Re: “Residents speak out” letter-to-the-editor from Kerry Proudfoot, published in the Star May 30, 2013.
My innate sense of fair play compels me to respond to Ms. Proudfoot’s letter, as I also attended the May 13 Town Hall meeting in Bradner and wonder if we in fact attended the same meeting! I can’t speak to her claim that Mayor Banman has a certain disdain for her personally but I witnessed nothing in their verbal exchanges that evening that amounted to the Mayor chastising her in an insulting manner…not once, certainly not twice. I recall her being asked to wait her turn to address the invited panel (Mayor and several Councilors, the City Manager, other staff, and representatives from our police, fire and engineering departments) but is she so thin-skinned and self-important that she takes a request to wait her turn as a personal affront?
Ms. Proudfoot moves on to quote the Mayor (now widening the scope in claiming he insulted all of Bradner and Mount Lehman) as saying “Why would you care about arts and culture? You’re just a bunch of farmers out here.” I heard no such thing! Early in the evening a woman from the ratepayers group that had organized the meeting challenged the Mayor and Council to be more fiscally responsible and “quit wasting money on arts and crafts!” When the Mayor was able to address that and other money-related issues he commented that he represented all citizens of Abbotsford and that some of those citizens placed a high value on arts and culture and that he was sorry the woman thought it was a waste of money.
Continuing with her barrage of Mayoral misquotations, Ms. Proudfoot harkens back to a July, 2012 Bradner Town Hall Meeting where she claims Mayor Banman “accused us of not being farmers – saying we all lived in 10,000 sq. ft. mansions with swimming pools.” I’m seeing a trend here now – I was also at that meeting and don’t recall anything resembling that statement! The Mayor did say that the best way to save the farmland was to farm it.
The rest of Ms. Proudfoot’s letter is nothing more than a personally motivated character assassination of the Mayor and she plays fast and loose with the truth, which is her well-established modus operandi. If I put it in quotation marks, it must be true? At the May 13 meeting, one hot topic was the recent voting by the Agricultural Advisory Committee re: endorsing (or not) the West Abbotsford Business Park proposal. It got heated and ugly and after repeated attempts to explain the voting history and process, Mayor Banman had to stand there and endure multiple, angry shouts of “Liar! Liar!” The group that didn’t like the outcome of the committee’s vote just couldn’t believe their position hadn’t prevailed and had a temper tantrum that any two year old would be proud of.
Having lived in Bradner for 14 years my observations of Kerry Proudfoot and her gang of self-righteous do-gooders reveal that is is they who are guilty of the charges she makes about the Mayor. Her group are the bullies and it is they who do not take kindly to folks who do not share their views. Last July a speaker in favour of the business park was booed and catcalled and at a later public hearing in November I was heckled as I read a sampling of Ms. Proudfoot’s histrionic writings that are regularly published in the Bradner Barker and local papers. At that hearing a woman from the anti-everything group thought that if she kept on misusing the legal phrase “without prejudice” she was then permitted to make racial comments about some of the supporters of the project. On May 13 a gentleman from the ratepayers group complained that while there was no money for a new Bradner fire hall and police station, there was money for the new fire hall “up near the Taj Mahal on Blueridge”. This group is so smug and self-righteous that they think they are the final arbiters on everything and speak for everyone. Structures they don’t approve of are “disgusting monstrosities” and if you don’t agree with their points of view then you are a moneygrubber and in league with the Devil.
Well, these self-serving racists certainly don’t speak for me and I would urge anyone to please take the impassioned bleatings of Ms. Proudfoot and her cohorts with a pillar of salt and ignore her closed-minded, biased and outright false “reportings” of any future public meetings or the goings-on at city hall. Thank you.
Bruce Giesbrecht, West Abbotsford