Dear Editor,

I attended the AGM for the McBride Community Forest on Saturday October 22, 2016.

I don’t even begin to understand all of what the community forest is all about.

But these are some things I took away from the meeting:

1. We paid out during 2015 (not including anything from 2016) in professional fees of 140,000 (minimum) for the “professionals “ to make a crucial mistake of not renewing the cutting permit, causing people to shut down their operations and a result of employees having no work.

A local manager would have been fired for this mistake.

2. The board could not find minutes of the last AGM, so if they can’t be organized to do this simple task how can we trust that they can even run a community forest?

3. The new board of director (candidates) were chosen without the input or knowledge of the shareholders (village councillors) and they were chosen because of their expertise and knowledge and dedication to the operations of the community forest and yet two directors didn’t make the meeting?

I also saw the passion of many people who were frustrated with the processes, the delays, and the direction that things seem to be taking. I commend those that spoke and asked questions. I heard Tom Ryan’s frustration in the lack of direction he hoped things to take. I heard Raj Basran’s heartfelt frustration and compassion for his business, his employees and their families and this community he calls home — the community we all call home.

Whether or not I agree or disagree with any of these people is not the issue. We are all passionate about our community. We all have different ideas about the direction that things should go with the community forest or our municipality.

The one thing I did see was that things seem to be run as a dictatorship not as a team effort. We should be using the expertise that is around us, coming together for a common goal. The disrespect I saw from a board member bringing up the past and not looking forward. The frustration on the council that they were not included in the process of choosing directors.

This saddened me as I care about our community.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t claim to know much about the actual operations of the community forest. However I do know about fairness, honesty, integrity and being respectful.

Beth Frederick
McBride, B.C.