Friday, October 9, 2009

Report to Members

Addendum: November 4, 2009. Went to the board meeting yesterday. A member Rob Morgan, a former DERA board member was there and when I was verbally abused by a director he came to my rescue : what in hell was this director doing as I was a "little old lady" and no one was showing any respect towards me. The problem with the Board is that they all come from abusive backgrounds and those that have been abused abuse. In any event there was a board meeting but the executive director never showed and since he was to report on his activities the meeting was not very informative. I kept some notes and will comment on them later.

Another open board meeting has been called for Tuesday, November 3rd 2009 at Solheim Place 251 Union Street (Chinatown) 9th Floor at 6:30 p.m. Spread the word. These meetings are more entertaining than reality tv.604-685-9987

Addendum: October 31, 2009 (Saturday). I walked up Hastings towards Cambie to view the dressup costumes this evening. Everything was orderly. In front of the DERA office I spoke briefly to David Cunningham who told me I was wasting my time trying to find out why XXX was fired on Wednesday. I told him I was a director of DERA/DERAH and I have a right to know. David then told me that none of the the boards in the DTES have any power so what was the point of I knowing. Only paid staff have power. He mentioned he knew why XXX was fired but he would not tell me the reason. As he was talking to me he was throwing crumpled up paper towels (12 sheets) on the sidewalk in front of 16 East Hastings. I asked him to pick up the sheets but he refused. He has no respect for the lands of the Squamish people. The best part was he called the police to report me postering the windows at 12/16 Hastings. When the police officers arrived I was told I could be be charged with mischielf. I explained to the police that I was a director of DERA therefore I could not be charged. One of the police officers had a name tag called Chu. This whole DERA thing is getting stranger and stranger. Now the truth has come out that janitors are making policy and not the Board. David Cunningham is the son of Russell Cunningham. Russell Cunningham boasted even before XXX was fired to tenants that he was in line for XXX's job. XXX's job is the second highest position in DERA. In defense of XXX, XXX is a new Canadian, has worked all XXX's adult life in Canada, goes to Mexico once a year to visit XXX's aging mother, has three children all going to university (which is a real accomplishment in this day and age), XXX volunteers for the NDP during elections, XXX stands 4"8" weighs 140 pounds and XXX was transferred by Kim from a safe working building Solheim to the terror of DERA being Tellier. For what reason. I suspect to intimidate and harass so that XXX would resign.

Addendum: October 29, 2009 (Thursday). I received an email directed to all board members yesterday that the employee who was being harassed by a DERA employee for the past two years that he/she was fired by Kim Kerr, Executive Director, at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday. I immediately asked that the person be reinstated. The harasser should have been fired not the victim. Kim refused to tell her/him the reason he/she was fired and was told to go to the union. This is what Kim did to another employee in April 2009. And another one in June 2009. When Kim decides for some imaginary paranoid capicious reason that an employee has to go he fires them without explanation. Under BC Law if an employer pays severence the employer doesn't have to have cause. The substantial severence pay does not come out of Kim's personal money, it comes directly out of DERA's revenues. (I asked for an accounting for all monies paid for severence over the years Kim has paid but he refused. One rumour was that he signed a severence cheque for $62,000 for Stephanie). The Board just allows Kim an open cheque to pay and pay and pay. The Board is responsible for this irresponsible, abhorrent and expensive behavior. It is time the elected directors took over the management of DERA and do what they were elected to do: make sure DERA is well managed and regain its reputation of being a transparent and fair organization.

Directors elected April 2009:

Addendum: October 27, 2009 (Tuesday) I attended for the Board of Directors Meeting. Only three directors showed up so the Meeting was cancelled. I was rather disappointed as I wanted to discuss a number of issues: the revocation on October 3, 2009 of DERAH's charitable status by the federal government; wanting all DERA Board meetings to be voice recorded; why BC Housing hasn't replaced the elevators in the Tellier Tower (ten stories high); the allegations of an employee who said she/he has been harassed for two years and wants management (the Board) to do something about it; why the reassignment of the harassed employee from a "safe" family building to a "dangerous" building; a telephone call from a tenant in Tellier asking who was on duty at 1:00 am on Saturday as the lobby area and his floor (with picture forwarded) had passed out females (4) sleeping there; the "new" accounting overseer was not there as promised by the executive-director to field questions; and where are the 2008 financial statements for the housing society that should have been presented at the AGM in April 2009.

Addendum: October 26, 2009I just received notice that a meeting of the Board of Directors will take place at 6:30 at 251 Union Street Solheim Place Vancouver tomorrow Tuesday October 27th 2009. Since all board meetings are open to the community, any of you that are interested should attend.

Addendum: October 23, 2009 (Friday) I received a telephone call this evening from the President of the Board of DERA asking me to cease and detest from communicating with anyone especially funders as that is not what directors do. I do not know what the Board expects me to do when it and the executive-director refuses to give me access to any information that is my right under the Socities Act. A director is like a police office if something is rumoured to be wrong he investigates. If he doesn't investigate he isn't doing his job. If any of you know of a solution, please let me know. I am beginning to think there is a conspiracy out there as no lawyer wants to get involved with this citing legal fees. And PIVOT refused citing some obscure meaningless conflict that had nothing to do with the governance of the Board. And the funders and the auditor seem to be protecting DERA from what I do not know because each one of them refused to release any information to me as well. And no one can say items are confidential as I am a director and all confidential items are to come to me.

Addendum: October 13, 2009 A special board meeting was called this evening. I didnot know that I would be the subject of it. The board wanted me to resign. I refused. A detailed report to follow.

I regret the action of the Board in cancelling the September 08 2009 meeting with the explanation that the president of the Board was not prepared. This meeting was called two months ago. I suspect that there will never be another monthly board meeting as there is no requirement for monthly board meeting in the Societies Act. The directors must be happy now that they are now truly invisible to members and staff (except for the two directors who blindly co-sign cheques for DERA's eleven bank accounts).

On September 8, 2009, a nasty gentleman, told me in front of a group of people, as he walked pass me, that I was crazy, and for me to go back to the asylum. When I asked who he was, he would not tell me. One of the group said he was Russ Cunningham. Russ then repeated in a louder voice that I was crazy, and for me to go back to the asylum. Russ Cunningham is an on-and-off again employee/contractor of DERA and he lives in Solheim Place. If an employee verbally abuses me in this way I wonder what staff has been doing to the tenants most of which are elderly and/or disabled. If any of you have had a negative experience with Russ Cunningham (or any other employee) please let me know.

Russ is the father of David Cunningham of APC fame who walked away from the APC to become an artist. I have known David for five years and I assume what David knows is what his father knows. How else would Russ know I was crazy and I came from an asylum. Not true. David works for DERA and he also lives in Solheim in a three bedroom apartment with Jill and their child. Jill is a director of DERA.

How is it that people who make a union wage can reside in DERA's low income housing. I have asked for a list of the DERA employees who live in DERA Housing but I haven't had a response. Perhaps those of you who live in the towers could assist me. One of my future proposals will be that no full-time DERA employees live in DERA housing. If you agree let me know.

I also put on notice that no one is to take down any notices that I post in the DERA towers addressed to members/tenants of pending meetings like the weekly all towers community kitchen in Tellier each Friday at 5:30 pm, etc. Each time I post something or ask that something be posted it either does not get posted or it gets torn down.

I still have not received an apology from the lawyer-advocates for their behaviors in forcing me to leave the DERA office at 12 East Hastings with the explanation that the executive-director instructed them to do so. Because of their profession lawyers are expected to have a higher standard of conduct than others and they knew or should have known that a director's elected position is paramount to that of a paid employee (executive-director). Their behavior and lack of respect for the rule-of-law is inexcusable.

On September 15 2009 a DERA director accused me of publishing his name, phone number and address as he didn't want anyone to know he was a Board member. This was not done because no one asked me for the information. What a terrible thing DERA has done; it has created a climate where there is no tenant interest in how the towers are managed. He also accused me of telling everyone on the Board what to do via emails. I was doing my job as director as best I could considing no one else on the Board is even attempting to engage in dialogue to better DERA. The only vehicle I have are e-mails. Needless to say he was verbally abusive as well. He was drug/alcoholic impaired

I am still looking for a lawyer who might help me pro bono or do it myself but I feel I am being forced to go to the court of public opinion. I am less than one thousandth of one percent there now with my blog. But a blog won't go very far if no one is aware of it. Such fun in the world of to make the invisible visible (the old website motto of DERA).

Audrey Jane Laferriere,
DERA Director (2009)

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