Letter to the Editors
Barrhead Leader, Community Voice and Lac Ste. Anne Bulletin
 
 
Dear Editor:
 
Re: the up-and-coming community of Sion
At two o'clock this afternoon there is a historic plaque unveiling taking place at the Dunstable School, not far from the historic community of Sion, which features the historic old Sion Hall and the relatively new, only partially built, new Sion Community Centre.  Thereby hangs a tale, as follows:
As a participant in the activities of the Sion community and an observer of Sion community politics, more than two months ago I received in the mail a two-paragraph announcement dated August 17, 2005.  It came right out of the blue, on half a sheet of blue paper, addressed to All Sion Community Area Residents.  There was no letterhead and no signature, but simply an announcement from some anonymous person saying a meeting was being called for Wednesday, August 31, 2005 at the Dunstable School at 7:00 p.m.  "A committee will be formed to revitalize the Sion Community League with the intent to dispose of all Sion property and assets," said the announcement, explaining that the intention is that proceeds of such disposal of property and assets will be forwarded to the Dunstable Communities Historical Society.  All interested persons were invited to attend.
As no one seemed to be taking responsibility for putting out this announcement, most of us in the Sion community ignored it, but I did talk to my Division 1 Councillor for the County of Barrhead, where I live.  Councillor Marcel Gauthier advised me that the next meeting of special interest would be a meeting of the Dunstable Communities Historical Society to be held, again at the Dunstable School, on October 29, this time at 2:00 p.m., for a historic plaque unveiling.
I have been looking for an opportunity to meet with my old friend and political colleague Ken Kowalski, MLA for Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock, and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, so I gave Ken's office a call and asked if he could be there, as I was hoping to be there as well, and I wanted to talk to him.  It turned out that Ken was in fact planning to attend the event, having already been invited by Dunstable Historical Society President Bill Wilson.  I sent Ken a two-page document I had prepared, titled A SION FARMERS' MARKET PROPOSAL, which I proposed to circulate at the Dunstable School event on October 29.
Subsequently I faxed a copy of the same proposal to the Barrhead County office (I live in Barrhead County) and I spoke to County Administrator Dale Urbach.  "Dale," I asked, "Can you be at this meeting?"   I indicated that I would like to discuss with him and Ken Kowalski the contents of my two-page proposal that we try to set up a Farmers' Market on the site of the old and new Sion community halls.  Dale wasn't sure that he could come, and then less than half an hour later I received a telephone call from a farmer who lives about a mile west of the Sion Community Hall.
The gentleman introduced himself to me as Gene Miller, and announced that he is President of the Sion Community League, and as such is empowered to implement the disposal of all Sion property and assets, and to forward the proceeds to the Dunstable Communities Historical Society.
"I don't want you distributing your papers at this meeting," he said, "and I don't want you to speak at the meeting!"
I was stunned and for a moment I had a hard time finding words with which to respond to his commands.  I advised Mr. Miller that if the Sion Community League has in fact been revitalized, I wasn't aware of it, and if he had in fact been elected as its president, I wasn't aware of that either, and I was even less aware that his new position of authority entitled him to announce that the property and assets of my community are to be confiscated and liquidated and the proceeds turned over to his new Historical Society.
I had some difficulty getting him to admit that he was the originator of that mysterious announcement of August 17 which came to Sion residents right out of the blue, on half a sheet of blue paper.  "Did you by any chance take minutes of that meeting, Gene?" I asked.
"Yes, I did," he replied.  
"Gene," I continued, "I have no animosity towards you.  I have no desire to speak at your meeting and I do not have a psychological need to peddle my papers at your meeting, but I plan to be there in any case."
I subsequently discussed this with my friends Richard and Dorothy Arndt at the Nakamun Superette, near the Sion Corner, who have a substantial stake in that old and new Community Hall.  "Mr. Miller is going to have to publish those minutes," Dorothy said.
Dorothy is right, and when Gene Miller does publish those minutes I want to see what's in them.  I kept thinking about the Dunstable Meeting to be held today, and the more I thought about it the more discouraged I became, until I finally admitted to myself that I had to book off sick.  I couldn't attend.
Instead I am reporting this to you as a newspaper Editor.  I am looking forward to Gene Miller publishing those minutes.  I would like to know who attended that meeting at the end of August, who nominated Gene Miller as President of the revitalized Sion Community League, who seconded the motion, and who were the authorized Sion Community League voters who voted him in.  Was that meeting by any chance stacked, and was it even legitimate?
Most of all, I want to know by what process of reasoning Mr. Miller was supposedly empowered to announce that in due course the property and assets of the Sion Community League will be liquidated and the proceeds turned over to a new Historical Society.
A copy of the Legislature Speaker's reply to my correspondence is attached for your information.  I had to regretfully advise our MLA that since the man who calls himself the President of the Sion Community League had tied my hands and gagged me so that I couldn't speak and peddle my papers, my attendance and silence at that meeting might be misinterpreted as "silence is consent."  That would be so far from the truth that I found myself sick and unable to attend.
In summary, when my friend Gene Miller publishes the minutes of the end-of-August Dunstable Meeting it will be interesting to see how he was supposedly elected President of a revitalized Sion Community League and in the same breath was empowered to devitalize that revitalized Community League by instituting measures to confiscate and liquidate its property and assets!
Thank you, Sir or Madam Editor, for accepting my letter.  Let's just see what comes of this!
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Len Stahl
Steering Committee Managing     Director
Sion Farmers' Market
(I am also and perhaps more     appropriately known as the Sion Village Idiot, who keeps asking too many questions     because what he doesn't know about all this might fill a book).