Living Space board in Timmins denounces petition to fire its executive director
TIMMINS -- There are at least three petitions circulating in Timmins calling on municipal leaders to make the city safe again.
One of the founders of the Timmins Safety Coalition said the hard-copy petition that can be found in some local businesses is asking for accountability with tax dollars to protect public safety.
"This isn't directed at one organization, this is just overall for the city," said Kerri Blais. "We just need to make a change. We need to work together, come together; and talk about what could be the best resolution for the safety of our community,"
Another online petition asks for the resignation of the executive director of the Living Space shelter. Its board of directors is sticking up for its employee.
"I get that there are people in the community who have issues with the way business is being conducted or how homeless services are being delivered by Living Space, but none of that is the result of any one person's actions," said Brian Marks, chair of Living Space's board of directors. "Especially the executive director ... to attack a person like that is not acceptable."
In a recent letter to the people of Timmins, Marks said:
"Timmins was in damage control before Living Space existed and its executive director executes the decisions of the board of directors and has the board's support."
What's the plan?
The Timmins Safety Coalition said its members are aware of the need for more services for people who are homeless, and for people who struggle with mental health and addictions. But they want to know what's being done.
"What is the mayor's plan of action?" asked Blais. "What are they doing? What are their steps? Residents would just like to know that, OK, they've got this, they've got it under control or we have something going and not just we're going to meet and talk about it. Meeting and talking about it gets tiresome for residents when they still see the actions happening."
But Marks said that before people launch petitions, they should do some research.
"Seeking information and accurate answers to their questions might be a good place to start," he said. "I for one have never received requests to attend anything, to answer any questions."
He also said that faulty assumptions ignore all the ground that has been gained over the past two years in bringing agencies together to address the complicated issues the city is experiencing.