CFN – Some people take different paths on their career tracks. Some aim for goals and effect them in mysterious ways. For Donna Primeau her path to her candidacy for Council in South Stormont has been to hijack the Chamber of Commerce and violate practices.
Sadly those violations only remedy would be costly lawsuits in superior court that would ultimately bankrupt the chamber that has fought its way from the brink of closure to only be hijacked and dragged back to the edge.
Not sure those are the standards to be brought to the council table, but Ms Primeau appears to.
My experience with Ms Primeau goes back to Reg Coffey and our assistance with the Long Sault Farmer’s market. We had been a key part, here at CFN, in helping the Downtown Cornwall market evolve until Denis Carr and his cronies decided to dump Gaye Adams and kill it.
We worked hard and watched the market in Long Sault explode. Reg would do a feature story each week during the season. While the market took out a tiny ad with us it was compensated by the monies earned by Reg renting space.
When Reg told me of the Chamber about to fold we took action. It’s turned out that Council candidate Dave Smith (Grumpy’s) had already had meetings with the Cornwall Chamber about absorbing South Stormont; which the past president had apparently wanted too; but we felt that South Stormont deserved its own chamber.
Ms Primeau pushed her way into the presidency with her cohort Kim Stewart of Stokefire being her VP. It was a disaster from there as Ms. Primeau clearly didn’t understand the concepts of chairing a committee or the role of President. She bullied into committee work and gave interviews about committees she was not on without consultation.
It was difficult to watch and when politely questioned privately she was highly defensive. When questioned publicly at a meeting she went on the attack.
Some of the antics including the charter which nobody wanted to look at and was dumped on Reg Coffey who is quite meticulous. At one meeting Reg made a presentation of a new proposed charter that was supposed to be reviewed only to have nobody review it and have to be moved to the next meeting only to see Donna and Kim show up with a new spanking charter that they’d taken from South Dundas because it would force members running for office to resign. Reg and I had already put our names forward for office and quite clearly felt that this was simply a weak attempt to push us off of the board.
I had put a motion on the floor to have membership dues cut to $49 per year to spur membership growth. This resulted in us going from 5 members to nearly 30 in a short term. The membership committee chair shared that we now had enough members. I was boggled when told that, especially as I was on that committee that never sat for a single meeting.
There was a push for something called SHIFT 10 that Donna and Kim were all excited about; but neither actually supported any shopping local initiatives. For example CFN was sponsored by the township for the Celebrate South Stormont shopping initiative that gave merchants discounted advertising; to the point of it only being $100 for a full year. Anyone that has ever purchased advertising knows how discounted that is; but Donna and Kim both refused to participate, and this was before I joined the Chamber!
A report was issued with the minutes to the member that clearly was false and meant to slag myself and Reg. At a meeting I challenged those minutes and it was agreed that the minutes were flawed and that they would be reissued. I turned the camera on because frankly Donna had proven that she could not be trusted.
Donna and Kim were unhappy and jammed through a new rule that said that only the secretary could record which probably would pass through any court challenges.
Regular Meeting Minutes
May 21st 2014
South Stormont Township Hall
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM
In attendance were Carol Delorme, Donna Primeau, Connie Charleboise, Reg Coffey, Jamie Gilcig, Harold Fues, Marc Racine, Kim Stewart, Julie Whalley, Bill Fry.
The minutes were not accepted as read, Kim Stewart has explained that she feels the minutes do not reflect some of the comments made at the previous meeting by Reg and Jamie. She wants it noted that Reg raised his concern of the leadership style of the current executive of the South Stormont Chamber of Commerce. Secondly, also note that Jamie showed concern of the “girlie” style of leadership of the chamber. Kim feels this comment is consistent with gender discrimination.
*At the meeting held June 18th there was a discussion regarding the minutes. Jamie asked that his wording be changed as printed in the minutes and an apology be included to both him and to Reg. As a result of this discussion Kim has volunteered to, on behalf of herself and Donna, to write an apology/correction to both Reg and Jamie. It is posted in the next paragraphs.
We are apologizing to Reg for misinterpreting his comments at the May 21st meeting. During that meeting we stated that he “questioned the leadership style of the current executive” in fact he actually said “questions the actions of the members of my committee.” We were in fact assisting with the by-laws at the time of the comment. We apologize to him and the Board of Directors for any confusion the incorrect wording may have caused, however the identity of the intended people being referenced by the incorrect and the correct comments is still the same.
We have agreed to issue an apology to Jamie Gilcig as we have been corrected in our account of his wording as recalled at the May 21st meeting. He is stating he did not say “girlie” which by Britannica-Webster definition is “a young person of either sex”. He instead has confirmed he said “girlish” meaning “of, relating to, or having characteristics of a female child.” That being stated we are apologizing for miscommunicating his exact wording but we still feel these innuendos have no place in our meetings. This apology is being issued based on unauthenticated information provided by Jamie.
Kim Stewart & Donna Primeau
This was followed by an email from Ms Primeau. She didn’t realize that what she did was wrong and couldn’t be done as per the charter of the group so she simple revised it; again another violation.
At the request of a majority of the South Stormont Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and as per section 19 of the South Stormont Chamber of Commerce Bylaws titled, ANNUAL AND OTHER MEETINGS OF MEMBERS, which reads:
- The annual or any other general meeting of the members shall be held at the head office of the Corporation of elsewhere in Ontario as the board of directors may determine and on such day as the said directors shall appoint.
At every annual meeting, in addition to any other business that may be transaction, the report of the directors, the financial statement and the report of the auditors shall be presented and a board of directors elected and auditors appointed for the ensuing year and the remuneration of the auditors shall be fixed. The members may consider and transact any business either special or general without any notice thereof at any meeting of the members. The board of directors or the President or Vice-President shall have the power to call at any time a general meeting of the members of the Corporation. No public notice nor advertisement of members’ meetings, annual or general, shall be required, but notice of the time and place of every such meeting shall be given to each member by sending the notice by prepaid mail, telegraph or e-mail, ten days before the time fixed for the holding of such meeting; provided that any meetings of members may be held at any time and place without such notice if all the members of the Corporation are present thereat or represented by proxy duly appointed, and at such meeting any business may be transacted which the Corporation at annual or general meetings may transact.
Please consider this email notification of a closed general meeting of our members to be held Wednesday, July 9 at 7pm at the South Stormont Township Hall.
Also, as per section 3 of the South Stormont Chamber of Commerce Bylaws titled, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, which reads:
- The affairs of the Corporation shall be managed by a board of twelve (12) directors, each of whom at the time of his election or within 10 days thereafter and throughout his term of office shall be a member of the Corporation.Each director shall be elected to hold office until the first annual meeting after he shall have been elected or until his successor shall have been duly elected and qualified. The whole board shall be retired at each annual meeting, but shall be eligible for re-election if otherwise qualified. The election may be by a show of hands unless a ballot be demanded by any member. The members of the Corporation may, by resolution passed by at least two-thirds of the votes cast at a general meeting of which notice specifying the intention to pass such resolution has been given, remove any director before the expiration of his term of office, and may, by a majority of the votes cast at that meeting, elect any person in his stead for the remainder of his term.
The purpose of this meeting will be to review the membership of Cornwall FreeNews, South Stormont News, Coffey’s Coffee, Jamie Gilcig, and Reg Coffey.
You see you can’t review any members membership in this manner which again simply seemed like another attempt to remove Reg and I from the chamber without cause.
This email serves as a reminder of the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, July 9th at 7pm at the South Stormont Township Hall. At this meeting, the following motions will be presented:
Motion 1 – Motion to the Board of Directors and the members to remove Jamie Gilcig as a Director effective immediately.
Motion 2 – Motion to the Board of Directors and the members to remove Reg Coffey as a Director effective immediately.
Again, you simply can’t do what you want willy nilly. There is a Board of Trade act to respect which Donna and Kim clearly have not.
Further irony is the clear maliciousness and pettiness of the very act in that this was our last meeting before our scheduled AGM where all board members resign and have to be voted in again by the membership. Why the drama? Only Donna and Kim can answer that.
We are postponing the AGM from September 17 to a date to be determined. We are hoping for the third Wednesday of October and will confirm that date as soon as possible. We are working on finalizing the by-laws through a lawyer and through the Board of Trades Act. As per the South Stormont Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting in July, the motion is that these by-laws be in place prior to our AGM. The September 17th meeting will now be a Board of Directors meeting only. We thank you for your patience while we transition to the new by-laws.
However the ladies delayed the AGM, not once, but twice, and also not provided minutes or requested info like the proxy votes, and have had further secret meetings. What’s most disturbing is that they have hired legal representation; but one board member sent an email clearly raising a further flag.
Ohhhhh crawl off your high horse Jamie, geez, you just don’t get it , read the email!!! We must wait for the approval of the bylaws , she’s not doing this on purpose, it’s for the better of the chamber.And if she would of needed money from the chamber , she would of had a meeting, it’s all private money, from who? Well that person will remain private unless he/she wants to come forward.So back off. Let the president run the show properly, like she always been.Rant over, take care all!
Have you ever heard of a private party supplying legal support for a board? Neither have I; but that’s what many of the members are scratching their heads about; many who have shared they simply are going to not renew their memberships.
Clearly there was a push by a few people to roll our chamber into the Cornwall one; but that is opposed by quite a few and of course illegally pushing Reg & I off the board seems to be a way to help that agenda along.
How does Dave Smith say he supports local business; but not join the SS chamber and want to roll it into Cornwall’s which has issues of its own?
And what does Donna Primeau bring to the table as a candidate when she can’t follow procedures that have existed for over a hundred years?
What will happen to the South Stormont Chamber of Commerce? I’m not sure. There certainly are enough businesses to make it thrive; but that can only happen if they pull together and want to make it happen.
Frankly it’s been sad and utterly unnecessary exercise in weirdness.
As for Ms Primeau’s candidacy, the public can decide on October 27 if this is the type of leadership they wish to have…or not.
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