A new museum order

Local museum was not helped by this bitter infighting

I am a recent arrival in Parksville, and as a newcomer have read the local papers faithfully to get some idea of the local processes, thought and general flavour.

Your politics are certainly local. Some might say provincial in that there doesn’t seem to be much knowledge of a world outside this area.

A case in point was the great debate over the city councilor who voted on an issue in which she clearly had a conflict of interest.

This week it was the coup d’etat by a disgruntled former employee of the local historical society.

Having worked in a non-profit environment for almost a decade in the Lower Mainland, I would like to say that rules governing who can and cannot vote at an AGM are common and not “oddly-crafted” as mentioned in the commentary section.

Membership acquired within three months of an AGM is routinely considered non-voting. Many non profit societies deem it fitting to have restrictions on last minute joiners voting at AGMs to prevent exactly the brouhaha that occurred on Tuesday.

In the first place, why would 40 extra people show up suddenly with a disgruntled former employee at an annual general meeting, except to take over the existing structure on behalf of their friend?

How would they know and understand the issues except as presented by the one person with a vested interest?

How open will the process be if the new chair includes a close relative on the new board along with colleagues clearly intent on letting him do exactly what he wants?

This was not a democratic election in any sense. Coups never are. They are routs intended on avenging past history. There will be no one on the new board with a dispassionate and open mind.

Only time will tell if this takeover has achieved anything positive, but I think that anyone with a serious interest in preserving the historical society should join the membership quickly.

Oversight at the museum can be maintained only if the group includes people willing to look at all the aspects of the new order, and that is something that has little possibility at the moment.

Kirsteen McLean





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