Monday, October 30, 2017

No News, is No News - UNA Mails out promotional materials.

I was impressed with the high quality promotional materials that the UNA Office sent to us this past week promoting the revised by-laws being presented at the AGM November 27, 2017.  7pm, Old Barn Community Centre.

I was, however, disappointed by a number of errors and misrepresentations contained in those same documents.  Statements like the service levy is a property tax, for example   While it may be analogous, it’s not actually a tax.  It was set by an agreement between Metro and UBC years ago and is embedded in our strata ground leases.   That’s just one example.

The disappointing thing is that after the UNA shut down the community newspaper they have yet to replace it with a viable communications alternative.  The web page is awkwardly set up and finding current affairs information almost impossible (try finding the AGM announcement, for example. Hope you have better luck than I did). The weekly email newsletter contains primarily promotional materials for community centre events and other commercial activities.

But here we are with an election coming and no actual communications of significance regarding it. There will, I am sure be a direct mailing now that the nomination period has closed. But there has been no opportunity to engage in the discussions that our community need to engage in.

For example, where do the candidates for directors stand on the role of appointed directors? Do the candidates support UBC’s imposition of the fire service levy?   Where do the candidates stand on the matter of the Stadium Neighbourhood plan?  
We won’t have an opportunity to discuss these questions in a reasonable manner given that the election period has been managed to be so short that there will be barely three weeks between declaration of the candidates and the actual AGM and election.  What a shame.  It could have been so different 

The UNA had more than enough time to set in place a proper communication platform that could have encouraged and engaged community voices   But instead they have resorted to the tired and true corporate model of control.

One can only hope that there are two strong, community-minded, democratically oriented candidates standing for election this time around.