Dear Editor:

Re: Volunteering for the Columere Park Community Association (CPCA) in Fairmont Hot Springs.

The CPCA board of directors came up with the idea to collect membership dues through the property tax, or to explore the possibilities of how to do it, and posted, on the publicly accessed website, minutes from the November 16th, 2014 meeting.

In the presentation by Wendy Booth, RDEK director of Area F, on dues/tax assessments to homeowners, there are only two ways RDEK can direct the vote on the issue: 1) by referendum for B.C. residents only, or 2) by petition through the mail to all property owners on title.

Unfortunately, a third way at the AGM was voting on it, which contributed to or triggered the uprising in our community. Wendy Booth distanced herself from having anything to do with it.

The CPCA board made a mistake posting the statement in the minutes. This statement is a perfect discrimination of non-member residents living in this community. The association has no right to vote on civic/public issues, also by the simple fact that they do not allow non-members to vote on it. The CPCA is not a government!

Volunteering does not give a right to anybody to discriminate against fellow citizens who do not want to be a members.

Shoving the unpaid dues summary in the financial statements is one of the examples of disrespect to the residents in this community, who do not want to be members of the CPCA. So is intimidating them by sending bills and past dues notices. And printing the red paid stickers intended for house windows. And the harassment by a board member in the public place of a pub.

I copy the words of my neighbour, Lloyd Gordon, from his letter to RDEK: Membership to any community association should be a voluntary decision that each property owner makes and is free to exercise, or not.

Freedom of speech or choice that we have in Canada is taken for granted. Some of us do not even realize when this freedom is taken away. I fled Eastern Europe 30 years ago, because of this lack of freedom there, we called it a dictatorship. And definitely, I did not expect to meet any similarities of it in Canada.

Those values, very important to me, were broken by the CPCA and for that reason I do not want to volunteer for this association, unless this intimidation

will end.

Daniel Bakos

Columere Park