EDITORIAL – Council must lift dome of silence and explain itself on St. Andrew’s mess

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

TIME FOR KAMLOOPS CITY COUNCIL to lift the dome of silence from the St. Andrew’s on the Square mess.

It’s been a month since it was revealed right here that the City was about to yank the rug out from under the Kamloops Heritage Society and pull what amounts to a hostile takeover of management and operation of St. Andrew’s.

In the wake of that news, a lot of things became clear. City staff and Council had not done their homework.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8041 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on EDITORIAL – Council must lift dome of silence and explain itself on St. Andrew’s mess

  1. Jennie F Stadnichuk // November 8, 2019 at 12:05 AM // Reply

    St Andrews on the Square is an amazing community asset. It resulted from many hundreds of hours of volunteer work to bring it to its current beauty. Every function I have ever attended is enhanced via the competent and caring assistance that is given by current manager (Mel Formanski). It is an asset to our Community and I see no need for the City’s “hostile takeover”. Support is evident in everyone who talks about this lovely historic facility and how well it is operated. I can only shudder at the increased costs that would result from the City’s “takeover”! City Council – please RETHINK this! Think of the meaning of the phrase “leave well enough alone”.

  2. I am glad I am not the only one disgusted by the actions (or the lack thereof) of them folks (elected and hired) at City Hall,..

  3. Chronic secrecy is always the refuge of someone who has something to hide. We need to use the cone of light on this admin. and council – on a lot of things.

  4. Melody Formanski // November 6, 2019 at 11:45 AM // Reply

    I agree that the cone of silence is a great line and very appropriate. I had been given a gag order by my Board and two city representatives but I am done with it. The reputation of a very dedicated group of volunteers of The Kamloops Heritage Society and their staff member has been soiled and I won’t be gagged anymore.
    While I am directly affected by all of this, what really upsets me is that council accepted information, without further research. I understand they have a mountain of info thrown at them every week but after receiving hundreds of calls and emails and seeing over 18000 face book comments, all positive, surely they could have made an effort to make sure the info they made the decision on, was true. Three councilors did finally come over and talk to me directly. I gave them all the info they wanted, to help them make a wise decision yet they continue to listen to the inuendo of a retired city councilor and past president of the Society. Anyone who bad mouths an organization they leave is certainly not a good source of unbiased info. We have cared for their building for over 21 years, we have put more than $200,000 in leasehold improvements including the lovely stained glass windows, new floors and done the inside and outside painting and repairs. Not bad for folks who are supposedly having financial issues. We would have continued some major repairs but were told that we had to use city approved contractors instead of the capable and affordable ones we use. In 6 years we were never supplied the list of contractors nor were any ever sent over here hence recent outside maintenance has been neglected. Several phone calls to their department resulted in the standard statement “it’s in next years budget”. Odd since we are required to pay for it.
    We are fiscally responsible and manage this building quite nicely on less than $65,000. Can’t imagine the city doing that and they themselves have said they have made no plans for the future of the building but me thinks there is a mandate that is not being revealed to the councilors or to the public.
    Our Board has strong leadership and a very positive new direction. We will continue to support heritage in Kamloops and we appreciate all the support the community has given us. It was overwhelming. I never imagined that so many cared about what we do here. You will never know how much it means to me.
    Mel Formanski, the other Mel

  5. Mel, I didn’t think anything could ever beat the episodes on “Get Smart” when Max demanded the Chief use the cone of silence. A good laugh in the morning is good for the soul.
    It might be time for you to use some of your creativity and put some names and a played out situation to this 21st Century edition of the Cone of Silence!

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