Recent History – 2001
April 17, 2001
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
The future of the mall will continue to be a major issue when the Dawson Co-op annual general meeting is held this Wednesday evening.
Members will vote on two special resolutions related to concerns brought up last year when the board at that time advocated tearing down the mall in favour of a smaller grocery store.
Members who show up will vote on resolutions to limit both the amount of spending and amount of inventory that can be disposed of by the board of directors without the members’ consent.
The measures are being billed as ways to prevent the board of directors from making major decisions about the future of the mall and the services Dawson Co-op provides without members’ approval.
Although it’s doubtful that the controversy will draw the 900-plus members’ that came out to the meeting last year, Co-op board of directors president Allen Watson is still expecting a healthy turn-out.
“We decided to rule in the favour of optimism and expect at least 500 people,” he said of why Kids Kin Arena was chosen as the venue once again.
Members will have to wait for the big news however. Watson said a feasibility study for mall renovations is still in the works due to delays caused by the closure of the family fashions department.
Feasbility studies are typically based on financial statements for the previous five years. But Watson said that those numbers would not be accurate because of the closure meant that the mall was running at full capacity.
Since then, the department has been re-opened, complete with a more aggressive marketing campaign. But Watson said the temporary closure caused a delay they could not avoid.
“What we had to do was wait until our year-end so that we had at least one-year history of that store the way it is today and then we have to project that into the next five years,” he said.
“Because it had to wait for our year end, Federated Co-operatives wasn’t able to get the feasibility study back to us in time to address it at the AGM.”
Once the study is completed, Watson said a separate meeting open to the members will be held, likely later this year.
Members will also vote on changes to proxy voting. Currently, proxy votes can be cast only for members who live more than 80 kilometres away from Dawson Creek.
Watson said that failed to account for shut-ins, or people who are in the hospital or out of town for that particular day. Members will be asked to eliminate the 80 kilometre restriction, but to also reduce the number of proxys that each member at the meeting can cast from three to one.
Registration will start at 6 p.m. and the meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Additional help will be on hand to prevent the lengthy registration line-ups that delayed the start of last year’s meeting by one-and-a-half hours.
The meeting will include reports from the board, the auditor and the manager. And nine people are vying for one of four two-year terms on the board.
Five of them are on a slate clearly opposed to tearing down the mall. They are: Juste Hendricks, Wayne Janowsky, Dave Leoppky, Fred Lumnitzer, and Gordon Parslow.
Incumbents Dennis Mracek and Lawrence Millar are running as are newcomers Dale Campbell and David Twombly.