From: Gerda Peachey <gerdapeachey@gmail.com>

Date: Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Subject: IN FOR A PENNY, IN FOR A POUND.
To: CKNW News Talk 980 <webmaster@cknw.com>, thehouse@cbc.ca, “Palmer, Vaughn (Vancouver Sun)” <vpalmer@vancouversun.com>, Fred Thiessen <fred.thiessen@gmail.com>, Abbotsford First <info@abbotsfordfirst.com>, Vince Dimanno <vince@deepbluecreative.com>, “R.A. Siemens” <hubmotors@telus.net>, Andrew Holota <aholota@blackpress.ca>, Mike Archer <mike@abbotsfordtoday.ca>, Marty Snider <martys@gmail.com>, bhutchinson@nationalpost.com, George Murray <gmurray@abbotsford.ca>

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Vince Dimanno and Mike Archer have, three times in the last few days, threatened a lawsuit over my questioning the claims Vince Dimanno has made about his title as President of the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association, ……..  well I suppose I should continue asking for clarity while I have the freedom to do so.

Rather than give a clear, calm answer to the rumours that have persisted for years: Rumours that said the original ARA collapsed in disarray around mid-2009. Rumours that there were no official, regular society meetings after that.  Rumours that Mr. Dimanno had not followed society rules about issuing proper receipts for membership fees and donations. Rumours that no proper bank account or financial statements were regularly made available to the people who started on that ARA journey with Mr. Dimanno, and who tried to work with him, to make Abbotsford Ratepayers Association a viable, quality counter to aspects of our municipal government that they perceived as wanting.Since the public threat of my being sued, via Mike Archer’s words on Abbotsford Today, and the Vince Dimanno email to Richard, I have had a fair bit of communication with those founding members, many of whom are my friends.

To begin with, Mike Archer, shown below, quarrels with my question as to whether Abbotsford Ratepayers Association and Abbotsford Today are one and the same.

Historically, I had good reason to think they were, because just before the 2008 municipal election, one of my friends asked me to help her distribute the second (of only two) hard copies of the infant ‘Abbotsford Today’.

I knew Vince Dimanno because I’d gone with my friends to 2, and possibly 3, of the inaugural meetings of the ARA.  I wasn’t impressed and did not accept the invitation to join, however when I saw my name was on a membership list, I phoned the Dimanno home number, and left a message asking that Vince remove my name from that list.

But I thought Vince was an okay guy, just not very good at running the ARA.  So my friend and I met Vince at his home and we loaded bundles of the 2nd and last hard copy of ‘Abbotsford Today’, out of the basement of his home, and my friend and I delivered the newspaper to the doors of homes in Abbotsford.

The clear impression that I got from all of the conversation with Vince and from my friends was that ‘Abbotsford Today’ was an extension of Abbotsford Ratepayers Association, and that those two hard copies of the launch of AT were funded largely by Vince Dimanno.

So when I sent my questions about the veracity of the continued, present-day claim that Vince Dimanno is President of the ARA, I sent it to the email address that I have for AT via Mike Archer.  The email also went to the slate of AbbotsfordFirst, a slate that hopes to place 5 candidates into the power-seat of Council on November 15th.

These questions of mine are indeed relevant to the slate, and to the election results, and for the well-being of my city.

The slate has some fine men and women on it.  The cloud that hangs over Vince Dimanno’s credibility needs to be cleared up because they have hitched their wagons to his horse.

And Vince could easily have answered my questions, below.  But his immediate response was lawsuit threats, for merely asking those questions publicly. Vince thereby has answered all my questions very, very clearly.  Is it that he cannot dispel the rumours, because the rumours are true? So he blusters and swaggers and attempts to silence me, hoping (I suppose) to deflect the focus entirely away from my simple questions and turn them into derision against me, the questioner.

Has the hint, whether overt or subtle, of facing the attack of lawsuit, derision or some other unpleasantness, allowed Mr. Dimanno to continue with his claims to a position and an association that has not been viable for some time, …… do those threats silence people who know the truth?

I’m glad Richard thought it wise to capture the ARA website, upon reading the ‘not-so-veiled’ threats of being sued.  So it was with interest that we noted a flurry of activity on that site, with some very significant alterations.  (see below)

My friends have for years wondered at the moxie of Mr. Dimanno’s confident assertions on major television, radio and print media that he is the president of a significant group, with large membership, when they could find no evidence of the group they helped found, as actually being in existence.

So now Mr. Dimanno admits that the government closed the society down.  He does not offer a date for that shut-down.  But though it has been shut down, and has not been legally re-opened,  he nonetheless tells us it will be with sadness that he will have to resign as ARA president upon stepping into his new role as councillor, as he is confident we the people will certainly give him our vote.

Nauseating!!

The ARA, when it did exist, was dysfunctional and did not follow correct society regulations.  Vince Dimanno continued to solicit funds even after most of the members left in disgust.  Cash can be used but cheques made out to the ARA were difficult because there was no bank account, so $140. worth of $10. membership cheques became stale-dated at 6 months.  Vince Dimanno asked one of the worker bees to telephone those cheque-writers, most of whom had actually left by then, to ask them to re-issue those cheques so that Vince could get them cashed. (My friend refused to do this.)

The story of Vince Dimanno and his purported current role as president of the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association, is one that could have readily been cleared up.  I was quite prepared to believe that Vince actually had gathered other members around him, and that my friends just did not know those people, and that the ARA continued on in more of an internet way.

But instead of showing a scrap of paperwork to authenticate his claims, and to dispel the persistent rumours, Vince Dimanno threatens to sue me.

Vince Dimanno and Mike Archer have used the medium of Abbotsford Today to rail against city hall.  Transparency has been a BIG word in their articles.  A lot of the things they have written and spoken are vital for the continuance of a healthy democracy.

I would have loved to see strong, clear, honest, intelligent leadership move into one of the three openings at the council table.

Vince Dimanno’s immediate attempts to smother transparency regarding his own dubious claims, show this man to be unfit to be a leader in Abbotsford.

Original letter to Mike Archer: 

From: Gerda Peachey <gerdapeachey@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 7:18 AM
Subject:
To: Mike Archer <mike@abbotsfordtoday.ca>

Hi Mike:

Can you dispel the persistent rumours about Vince Dimano and the ‘phantom’ nature of the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association?

This morning, for the first time, I have spent time on the computer to try to clear this up to may own satisfaction, but have not succeeded.

This threatens to drag down the names of some respected people, running on the slate with Vince, for a seat at Abbotsford city council.

Would you, or Vince send me the minutes of ARA meetings, for the past 5 years.  Would you ask Vince to send copies of the financial statements for the past 5 years.

Are Abbotsford Today and the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association, one and the same?

Would you ask Vince to provide a list of the membership names?

We’ve heard Vince constantly refer to himself as the President of ARA.  We’ve heard him state a membership of ?? (can’t recall the number I last heard)

But a number of Abbotsford residents were actively involved in this group, for the first year, and they are adamant that there have been NO MEETINGS, NO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, and that Vince conducted these meetings poorly, and only for the advancement of his personal aspirations.

These are very serious charges, and the ‘slate’ drive for a seat on council makes it imperative that Vince follow his own claims about the need for transparency.

I sincerely hope this charge of Abbotsford Ratepayers Association, being nothing more than a phantom group, meant only for the furthering of Vince Dimano’s political aspirations can be cleared up.

I am sending this to all the people who’ve been saying this, or hearing it. I’ll send the answer if Vince provides these documents to verify that a genuine ARA exists, meets regularly, has a proper bank account, shows membership list, and makes financial statements available.

Thanks,

Gerda Peachey

https://gerdapeacheysviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/vince-dimanno-mike-archer-and-gerda-peachey-on-the-question-of-abbotsford-ratepayers-association/

https://gerdapeacheysviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/vince-dimanno-how-simple-it-would-have-been-to-just-show-meeting-minutes-and-financial-statements/

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