After unveiling what I consider to be an innovative blueprint to facilitate opportunities for donations, naming rights and sponsorships as ways of funding the growth and creation of new programs and facilities in the Côte Saint-Luc, we had to put up with some unkind words from the likes of Gazette Newspaper columnist Henry Aubin and Pointe Claire Mayor Bill McMurchie,
A committee I chair worked for almost two years on developing a comprehensive set of guidelines that will encourage new donation opportunities.
This is a new step for the City of Côte Saint-Luc. We are a community composed of individuals, families and corporations that care deeply about the city we live in. Now we have clear guidelines to accept their donations, whether it be a park bench, swing set, works of art or monies to help build a new indoor swimming pool.
As the councillor responsible for issues related to toponymy, corporate identity and communications in the city, I worked with senior staff members, the other members of council and a number of residents with expertise and experience in this area.
Whether we are talking about the children’s section of our critically acclaimed library or a field at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, there are some wonderful sponsorship opportunities available. The option of sponsoring a city event, such as a concert or winter carnival, also exists. We hope that a large number of people with connections to Cote Saint-Luc will wish to exercise this new option.
I have already been approached by a resident who wishes to fund the purchase of some new equipment in a city park. The Côte Saint-Luc Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (vCOP) program is functioning thanks to the generosity of two car dealerships – Claireview Leasing and Toyota Montreal Nord (owned by resident Jean Alloul) – which have thus far underwritten the costs of the two vehicles used to patrol the streets.
All proposed projects will require the approval of council. There are many people whose families have a long association with our community. We want these people to know that the door is open for them to leave a legacy for a friend or a relative.
I have always enjoyed and respected the writings of Aubin. When he called to talk to me about the issue he was very positive. He said he thought it was great idea. Now I am a journalist myself, so I generally know how to judge the person interviewing me.I fully expected a supportive editorial from Aubin. Instead, he sandbagged us. And to make matters worse, he decides to quote one person---not me whom he spent probably an hour's worth of time with - but a negative mayor in Bill McMurchie who usually has nothing positive to say about anything. What does McMurchie know about our plan? Did he read it? If someone offered him six figures for naming rights to a city facility, would he turn it down? Was he not one of the suburban mayors complaining that we are overtaxed? Why could he not throw some support behind a municipality that demerged like Pointe Claire that is looking into some creative financing? I would be very happy to send him a copy of our guidelines. McMurchie's unfounded criticism of this initiative is shameful