“Jumping The Gun” Caledon East Revitalization Committee Replacement Group
On June 15th 2018 the Caledon Enterprise posted an article titled “Caledon East revitalization group disbanding.” In the article Co-Chairs Andrea Prieur and Jacqui Viaene and active member Adrianna Roche spoke to the Enterprise stating “they don’t want to put anyone down, but a lack of tangible support from the Town of Caledon and a little volunteer fatigue is why the group is likely done.” Read the article here.
Not soon after, on June 20th, 2018, Nick DeBoer, Area Councillor and Jennifer Innis, Regional Councillor submitted a letter to the editor thanking the group for their hard work and offering a solution by setting up a meeting on July 12th 2018 for a possible creation of a new group named Caledon East Residents Association to get residents feedback and involvement. Read the Letter to the Editor here.
When tagged in a Facebook post asking Andrea Prieur and Jacqui Viaene if they were involved with this meeting, Andrea Prieur replied:
Just heard about it this morning….just wondering why now? Especially when we started out as exactly that in 2008…residents and business owners – having meetings at the Town and with Town staff listening to our deep concerns about the visual status of our downtown, until other projects came along and we were running as a “well oiled machine” to continue what we were doing and fly with it. Fly is what we did. Our members were asked to be on multiple advisory groups as we had a good strong voice. Everyone wanted to have CERCs support. We have delegated to council 4 times and requested budgets to support hardware/beautification/streetscape items with very minimal approvals…and even less implementation. We had a meeting 2 years ago directly with staff and council and couldn’t get the town to help purchase Canada 150 banners. CERC bought them…so many other towns budgeted to do what we proudly displayed. How were they able to buy all pan am banners but have nothing to support the new streetlights/banners that are now sit empty right in front of the Town of Caledon Head office? We have been told sooo often that there simply is no budget for beautification…certainly not in an operating budget. Now the fight is between the region and the town to see who manages/pays for anything on our two main roads in Caledon East. An exciting email to CERC In 2015 stated the Town would start to cover any replacement and maintenance or installation of our hardware on the banners. WE WERE PUMPED. Only to meet a year later with the Town telling us they now belong to the Region and in fact there was no longer any budget/support. PLEASE Make this new group simple with the ability to see some large project implementation …throw some great events but stay away from all the red tape, paperwork and using the group for other means. Come on Town of Caledon…support the beautification of all village spaces. Make them a consistent look to make us all feel like Caledon. Take that part off the hands of the residents to allow more focus on community and business events to showcase what we do have!
Jacqui Viaene replied by saying:
Andrea Prieur WELL SAID. If any of you have any question now it should be answered. And make NO mistake: it is the TOWN OF CALEDON CORPORATE who should be doing this to entice retailers and businesses into their core villages and also if my corporation was in the middle of a village, I would make damn sure it looked amazing. Take Husky, Mars, Canadian Tire etc., etc….take pride in where your corporate offices are. Take pride in your community. Take pride in your home and yard. If everyone just paid attention to their place of work and home, this town would look a lot better.
Prematurely trying to set up a new group when the original has not yet been officially disbanded and without notifying the co-chairs of the Caledon East Revitalization Committee is a little disconcerting. What would make this new group any different with respect to getting Town’s support?
The only way any of these groups will work is if council and Town allocate money to them in the 2019 budget.