Reader questions council’s vote on library board application

Thank you for the opportunity to explain to your readers a matter that troubles me greatly and may be of concern to others.

Dear Editor,

Thank you for the opportunity to explain to your readers a matter that troubles me greatly and may be of concern to others.

As an interested, concerned citizen of the Rimbey area, having been a part of this community for 40 years, I attended the meeting of town council on January 13, 2014.

One of the items of business was a motion regarding Gayle Rondeel’s application to be appointed to the library board.  There were no questions asked by council members re the duties or qualifications of members of the library board and no questions or discussion regarding the applicant. There was a call for a secret ballot – the only secret ballot of the meeting.  Following the vote, the mayor announced the results: “defeated”.

My immediate response was to question “why” and during question period”, I asked three questions.

What are the qualifications required for sitting on the Library Board?

The reply from Council was interest in literacy and learning; ability to work with people and groups in the community.

I then asked if council has faith in the librarian’s ability and experience to recognize good potential board members?

The reply was a suggestion that I ask Mrs. Keetch that question.

I asked council on what grounds, other than personal prejudice would a council member vote against a motion that would put Gayle Rondeel on the library board?

The reply was a reference to the answer given to the first question.

I was puzzled, and I still am wondering why Gayle’s application was rejected.

Based on her track record of community-mindedness, her experience working with people, and her commitment to getting the job done, she would seem to be a shoo-in.

During the time she was president of the slo-pitch association, Rimbey got its ball-diamonds. While she was vice-president of the soccer association, Rimbey got its soccer pitches. When president of the Kinettes, Gayle received the outstanding president and master club award. Under her leadership the local Farmers’ Market has grown from fewer than 10 tables to one of the most innovative and thriving markets in the province.

As town councillor she worked successfully on several committees and it was she who initiated the   Friday afternoon sessions aimed at giving the public an opportunity to meet informally with elected officials. As a point of interest, at the opening of the library, when it was located at the Co-op, Gayle was asked to represent the general public at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Adding to the mystery as to why her application to join the library board, which is a volunteer position, is the fact that in the nine years of Jean Keetch’s work as librarian; and in memory that stretches back to the creation of the library board, no other applicant has been rejected.

I have pondered council’s decision for several days and I have no answer as to why. I have only more questions.

Does council not realize how important the board is to the operation of the library? (It is currently short three members.)

Does council not realize how valuable volunteers are, and how difficult it is to find them?

Did council take into consideration the effect its decision might have on other potential volunteers?

Is it perhaps that the individuals on council were not aware of Gayle’s contributions to numerous boards, and to the community she has been a part of for more than half a century?

Or is there something rotten in the Town of Rimbey?

One final question: Will council, in the wisdom that comes with hindsight, reconsider its decision?

Florence Stemo


Just Posted

Influenza hits hard in Alberta

Flu season hits hard

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Ice fishing enjoyed by all

Crestomere 4-H members enjoy ice fishing

Major announcement planned for Tuesday at Westerner Park

Hopes are that the CFR will be relocating to Red Deer

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

UK’s Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, engaged

Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, will marry Jack Brooksbank in Autumn 2018

German nurse charged with 97 more murders

Niels Hoegel, serving a life sentence for two murders, has been indicted in nearly 100 more killings.

Two men guilty in murders of Alberta family could face 75 years

The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus’s parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta

With Senate talks falling short, U.S. shutdown enters workweek

President Donald Trump accused Democrats of prioritizing services and security for noncitizens over U.S. citizens

Toronto mayor wants city to co-host 2026 FIFA World Cup

The mayor of Canada’s most populous city says he wants Toronto to be among the North American cities to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup

With a lighter touch, SAG Awards follows a familiar script

Morgan Freeman accepts the Life Achievement Award at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday

S. Koreans burn Kim’s photo as N. Korean band leader passes

South Korean activists burned a large photo of Kim Jong Un as an extremely popular girl band passed them

Most Read