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Letters: Fletcher’s Seniors’ Activity Centre Report Tonight At Mission Council
Dear Editor. I recently submitted some comments (critique below) on the Report to be given by Sharon Fletcher, Director Planning on Monday May 7, 2012 at the Mission Council meeting.
Bob Rodgers sent along a few “historical” observations that I am taking the liberty to share with you, below, just as his views seem to capture, in part, the massive frustration that exists after lo these near 7 years of little progress.
REMINDER, Important Report by Sharon Fletcher, Director Planning about Seniors’ Activity Centre “Open House & Questionnaire” results tonight, Mission Council Chambers, 6:30pm. Please check web.site www.mission.ca under “Agenda” find tonight’s AGENDA and read pages 165-170. Please try to attend and show your personal interest & support to efforts being made to “designate the Mission Community Activity Centre as a Seniors’ Activity Centre NOW”! As well, to build a new Activity Centre as “ability to pay” is established, maybe 3-5 years, if Amenity Fees and other Funding is achieved.
To date, until (recent) election of (new) MSCA Board, Seniors were at the (perceived) mercy of MSCA Board per se and presumably a Chair/President and certain Board Members (unknown) who may or may not have (pro-actively & comprehensively) represented ALL Membership & “Seniors’ Public at-large views”, often meeting in private, no Agenda/Minutes, seldom any progress report (written/verbal) and efforts to attain an Activity Centre were largely stagnant & unknown publicly.
Hence, the Elder Citizen Action Coalition (ECAC) emerged and our more vocal (public) views emerged and while we continue, we have extended a courtesy to Bob Ingram, to tame our sentiments (refer recent RECORD “Letter” and May Newsletter) but in essence, to give his (new) Board an opportunity to try and progress. We have, I believe, stated any objections & expectations clearly to Bob. Bob, has stated he is optimistic some announcement/headway will occur in due course, month or two maybe 3, but we (ECAC) have set September 1, 2012 as a deadline for action & Seniors’ occupancy of the Mission Community Activity Centre as a “Seniors’ facility”.
Lastly, while some recent (meetings) with the Mayor and/or others unknown, given, again no Agenda/Minutes of any meetings have been published, we must have so-called (blind faith) that while not something we are totally adverse to, nothing beats (personal) involvement and/or transparent public offerings of points discussed, agreed, impasse or clear idea of “what is to be adopted and when”?
My concern, as a result of the Sharon Fletcher (Report) now following a growing list of (Delegations to Council/Reports/Consultant Reviews/Focus Group/Open House) is four-fold, first, in the absence of any AGENDA/Minutes of MSCA Board (who actually is meeting with the Mayor and/or Councillor’s and/or Parks & Rec and/or Sharon Fletcher), second, what is actually discussed, third, tentative or firm agreement is made or pending? As Bob Ingram stated, a two-fold pathway (is) being followed and fourth, judging from content of Sharon’s (Report) and some (outdated/impractical points continuing to appear) are Planning/Council/MSCA/ECAC indeed on the same page and if not, what is to be done now to accommodate each position?
At first blush, ECAC has confidence in the (new) MSAC Board & will await the presentation on Monday night by Sharon Fletcher and observe any commentary by members of Council, before concluding anything pro or con achievement of Seniors’ needs, notably Seniors’ Activity Centre’s, temporary now & longer-term.
George F. Evens
www.thecouncilclaw.ca “click’ CONTENTS Elder Citizen Action Coalition
COPY OF COMMENTS BY BOB RODGERS
I seem to have the same reaction as you to this whole episode.
1. After all the previous work that has been done and the effort made by all involved since the first inception by the Mission Seniors Advisory Committee to look into the possibility of a seniors’ centre and what it may look like and could do for all seniors’.
2 The visits by that committee to the various centre’s in the lower mainland at that time, all of these centre’s that gave us input and support and sent representatives to have discussion with that group and the membership that evolved out of our Mission Senior Centre Association. Also the various centre’s that gave us a copy of their news letters or in some cases booklets and constitution etc., all in the effort to make this happen for our Mission seniors’ and to help avoid the mistakes that each of them made when getting their centre’s together before they were up and running. I for one after the many hours of research and visits I personally made by arranging meetings for those wanting to attend for these disruptions to take place.
3 The first was a door to door survey of the seniors in mission of which was compiled into a document and submitted to the Advisory committee for council
Then there was a submission to council of some thousands of signed documents from all mission residents stating that we wanted a seniors centre now which were presented to council at one of the councils meetings, and all the buttons that we wore making such a statement by members of the public to council and others that made us proud of our community knowing that they also were in agreement that a centre was long overdue
4 Then there was the Consultant that council paid for to tell them that which they should have known all along that seniors and youth in one area sharing was not a good idea for when you only have a limited space for activities and you have certain rooms set up for events that that equipment is stationery and cannot be moved it limits the use for both parties.
5 then there was the time I arranged for two busses to take anyone who wanted to go and visit two facilities, I also invited all of the councillor’s who wanted to come with us, alas only one came, Heather Stewart. These establishments went out of their way to provide us with food and treated us with the utmost respect. I think that everyone who went on that trip, one thing agreed was how their council in their areas treated their seniors was with the greatest respect. Their question to their seniors was “what can we do to make your life better”, for all the time that they, the seniors put in doing volunteer work in the community not only for other seniors but for their work for the community as a whole.
6 I would like to add that while all this time is wasted, many more of our seniors will never live to enjoy the last days of their life, in what I would call, enjoying the company of each other and making new friends and reaching out to those lonely and in need of such companionship. Bob
Critique by ECAC (George F. Evens) of Sharon Fletcher Report to Council
Dear Seniors’, District of Mission, Elder Citizen Action Coalition Advocates/Supporters, MSCA Board
We are attaching a link to the District AGENDA for Monday May 7, 2012 notably refer to pages 165-170. Sharon Fletcher, Director Planning will present a (Report) about Seniors’ Activity Centre “Open House & Questionnaires”.
Frankly, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry?????
First; “Short & Medium Term action options”, such as for example, 1. “appoint a seniors’ centre facility working group” – which has potential (conflicting) terms, in that first, there is a (Seniors’ body) notably MSCA but there could be advantage to a (broader Seniors’ group) or 6. assess the feasibility of a combined youth and seniors’ facility – something already discounted as in impractical terms & undesired.
Second; reference is still made to the impractical notion of the (temporary site, being used by Seniors’ six days per week 9-4 and shared Sunday and evenings with others).
Third; reference in the last document is perceived to have favoured St. Andrew’s United Church, whereas the flavour of this month seems to be more toward Pleasant view, with Fletcher Private Property still on the fringe but the most popular and preferred site since the outset, notably District owned land adjacent and in-conjunction with the Leisure Centre is not mentioned, beyond alluding to the (temporary) use of Mission Community Activity Centre site. But during “Location options” section, some vague reference is expanded to “Leisure Centre property” but whether semantics at play or reference is the current “Community Activity Centre” property or indeed, to adjacent “Leisure Centre” property. So, some clarification to actual (site) definitions may help.
Fourth; it is evident confusion persists in that a clear division of Temporary site & longer term site needs, must be divided and approached separately.
Fifth; in the “Proposal Overview” it is correctly stated, “Mission Seniors’ Centre Association’s mandate is to work with the District of Mission to establish and operate a permanent centre for seniors”, but frankly, some reservations still exist “are all Seniors’ needs & views being adequately represented & assertively sought”?
Sixth; “Preliminary Considerations” section, alludes to (timelines), which we respectfully submit ought to be immediate use of current Community Activity Centre as a designated Seniors’ Activity Centre and 3-5 years (not 5-10 years in document) for a permanent Seniors’ Activity Centre on adjacent Leisure Centre property. Thus, it can safely be stated,
1. Eliminate St. Andrews United Church, Pleasant view & Fletcher Private Property from options
2. Short term action options need to reexamine a more inclusive or even “let Seniors’ decide what they need and run the show” and by creation of a “seniors’ centre facility working group” leadership needs to come from Seniors’, not a continuance of “telling Seniors’ what they want & can have, when”; to provide “Staff Support” accordingly; point 2 is viable and should commence immediately; pt. 3 eliminate; pt. 4 in part, once immediately designated a Seniors’ Activity Centre will require some renovations now, abandon the 5-10 year idea touted; pt. 5 is a viable option in the 3-5 year plan scheme; pt. 6. simply proceed with separate planning for Seniors’ or Youth, do not bring into same equation or discussions.
At least, upon cursory review of details this is my initial reaction but again, review/discuss/plan two separate sites, immediate and longer-term, commence liaison between District and Seniors’, with further thought given to stakeholders & determined (players) from the conceptual needs & plans of longer term and immediate determination of Governance planning, scheduling and administration along with designated Operations Management of Volunteers & fee-for-service to function.