By Mike Archer. AbbotsfordFIRST candidate Vince Dimanno today responded to accusations made by candidate Gerda Peachey about his management of the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association (ARA) as a ” … phantom group … only for the advancement of his personal aspirations.”
In an email reply to Abbotsford Today Dimanno said, “I am proud of what the ARA has accomplished. It has mobilized people and inspired citizens to be more engaged in local politics. I am so proud that, if I am no longer the President, I will continue to identify myself as the Founder of the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association.”
The facts in your column are entirely correct, however, there are a couple of items to add that will clarify the situation for you.
The Abbotsford Ratepayers Association currently has 89 paid members and a communication network of more than 500 Abbotsford residents. We maintain bank accounts, a web site, and an email discussion and notification system.
The Society itself was dissolved by the Provincial Registry last year, but not due to a lack of activity. It was due to our inability to meet the minimum requirements of Directors to conform to the Society Act.
According to the Provincial Registry, according to the Canada Revenue Agency, according to our bank and according to our members, I am the President of this Association.
However, it is with a heavy heart that this won’t last for long. According to our Constitution, no elected official can be a Member of the ARA, let alone be a Director or the President. So, feeling confident that I will receive the support on November 15th to try and make changes in our community from the Council table, I will have to resign, in full, shortly after voting day.
At that time, I will once again put out the call for volunteers from our membership to take on the role of Directors, but if those volunteers don’t step forward, the ARA may have to consider becoming even less formal, or dissolving entirely. This matter will be put to the 89 members of the Association for consensus.
To be fully transparent, the ARA does maintain a bank account. That bank account may have funds in it. Should the decision by Members be to dissolve the ARA, any monies in that account will also be dealt with. Historically, we give to local charities and I hope that the membership will agree to donating all of our remaining funds to the local food bank. Should the Association disband, I will publish our final Financial Statement, including disbursement of any remaining funds, on the ARA web site.
To summarize, I am proud of what the ARA has accomplished. It has mobilized people and inspired citizens to be more engaged in local politics. I am so proud that, if I am no longer the President, I will continue to identify myself as the Founder of the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association.