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I encourage you to apply for the Marble Board but ...

['Letter to the editor']
['Letter to the editor']

Dear editor: If you are a strong supporter of Marble and have ideas for improvements, I encourage you to go online and apply. Marble’s board needs good people with good ideas to advocate for progress. But having said that, I need to add a note of caution: don’t let what happened to us happen to you.

On Feb. 29, 2016 the previous board wrote Minister Chris Mitchelmore seeking direction and assistance. On July 12, 2016 the minister responded. The board was optimistic about the commitments the minster made in his letter.

He stated: “I understand the Board has grappled with the issue of how to properly solicit and secure private investment in a manner consistent with the resort facility's mandate to be a catalyst for tourism development in the western region.”

He went on to say his department had “advanced a Government Renewal Initiative proposal to work with MMDC (Marble Mountain Development Committee) to move the base area development plan forward. The goal of this plan is to bring private sector investment to the base of Marble Mountain in order to help increase revenue and contribute to the sustainability of MMDC.”

For a long time the Development Committee, and the Marble board, had this as our primary goal. Based on Minister Mitchelmore’s own words we were hopefully going to finally be making substantial progress.

The minister then went on to provide further details on his plan: “A steering committee has been established to address the wide range of activities associated with developing an investment strategy, seeking proposals, undertaking proposal analysis, presenting options and negotiating investment opportunity deals. The steering committee will include senior officials from the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development as well members of your Board. Supporting this steering committee will be a working group comprised of Departmental staff with expertise in business analysis.”

Wow, a Government Renewal Initiative, a steering committee, working groups, a real plan to move Marble forward.

The Minister then went on to add: “As we embark together on the process outlined above, the current MMDC governance model will require thoughtful review and consideration. In the coming months I will continue to work with you on these plans. I appreciate the Board is dedicated to the best interest of the resort and its future sustainability and I thank you all for your dedication and hard work.”

It should read “I thank you all for your dedication and hard work but remember if I get any negative Tweets I’ll throw you under the bus in a heartbeat.”

Up to the date the board was terminated, no Government Renewal Initiative, no steering committee had ever been established.

Not one committee meeting, nothing happened even after repeated Board inquiries.

It leaves me to wonder, did the Minister Mitchelmore use terminating the Board as a means to cover up his own incompetence and failure to delivering on any of his commitments in his letter?

I still encourage you to apply. Stand up for Marble, but remember who you will be reporting to and believe only what he does, not what he says.

If anyone would like copies of the two letters, email me at jerry.george@nf.sympatico.ca

Jerry George, Steady Brook

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