My wife and I have been proud citizens of Olds for almost 40 years, we have raised our family here and we love this town. We have always enjoyed the great community spirit and the amenities that come with living in a small town.
Many of these amenities have been provided by community-minded volunteer groups and we need to say a big “thank you” to all of these volunteers!
To say that I was totally shocked when I read that our mayor, councillors and administration had forced one of these great volunteer groups (Olds Institute) into bankruptcy, for no apparent reason, would be an understatement.
Olds Institute has provided Olds with services that only enhance our community - Mountain View Power & Gas, doctor retention and of course O-NET to name a few.
So, what were they thinking?
I believe that Olds Institute had previously met all of their financial obligations, as per the agreement with our town officials, so what could be their reasoning?
It is my understanding that the town's motion to “call in the loan” in May 2020, was done without any previous consultation with Olds Institute and that the first notification to Olds Institute regarding this action was a letter from the town’s legal counsel.
Following this “legal action," our mayor and council then refused to meet or discuss their actions with Olds Institute, citing it as a legal matter and couldn’t be discussed.
This does not sound like our town officials acted in good faith, while dealing with a volunteer group who only have made Olds a better place to live. Why did it have to become a legal matter with no prior attempt at resolution?
Yes, I’m disappointed with these actions of our mayor, councillors and town administration.
Many of you have likely secured a residential mortgage to provide a home for you and your family in the past.
Imagine this scenario if you will. You have faithfully made all of your payments, met all of your commitments to pay back your loan, have worked hard to improve your property and have started to raise your family. Then one day you receive legal notice that the bank has changed its terms and requires the mortgage paid in full within the next year or the bank will foreclose and you and your family will be evicted.
You too, had no previous opportunity to meet with the bank, so no opportunity to resolve any concerns they may have had with the terms and now it’s a legal mater and can’t be resolved without meeting these new terms. Chances are that you and your family will soon be homeless!
The above scenario would be very unethical and sad, and thankfully not likely to happen; but in essence this is what has been done to a tremendous group of citizen volunteers who collectively have “donated” thousands and thousands of hours to improve the quality of life in Olds.
Once again I ask what were they thinking and what message does this send to our volunteers?