Brand opposition should be applauded

Author wonders how many tax dollars will go into Ashcroft brand before it is discarded.

Dear Editor

I want to thank people like Ray Bewza, Doreen Lambert and all of you who feel that you were shut down but still continue to raise questions regarding the Branding Process. It takes tremendous courage to speak out. Many of you still believe that we live in a democratic society and that asking questions, expecting transparency and having rousing debates is all part of the freedom that we hold dearly. Nothing is more dangerous than people not caring. Then again, I think elected officials who don’t listen to the people can be just as dangerous. Remember the HST debacle.

I think that Ashcroft has a costly issue with which to contend. It has sickened, angered, and stressed out many of its residents – the exact opposite of wellness. Although I do know some people who can’t stop joking or laughing at this whole process. At the recent Branding Process meeting, cost figures were not available. I did get an immediate response from Michelle Allen, our Village Administrator, the following day. These numbers have been circulating for a while. To be brief: Roger Brooks – consultant – $15,963.76, Donna Dixson etc consultant – $26,950. Rounded off $43, 000 on consultant fees. An NDIT grant covered these plus costs for new signs, pins, mugs etc. Michelle did stress that the Village did not contribute any funds from our own general revenue. But she did concede that yes, NDIT is taxpayer’s money – just a different pocket. Deb Arnott from Community Futures did obtain a grant back in 2004-05 for Economic Diversification to be shared with Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Logan Lake. There was not a breakdown for consultant fees but she did state that $25,000 came from the federal government and $15,000 from Community Futures. Check out NDIT website to learn more about what they do. Many of their projects are tangible, our tennis courts being one such project.You can also ask the Village and Community Futures for more detail. Remember it is our taxpayer’s money.

In hindsight, did anyone on Council or any of the volunteers even blink an eye or drop a jaw at how much money was being spent? Did anyone even consider other ways to get the branding information? I just saw and ad in the Kamloops News advertising “Branding: More Than A Logo” Seminar through Community Futures for $59. Go to Small Business BC to check out this program. It offers video conferencing etc. Free online research could have reaped inexpensive ideas as well. Maybe Ashcroft  was the first to jump on the branding wagon and this information was not available and so we had to blaze an expensive path.

Now our hardworking volunteers/ambassadors with Jackie Tegart and another Head Volunteer are going to try to raise $6,000-$8,000 for a three-day Wellness Fair next summer. Whose pockets will be picked? You and I – one way or another through taxpayer’s grants, donations, fundraisers that compete with what other organizations, schools and churches do. Expect to pay as well when you attend the Fair or maybe it will all be free. I dream when I can. When does this stop?

However, just maybe our dedicated ambassadors will step back and reconsider their next steps. I dream again. Is there an inexpensive seminar that deals with how to fix a costly mistake? I have a healthy, happy idea for the volunteers that could result in measurable outcomes. How about raising money to pay for a consultant (big dollars in the consulting business) that will assess the costs of stopping the train whistles? Like Rick Mercer in “Why I Rant”,  I rant for common sense, justice and transparency.

Maria Russell Martin

Ashcroft

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read