Why I should say yes!
By: Tina Pelkey
Why should I say yes! As a volunteer committee member for the Central Carleton Recreation Complex, I wanted to put into words what I have learned in the last nine months about this project and the significance of this piece of infrastructure for our future as a sustainable community.
I am looking at a cost to me of approximately $100.00 per year based on an average assessment of $120,000. Why should I take on this cost? This 7.5 cents per $100 of assessment will come directly back to my community to support this project – my tax dollars working for me.
My neighbour said yes. For close to 50 years, the citizens of the town of Hartland have born the cost of the Hartland Arena entirely on their own. My parents, myself and perhaps my grandparents, have been a part of this facility and enjoyed its activities for nothing as a resident of a LSD. Now the citizens of Hartland have asked for my help. They would like me to share this cost equally – seems like a fair request.
If I don’t say yes, my children and grandchildren will have to travel to Woodstock or Florenceville to partake in these activities. I have been told that my cost to do this is $288.00 per year just from Somerville and I live farther away than that. That’s more than $100.00. If I say no, the Hartland Arena may close. I saw the same type of service disappear in my home town of Bath when their hospital disappeared and they did not even have a choice in the matter. I watched as business after business closed and now those residents travel farther for groceries. I can do that now if I choose, but do I want to have to drive further. Maybe that is why the business community of Hartland said yes. They understand the importance of traffic to a town’s survival. Just this week, Blackville’s Mayor is saying I don’t want to be a drive by town.
Nelson Mandela said that “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.” “Access to sport and physical activity is a fundamental human right. Sport is well-recognized as a low-cost and high-impact tool for development and a powerful agent for social change. It is a culturally accepted activity that brings people together and unites families, communities and nations.” This is a direct quote from Sports Matters. Nearer to home the new complex in Edmunston bears this inscription as you enter the building – “As my ancestors planted for me, so too do I plant for the generations to come. Maybe that is why Andy Clark says that this facility is key to new families that come to our school. They love the idea of a new school and a hospital that’s close but what about recreation?
Fifty-five percent of our LSD families have children. Twenty-three percent of our LSD population is 19 years of age and younger. It is their future that I am voting for. The citizens of Hartland have said yes. The businesses community has indicated their support of this project. The decision is mine. Can I say no to the future? Can I say no to the children and grandchildren that I have yet to meet? I think not