November 16, 2017

I feel the need to compose this letter and to share my thoughts with members of The Hub and the community of Almonte/Mississippi Mills.  It is lengthy but there is much to be said.

The current environment of bullying, harassment and intimidation of current Hub employee’s and Board Members makes me very sad and disheartened.

When did this become accepted behaviour for adults?  What would we say to our children if they behaved in this manner?  What example are we setting for the youth in our community when adults act like this?

I can only speak for myself when I say I am tired of all the good that comes from the Hub being overshadowed by all the negative comments/ actions and fear mongering being presented to the membership and the community from the Concerned Members Committee (CMC). 

The employees, volunteers, and supporters/shoppers of Hub and Rebound simply wish to continue to contribute to the good of the Hub and in return the good it pays forward to our community.

They should be allowed to do this in a safe, inviting, non-threatening environment.  This is difficult to do when member s of the CMC choose to be at the Hub/Rebound, places of worship and employment for many of these individuals and make vulgar, demeaning remarks or purposely block their entrance to spaces they are trying to move to while doing their job as an employee or volunteer.  Shame on each and every one of you who has behaved in this fashion and you know who you are.

The Hub/Rebound has been a success in Almonte since its doors opened in 1974.  The reason it has been successful is because of outstanding volunteers and employees and its strong sense of community.  We need this back!

Remember the Board of Directors is made up of Volunteers just like the majority of the membership. These individuals have gone a step further in making a time consuming commitment to Hub/Rebound especially over the last six months.  Each and every one of them like all volunteers has jobs, families, and numerous other commitments in life, yet they chose to be members of the board because Hub/Rebound is that important to them.

I have taken the time to get to know many of them over the last few weeks of turmoil.  I am so impressed by each and every one of them.  They choose every time to take the high road;

To quote Michelle Obama “When they go low, we go high!”

Each and every one of them has taken time away from work (some have used weeks of vacation time) and their families to move the Hub/Rebound to its new location while the process of determining the future of the current building is being researched by the Futures Committee.  How many members of the CMC helped with this?

I thank the current board members for continuing to take the high road and working in the best interest of Hub/Rebounds employees and volunteers.

Here are some facts to ponder as you consider participating in a vote to remove these volunteers. (A meeting to remove Board Members has been requested by the CMC and is scheduled for Monday Nov. 20, 2017 at the Old Town Hall in Almonte.)

  1. Why has the CMC continual refused to participate in further meetings with the Board and a Mediator? The mediator chosen has worked in Almonte for many years and has been instrumental in Making Mills Community Support into the outstanding organization it is today. He is a known community builder.
  2. Why all the negativity? What do you hope to achieve with harsh words, insults and rude actions?
  3. Much work needs to be done to bring by-laws up to date, and develop processes and procedures that protect the Hub/Rebound and its employees and volunteers. The current Board has made great strides in developing relationships, doing research and gathering facts with the Labor Board, WSIB, and Privacy Standards and Canadian Careers Academy. What happens to all of this work and knowledge if you choose to remove the people who have gathered it all, and developed the expertise to move forward as required by law?

The Board currently has 7 members it requires 5 more members to function as a full board and new members would be most welcome as there is much work to be done in the background to keep the Hub/Rebound on the path to continued charitable work for the community.

I do not wish to be part of a hostile takeover of a volunteer board.  The board and membership should function in the background supporting the work and establishing clear by –laws, policies, procedures which support employees and volunteers.  This is my experience with any Board I have been associated with.

Enough is enough!  I ask the CMC to come to the table with open minds and work with the current Board to build a strong, supportive environment as the Hub/Rebound move forward to continue to do great work in Almonte/Mississippi Mills.

When you are asked to cast your vote on Monday evening please do so with great thought and consideration.  Do you wish for the Hub/Rebound to be viewed as an organization which helps to build our community or one which is dysfunctional and unable to work with its own members?

Yours sincerely

Wendy Powell
Almonte, Ontario