By Kevin Woodhouse
Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Monique Worth was hoping to have the borough celebrate Roxboro’s centennial in 2014 as a pleasant way for administration and citizens participate in festivities, but recent events have caused some undue stress for the borough, as a group which includes councilor Jim Beis seems to be at odds with members of Roxboro 2014, a group of citizen volunteers who hope to plan the upcoming festivities.
The borough issued a news release informing people that the borough’s committee was the only official organizer for the 100th birthday, noting that “it seems that a parallel group was also formed to organize the centennial, solicit businesses and sell promotional items. Only activities and events organized or authorized by the borough may be held on public property such as in parks or in streets.”
The borough had to send a notice to René Champagne, who is not the vice-president of the Pierrefonds-Roxboro community group APRPR but rather a member of Roxboro 2014, asking him to cease and desist from soliciting funds from citizens and businesses on behalf of the centennial.
“This was the last thing we wanted to do but we have a duty to protect our private and corporate citizens,” Worth told The Suburban. “We did not want to issue the letter but we must protect all citizens as some of the funds being asked by the other group are significant and people are unsure of exactly what they are getting in return.”
When asked why he did not want to join the borough’s group, Champagne told The Suburban that “we were invited and attended two meetings. At the first, we were told our ideas were not on the agenda and for the second meeting, no one else was there.”
Champagne said that to date, Roxboro 2014 is made up of him and ten other volunteers. “There was a third meeting held but we were not even invited to it,” Champagne said.
Despite receiving the letter form the borough, Champagne intends to go “full steam ahead with our plans because I spoke to my lawyer who told me that the borough has no basis in their argument and that the letter has no grounds.”
“I don’t understand why elected officials are spending so much energy and time to crush us?” asked Champagne. “I don’t know what a citizen’s group that wants to help plan community events would be put down by the borough.”
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