Comment 83543

By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted December 06, 2012 at 10:28:06 in reply to Comment 83450

Chris Cutler:

Regrettably, you were absent from the last November meeting which was called at the WeverHub to introduce Mission Services to the Sanford/Wever neighbourhood home owners.

I was present at this meeting, along with more than 30 local home owners of diverse ethnicities, most of whom have been living in this neighbourhood for many years, and some for over three decades.

Unlike you, I witnessed first-hand the abusive behaviour of some members of the so called WeverHub -- whose existence, role and affairs, not one of the 30+ home owners knew anything about! Yet they all live not more than a street or two away from the Wever School/Mission Services building.

To their surprise and dismay, these 30+ neighbours were told that this so called "WeverHub" represented their interests, and it clearly appeared that they were according a very warm welcome to Mission Services, without the local neighbours/home owners knowledge or broad concurrence.

These large group of neighbourhood home owners had come to the meeting solely to seek answers as to how such a major change of use of a public building was allowed to occur without a transparent "public consultation" by Mohawk/Mission Services.

Instead of getting answers the 30+ home owners were shouted down and made to feel like outsiders in their own community by a bunch of individuals from the WeverHub - who talked and behaved like they were the representatives of the neighbourhood - when in fact no public process was ever undertaken by the neighbourhood or the city to organize and legitimize a neighbourhood association for this area.

I distinctly remember a 70+ year home owner had tears in his eyes, while another elderly lady was so upset that she got up and left the meeting.

On being told that time was up for questions by someone from the WeverHub, we were rudely rushed into leaving the meeting, as they had a pre scheduled WeverHub meeting to conduct. The school principal was present and I exchanged a few words with her on the way out in order to understand the unfathomably behaviour of those present in her school that evening. She was in a rush to get to the second meeting, and hence nothing was clarified.

As it turns out -- the second meeting after all the home owners in the neighbourood departed, was about city staff presenting to the WeverHub members, their final plans for replacing the Sanford School with a soccer field!!

The home owners in the neighbourhood were told to leave the meeting, so who exactly remained in the room for the second more critical meeting concerning the tearing down of a school building? And who gave the go ahead for the school to be torn down?

So Mr. Chris Cutler, before another heritage worthy building in our city falls victim to 'manipulated public consultation' and the ensuing 'public posturing', I sincerely request you to examine the dubious role played by the WeverHub in mis-representing the local community, solely upon which now stands the Board of Education's decision to tear down the Sanford School.

Blaming the BoED, its Chair or the local Councillor will not cut it any longer -- for, it was the WeverHub (for reasons which it alone knows) that gave them the totally unwarranted impression of a "broad community approval" to tear down a perfectly healthy building.

One can re-write history, but one cannot change the facts of last November's meeting where a large cross-section of the local community witnessed this charade first-hand.

While no doubt that WeverHub has actually been doing some fine work with kids programs, but in doing what it has done in its zeal to tear down a historically significant building, it has set an extremely poor example in civic duty for those very kids it professes to help so much.

Truth does hurt, and my apologies for any pain this has caused you or your organization, which is in serious need of fresh, innovative 'executive committee members' who represent the true cultural diversity of the neighborhood, and who truly believe in democratic principles and transparency of conduct.

This may be the only way WeverHub can make amends with the local community it has deeply hurt in its blind pursuit of growth by any means necessary.

It is for the funding agencies that empower organizations such as the WeverHub to ensure that such travesties do not occur again in the name of helping underprivileged kids.

Mahesh P. Butani

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