Purdy wants council to meet with centre staff

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One Petrolia councillor wants town council to meet with the staff of the Oil Heritage District Community Centre to hear their concerns about the possibility of the YMCA running The Centre.
Grant Purdy plans to raise the issue with Deputy Clerk Mandi Pearson after being approached by the staff.
On Oct. 25, one day ahead of the first public meeting hosted by the town and the Y, staff were notified in a meeting the town and the YMCA were in discussions. Just minutes into the meeting, town officials sent out a press release outlining the public meeting dates and introducing a website for public comment.
Social media posts questioned the timing of the announcement saying some staff members still in the meeting were getting text from friends who had seen the announcement on social media.
The new website and the town’s news release say the Y has committed to providing first consideration to all “current, qualified staff…to fulfill all available roles… Existing town staff will have first opportunity to be interviewed for and considered for job openings with the YMCA in Petrolia.”
But there is no indication yet if the same number of jobs will be available.
A number of public meetings have been set up in the next few weeks, including some with staff members. Last week, a half hour was set aside to discuss issues with Centre staff
Purdy says he’s been approached by staff members concerned about the process and what will happen to their jobs.
“When we’re making a big decision like this, it impacts a lot of people, we have to afford all groups that are affected an opportunity to talk to us to voice their opinion,” he says. “We owe it to all affected parties.”
And he believes it will be good for councillors to hear from the staff directly.
“Whenever a decision is made I make sure I am informed by all parties so I can make, at least in my mind, a full-informed decision.”
Purdy acknowledges this is a “sensitive topic” but he questions whether council should have been more public about the early discussions adding he doesn’t think discussions needed to be done in camera.
The town and the YMCA plan to meet with current members of The Centre Nov. 15 and 17. The first opportunity for the general public to ask questions is Nov. 17 from 3 to 4 pm at The Centre.  Questions will also be answered Nov. 20 at 6:30 pm at Victoria Hall.
The Y is scheduled to present a proposal to the town in December and could take over operation of The Centre as early as March

One Response to “Purdy wants council to meet with centre staff”

  1. New Day

    Council meeting with staff means P-Town is a complete shit show. Purdy should know that what he is doing is wrong.

    Reply

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