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LETTER: Support our community builders

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May 29, 2018 - 9:10 AM

 


OPINION


During this most recent four year City of Vernon council term there has been a campaign of destructive attacks on those in our community who have worked hard for many years dealing with the difficult, unglamorous issues that all Canadian communities experience. This campaign seeks to discredit and malign the constructive, collaborative, and effective efforts that have been made by many of our concerned citizens, without a view to personal aggrandizement or self-promotion. For example, this year marks more than a decade since the initial formation of the Social Planning Council by a broad coalition of those citizens.

The council was formed by those in all segments of our community who wisely saw the value of working cooperatively, and collaboratively, to provide targeted solutions to identified issues through Partners in Action committees. Those committees were tasked toward a single identified issue or need in our community, and each drew ideas, support and expertize from a broad cross section of our human capital. This design has been so successful that it has been used as the model in other communities. To its credit, the Social Planning Council has been asked to consult to other communities.

It is unconscionable that Annette Sharkey from the Social Planning Council, and Councillor Juliette Cunningham, because of their association with this work, have been the subject of repeated personal public attacks by a small group in our community. It is one thing to have different views on how to deal with societal issues. That can be healthy, and constructive. It is completely malodorous and despicable to attack people personally for the work they have done, in good conscience, for the benefit of our community. Councillor Cunningham, for her lifetime of work, was chosen for the Vernon Woman of the Year award from among an incredibly deserving group of candidates, during her present council term. 

Please support those in our community who work positively and cooperatively to solve difficult problems. Leaders bring a community together. They don’t knowingly tear it apart by purposely introducing conflict. Leaders represent all in the community, including those less able. Please support those who have shown they work to actually build a better community.

Sincerely,
Rob Sawatzky


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