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Heartfelt message to our Hub family

Heartfelt message to our Hub family

The Board of Directors of the Almonte Community Co-ordinators (ACC, commonly known as the HUB) is deeply committed to the members, the staff and the community we serve. Over the past five months, through our words and actions, we have worked hard to build upon social justice and the values that connect us with the people and organizations the HUB supports.

We realize this is a long message. We feel this is important information that needs to be shared in advance of the Special Members Meeting on Monday, November 20, 2017. If there are any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Board.

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH 118 MILL STREET?
When the Hub took ownership of 118 Mill Street twenty years ago, the organization knew the building had structural problems. In the winter of 2015, the Building Committee became aware that further deterioration had occurred. The Board sought engineering advice.

The previous Board was told the concrete slab at the entrance of the store needed to be replaced. As a temporary measure, jack posts were installed. This area is now in a safe state and will need to be replaced.

Given the costs associated with this replacement, the previous Board asked for a Building Condition Review. For a summary of the information, including the motion passed at the AGM, please visit http://www.thehubalmonte.com/2017/11/118-mill-street-state-of-building/

A “Future’s Committee” was formed to make recommendations about options for the Hub’s long-term location. We, like you, are anxiously awaiting their recommendations and cost estimates. Ultimately, the membership will make the decision.

As part of looking after your building (118 Mill Street) and your safety, the Board continues to work with Town officials. We are expecting an updated report from the Chief Building Official within the next two weeks.

WHO IS THE “CMC”?
The CMC is a self-appointed special interest group. They are not an official committee of the Almonte Community Co-ordinators.

While the CMC has said that they would like to resolve differences of opinion regarding Board decisions and direction, they have repeatedly refused to meet with the Board. CMC has chosen not to participate in collective problem-solving meetings that would have helped bring the organization together. For more information about the Board’s efforts to reach out, please click here.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE MEMBERSHIP LIST?
When you sign up as a member of the HUB, we ask for your contact information: name, address, phone number and email address.

In the past, we kept the list with all your information at the cash. This storage location was identified as too easy to access. The list has gone missing on many occasions.

We appreciate that on one hand, some members don’t have a problem with sharing their contact information. On the other hand, there are members who feel strongly their information should be protected.

In the spirit of cooperation and listening to all points of view, the Board has committed to bringing this topic forward to the membership for discussion and a decision. In the meantime, to respect the different views, we have not shared your personal information beyond name and mailing address when the membership list was requested by CMC. We did not want to speak for you – this is your decision to make.

WHY DO SOME PEOPLE FEEL HARRASSED?
When volunteers, staff, members and the community-at-large reach out to the Board of Directors informing us they have been on the receiving end of intimidation tactics, we take the complaints seriously. As a result, we have called out the behaviours in past communications. We have never named the identities of the individuals in question.

It is important for all of us to be aware of how our actions and words might be perceived as intimidating. Let us all remember the Hub’s core values of respect and neighbours caring for neighbours.

WHY SO MANY MEMBERSHIP UPDATES?
The HUB does not have a communication policy. The current Board made it a priority to keep members informed. Weekly updates were posted online, shared via the email list and hardcopies were made available for reading in the store.

The CMC contends that the Board has not been forthcoming with information, yet we have hosted multiple open forums, open houses, and tours, in addition to the weekly updates. We also continually encourage members to reach out at any time with questions, concerns or comments.

The move was proof our messages are being received by the membership and our community as a whole. For example, countless people showed up with trucks, food, and helping hands. CMC members did not participate in the relocation effort.

It should be noted the generosity and spontaneity of the membership and community is proof the Hub is effectively communicating and being heard. That said, we can always strengthen our outreach activities. We need your ideas and input to help the Board build a policy around communications.

IS THERE A LACK OF TRANSPARENCY?
CMC contends that the Board is not transparent. The Board has and continues to share as much information as possible, without violating privacy and confidentiality. Some examples of ways we have communicated on hot topics, without breaching the trust required of the Board, are below.

WHY DO I KEEP HEARING ABOUT VALUES?
The Board has repeatedly heard from CMC that the values of the HUB are not being honoured. We want to understand how the values are not being honoured. This is why the Board engaged in repeated attempts at facilitated meetings.

Our efforts were refused until the CMC agreed to meet the HUB Board with an impartial facilitator. At that meeting were two representatives from the HUB Board and two representatives from the CMC. A lot of work was done to develop a plan for a jointly created Information Sharing Session. Two days later, we were told the CMC were not willing to work to find a solution. More here: http://www.thehubalmonte.com/2017/10/important-message-to-hub-members-and-our-community-from-the-hubrebound-board-of-directors/

Instead, CMC called a membership meeting to dissolve the board. Details here: http://millstonenews.com/2017/10/special-hub-meeting-called-for-october-30.html

The Board continues to live the HUB values by ensuring we:
– give back to the community
– provide a safe workplace for all
– offers job creation programming
– support volunteer opportunities to people of different ages, abilities and backgrounds
– build partnerships through shared interests, values, and vision
– balance fiscal responsibility, growth and sustainability
– and so much more.

WHY UPDATE OUR BYLAWS?
The members, the Board and CMC agree – it’s time for a bylaw review and update.

At the Special Meeting on November 20th, CMC’s lawyer would like to change one of the bylaws from a range to a set number of Directors. A range is not currently permitted under the Ontario Corporations Act.

WHAT NOW?
The board continues to make the values of the HUB real and to support our community in meaningful ways. We have accomplished so much in a very short time.  Imagine what we can achieve together by working together and being together. So much is possible.

The CMC proposes that the current board be removed. Ask yourself … is it not better to build than to destroy? By working together, we can build a strong future, demonstrate stability to our community and continue the reputation of the HUB as a place that respects diversity and positive action.

Any motions at the meeting will be voted by secret ballot. You have a valuable and powerful tool: your vote is your voice. Please let your voice be heard.

Sincerely your ACC Board of Directors,
Heather Billings (613) 451-0483
Andrea Bird (613) 256-0525
Judi Barnard (613) 256-9330
Ingrid Harris (613) 256-5577
Judy Lawton (613) 618-7401
Maria Murphy (613) 461-0093
Mary Ann Murray (613) 406-5723

You can also email us at info@thehubalmonte.com