Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan and City Manager Judy Rogers are taking the heat today about the City’s barring of Carnegie Centre Board member Bill Simpson from the Carnegie building. Simpson was elected to the Board of Carnegie this month but can no longer get inside the building to attend meetings.

On Friday, Simpson received a letter signed by City Hall’s Jacquie Forbes-Roberts, barring him from the Carnegie building because the operates a website that “links” to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blog.

What is foremost on the minds of Carnegie members today is what Bill Simpson was told by City Hall’s on-site manager at Carnegie, Ethel Whitty, after she delivered Forbes-Roberts’ letter to him. Whitty told this elected Board member that he will not be allowed to attend Board meetings “unless they are held outside the building.” That would include the Board meeting this evening, Monday, June 25th at 5:50 p.m. in which the Election of Officers — President, Vice President, etc. — will occur. Members want him there.

Here are excerpts from a few of the lengthy letters sent today to Mayor Sam Sullivan and City Manager Judy Rogers.

Wilf R., a Carnegie Seniors Program member, writes to Mayor Sam Sullivan:

“I’m told that you already have some knowledge about this incident and others like it in the past at the Carnegie, and it’s time that something was done.

“As a member of the Carnegie and a supporter of Carnegie member and director William Simpson, I’m asking you to use your office to fully investigate all aspects of the matter.”

A male Carnegie volunteer writes to Judy Rogers:

“There are always those who oppose Democracy and Free Speech, especially when such free speech threatens the income of those who live off of the poor, but I am surprised and disappointed that such power would be used
from City Hall itself in the person of Jacquie Forbes-Roberts, General Manager, Community Services Group, Vancouver City Hall. Is this what we elected our government to do: heavy-handed thwarting of the public voice and the democratic process?”

Terri W., a Mississippi-born woman in the Carnegie Music Program, writes to Judy Rogers:

To read the rest of this original story, see Downtown Eastside Enquirer

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