Last Word On The YMCA Debate?

After a series of emails between Today Columnist Walter Neufeld, and Stephen Butz, president of the YMCA in Vancouver, further to an in-depth interview with Abbotsford Today, a the debate now appears to be at a close.

The two men have engaged in a spirited debate over the YMCA proposal.

Mr Butz’s most recent response to Mr Neufeld included a request to stop sending the emails.

Dear Mr. Butz,

Your most recent response asks me to stop sending you personal email messages. These exchanges have not been personal, they’re business.

It’s becoming ever clearer to Abbotsford taxpayers why you’d like me to stop asking relevant questions and why you’d prefer to remain in control of the agenda and the pertinent information this community desperately needs to make an informed decision.

Doing the promotional Abbotsford Today interview put you front and centre of this community’s YMCA debate. And yet, as president & CEO of Greater Vancouver YMCA you refuse to answer questions important to this community. Most good folks out here find that very troubling.

We all live in this community and pay property taxes based on the efficiencies of our local governance but you appear to be asking us all to butt out and quietly defer to the decisions of City Council?

Does YMCA really expect to be gifted almost $70 million tax dollars and also expect this community to remain quietly uninformed?

While you appear to prefer that community accept YMCA’s canned questions & answers without further question, YMCA’s published promise agrees to answer all questions (see “Frequently Asked Questions” below where it states, “We are keen to answer all questions regarding the proposed Abbotsford Family YMCA.”).

Are you aiming to make that promise meaningless? This community wonders whether or not it can expect actual transparency?

Web lInk:

Abbotsford taxpayers deserve more respect than they’ve been given to-date.

This community looks forward to an informed response.
Walter Neufeld

On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 8:05 AM, Steve Butz wrote:

Hi Walter…

In consideration of your comments Walter, I wish to reiterate what I have stated to you a number of times already…

No, I do not speak on behalf of the Abbotsford community. To my understanding, nor do you. I do however, speak on behalf of the YMCA and why we wish to invest in Abbotsford. We have shared that perspective openly for the past two years and continue to do so.

The citizens of Abbotsford is represented by an elected Council. They, with the support of City Staff, are responsible to make their decision with regard to the YMCA proposal within a framework and process they deem appropriate. We fully respect this approach and quite willing to provide any information to facilitate this informed choice .

It is also my understanding that Council is responsible to consider all points of view on the matter which, in light of your multiple messages to date, would include yours. To this end, I would respectfully ask you stop sending me personal email messages. I am well aware of your point on view on this matter as I am sure Council and City Staff are as well.

Thank you. Steve

Stephen Butz

President & CEO
801-1166 Alberni Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 3Z3
(T) 604.622.4961 (C) 778.384.9622
(E) (W)
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For previous parts of the debate simply click here.

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