A Christmas Grinch appeared at the Jan 14th edition of Carleton Place’s committee of the whole. The committee received a request from the local Rotary club to refund a facility rental fee of $200 for its booking for a senior’s Christmas dinner on Dec 9th of last year. This project is one that the club has been running for several years and involves hosting seniors from town retirement facilities for a festive feast along with a good helping of camaraderie and music. Councilor Theresa Fritz spoke against the request, with her opinion that it would be setting a precedent as many service clubs rent town facilities for charitable causes. Town staffer Joanne Henderson provided some background on the request.
She indicated that on the day of the event, after the hall had been set up by staff for the dinner, a problem developed with the elevator putting it out of service. She quickly arranged to use the canoe club’s hall, notified the Rotary folk, and had staff set that facility up for the event. As transportation was arranged for attending seniors, a series of calls and new plans had to be made at the last minute. Rotary paid the fee and then sent in a request for a refund. Councilor Andrew Tennant suggested a compromise and amended the motion to refund half of the rental fee. When the vote was taken, 3 members voted for the partial refund and 2 against (one councilor was absent). But committee chair Toby Randell voted against the motion and declared it defeated as the vote was tied. He, like Fritz was worried about setting a precedent.
But in the end, the residents of Whoville got their Christmas back as councilors Tennant and Randell decided to pull some funds from their own discretionary accounts to make things right for the good folk at Rotary.