know that, even if you make an anonymous comment on my blog, I can see the IP address assigned by your service provider. Normally Rogers, Bell, etc. won’t give up the customer’s address, but if the police ask for it they are forced to oblige.

      So when Tristan left his “anonymous” I-hope-you-fall-off-your-bike-and-die comment on my blog (and a lot of other really nasty stuff) he didn’t realize that I could tell who exactly had left the message. When I asked him about it he apologized. In any case, the comment itself is NOT actionable – it wasn’t a death threat, just a death wish. 🙂 But there have been a lot of other comments that ARE actionable, as you will see if you stay tuned to this blog.

      Here’s my reaction to your comments:

      #1 I’m glad that you picked up on one of my main points – WECA is lying when they lean on people to pay the $10 “tax” so that they can continue to run the rink and throw community parties. The rink is fully funded by a grant from the City of Ottawa and the parties more or less break even thanks to heavy corporate and political subsidies.

      It’s impossible to tell how many paid-up members WECA has because the line item also includes revenue from the sports activities. Take another look at the financial statement and tell me that there aren’t other things you can’t understand with respect to revenues from the building and how they are shared with the City. And there are other things that must make you go “Huh?”

      You ask some excellent questions about governance and the relationship between the representatives of the City of Ottawa’s managers and politicians – we’re getting close to the crux of the matter.

      #2 I totally agree.

      #3 This is where we need a longer conversation – can I buy you a coffee? I AM arguing that many community association board members (both WECA and LVCA) DO profit directly (financially) from the policies that they secretly adopt. When I was president/building manager/rink operator for the LVCA NO ONE had to pay rent and everyone got a chance to use the building for free, not just friends of insiders and those who can afford to pay the full price.

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