Dollars donated, reputation in community factored into civic centre name

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The new civic centre in Truro was officially named the Rath Eastlink Community Centre on Tuesday.

TRURO - Contrary to some public perception, guidelines were followed when choosing the name of the region's new civic centre.

Comments on the Truro Daily News website show mixed reaction to the civic centre's new name – the Rath EastLink Community Centre – which was revealed during a by-invite-only conference in Truro on Tuesday.

Jon Stanfield, chairman of the Ignite the Spirit campaign, which has been the main fundraising initiative for the centre, said rules were followed when choosing whose name would go on the civic centre building.

In the end, it came down to money.

"Obviously, they are large amounts," donated by Rath and Bragg, said Stanfield.

"The dollar amount and the reputation of those people and that the business fits in with the community were the main reasons" they were chosen, Stanfield said.

"And the donors' contributions will go to reduce the amount of the tax base people have to pay."

The question remains how much money was donated by the businessmen. Both Rath and Bragg refused to reveal what their contributions were. Stanfield also wouldn't say how much was donated by them.

"There are privacy laws," Stanfield told the Truro Daily News.

He also refrained from saying how much a minimum donation would be in order for a name to be chosen for the building.

"It would be bigger dollar amounts ... and they have five years to pay off their donation," confirmed Stanfield.

The naming and donor policy also indicates the one-time donations mean the building will bear the name Rath EastLink Community Centre for the "lifespan of the facility or until major renovations are needed, at which time another capital campaign" would most likely take place.

When asked what happens to the signage if EastLink were to fold in the Truro area, Stanfield said the business would no longer be reflected in the name.

"If EastLink closed, its name comes off the building. That was part of the naming and gift agreement," confirmed Stanfield, adding there aren't any free advertising perks either.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Truro Daily News

Geographic location: TRURO

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Recent comments

  • do do
    November 04, 2012 - 10:07

    name it the Tax Payer community center we put the most money in it

    • TAX PAYER
      November 05, 2012 - 18:28

      i like that name.....yeah, lets call it that for now...has a nice ring to it! .....

  • Unbelievable
    November 04, 2012 - 09:00

    I for one find this chatter Unbelievable ! Let me start by saying that the naming rights buildings like this are sold all over the world ,check out any sports arena around and you will see a corportions name on it and yes the tax payers are paying for the buildings. Instead of looking at the positve and celebrating these gentlemen and other business persons that have contributed to this center and other events in this community .These persons are doing nothing to encourage other to come forward and donate because of the possible backlash ! Remember they did not have to give anything to the Civic Centre they did it by choice and that should be celebrated and encouraged ! I would like to end this by saying if you don't like it run for office and lets see what you what you would do or atleast get out and vote .

  • Carole
    November 01, 2012 - 19:48

    Call it what you want because I can't afford to go. People like to be informed before not afterwards of what is happening. Nothing against the two men who donated but naming the whole building after them is a little much. Name the rink or the pool after them...makes it feel like it's not a community center at all. The prices don't reflect a community center. I'm classified as Middle Class and I can't even afford it. I guess it is for the Upper Middle Class and Upper Class......Can't we just bring back the YMCA.

  • A Critical Eye
    November 01, 2012 - 12:15

    Here's a good question for you that somone brought up at lunch today. If the sold the naming right to the Civic Centre how come they didn't do the same for the hospital project? The hospital project was HUGELY over budget and that could have helped cover the gap in cost versus budget ??? For the record, it's not the as much the fact they sold the naming rights to the Civic Centre (which is what I will ALWAYS refer to it as) that gets me it's that this is yet another example of what a few have chosen on behalf of an entire community without soliciting the opinions of the community (or ignoring community input all together).

  • JCR
    November 01, 2012 - 12:13

    It is a shame that this is causing such turmoil; it certainly casts a dark shadow over the entire project. I do not agree with the name Rath/Eastlink Community Centre; perhaps it would have been better to name it the Rath/Bragg Civic Centre as you clearly have not included the thousands of dollars the community has put into this mistake when deciding upon the name. Also, with all due respect to Mr. Rath and Mr. Bragg; they may have done wonderful things for Truro and Cumberland County, you forget that Colchester County Council saw fit to spend our hard earned dollars towards this place. I would assume that most people outside the Truro area don't even know Mr. Rath. They should not have to disclose how much they provided towards the project, however, the selection of the name should have been more transparent and the entire community (all of Colchester County) should have been informed; guidelines should have been posted; and a public forum should have been held. I wonder if this will be a centre used by our children; I understand the fees are unbelievable and I wonder if the cost of operations will be too much for the future stakeholders. While it was a dream of Mr. Bragg, Mr. Rath and I am sure Mr. Stanfield; it was not a well thought out dream at this time; you forgot to think of the big picture, which I find questionable given their calibre in the world of business. Proper communication, transparency, and inclusion would have eliminated the outrage you are experiencing over a name. Last thoughts are is that they probably won't change it now and in the big scheme of things, who really cares - look at those people suffering in New Jersey and New York - does a name really matter that much.

  • Jeff C
    November 01, 2012 - 11:41

    I think the Province should step in. If tax payer dollars are contributing to this and other local facilities will be closed as a result; Then it should be made available to low income families. A company should never have been allowed to have its name in the title. Everytime there is an ad in the media they will get free advertising. (Smart tax deductable investment?) It sends the message to the public that this is a corporate facility. Had the 2 gentlemen bought the center they could have named it whatever they wanted. I would have been ok with that. It makes me feel like they bought it for pennies on the dollar before it was ever opened and, given the chance to succeed or, fail. I know we shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth but given the information available, this is how I feel.

  • The golden rule
    November 01, 2012 - 10:15

    Its the golden rule again...he who has the gold makes the rules.

    • Not Rich
      November 01, 2012 - 12:24

      The sad thing about the new Civic Centre is that it has been built for the rich to enjoy! The prices that have been released, most average working people will not be able to afford a membership for their child to go much less a family membership. A family of 4 pays $1299 a year however if you have more children you pay an additional $329 per child. I am a single parent with one child but receive no break on the $1299. So at the person who said this is great for kids to keep them all out of trouble and to get exercise, it's $699 per child most peope don't have an extra $700. I think that at least for children this price should be dropped to something everyone can afford!

  • Actions Speak For Themselves
    November 01, 2012 - 10:12

    Did anyone notice that the Co Chairs of the project seem to have found other places to be during this naming announcement on Tuesday. Why were Taylor and MacArthur not there for this event? A question everyone seems to have missed ?

  • DANA
    November 01, 2012 - 09:43

    Ignite the Spirit alright , what about all the money raised by other people . The centre would not be there will out that money , Why were all there names not used for the centre naming. Mr. Stanfield , you may thing the public is fooled by you saying all the rules in the naming were followed . CLOSED DOOR MEETINGS seem to work for you & your friends.

  • Mr. Slappy
    November 01, 2012 - 09:39

    Drove by this morning. Nice seeing all the out-of-town contractors hard at work taking our money On that front, it's so bad I'm seriously starting to wonder if they're going to truck sod in from Ontario. On the topic at hand... If someone had told me I could donate 200k to have my own skybox built... have a stadium named after my business for life...take 5 years to pay for it....and myself and my extended family members would never have to pay any membership fees for as long as we're breathing....golly..I think I would have been all over that myself. Unfortunately that was only explained to two people in a closed door meeting...just like the closed door meetings for everything else to do with this place. Oh....John....you said the name would not be changed until such a point that substantial renovations take place. Where substantial renovations are taking place now (due to the fact someone doesn't know the difference between epoxy and alkyd paints)...I was wondering....could I get the same deal???

  • DC
    November 01, 2012 - 08:49

    Because this is a municipal community centre, all stakeholders, including the tax-paying public, have a right to know the value of the naming rights. Donations may remain anonymous, but something that has reciprocal value attributed to it should be fully disclosed. The entire financial picture of the construction and operation of this facility are part of the public domain. In this case, privacy laws should not be applicable. Any privacy agreement reached by the committee should be deemed unenforceable as they do not have jurisdiction to enter any such agreement on behalf of the public. With that being said, Stu Rath deserves proper recognition for his lifelong contributions to the community.

  • Still upset
    November 01, 2012 - 08:20

    Mr Stanfield maybe the rules were followed but it does not make people any happier about the it. I also imagine this is a huge tax write off for both the two gentleman in question. What about the people of Truro, why do they not have any say in their town. This in my opinion was done without any respect for the "peasants" in Truro. We probably will not be able to use the facility because we won't be able to afford the price to walk through the doors. All our hard earned money is being taken in taxes to support the darn building! Thank you for your donations gentlemen, I still don't think you should have a building named after you. Sometimes certain things are better left on said, you know you contributed and that should be enough!!

  • Thankful
    November 01, 2012 - 08:06

    It saddens me to hear that people feel so badly about the name of our new civic centre. Stu Rath has been the financial go-to person in this area for many years now. Whenever there was a need for funding for upgrades or additions to the local Stadium, I believe that Stu would be contacted. He has made many contributions to local sports in the Truro area through financial assistance, having friends, family and colleagues join him in fund raising and attendance at local venues. As far as tax payers, yes, we will have an obligation to maintain this centre and hopefully that will alleviate the future need for additional meth clinics and larger jails. This centre will give our children a place to go and have fun and, most importantly, keep active. It should also generate extra dollars being spent in our town. I say we should say a big Thank You to Mr. Rath and Mr. Bragg for their most generous contributions to our community. And, we should be thankful that they chose our community to make their contributions. I love the new name!

  • joe
    November 01, 2012 - 07:43

    Guidelines were followed. When the public is not allowed access to a public ceremony, do you really see why we are so cynical. I am grateful that two very successful buisness men stepped forward to have their names on our community centre. But to do it so secretly. What about all the other volunteers that did not get invited. Most people work, so 40 people would have attended anyway. Do you really think our SPIRIT IS IGNITED.

    • chief wiggam
      November 01, 2012 - 07:59

      guidlines?...guidlines?? we don't need no stinking guidlines! open fire! (open your wallets tax payers)

  • Theresa
    November 01, 2012 - 07:18

    Let's just call it the REC Centre....it's nice that these two people are wealthy enough to make substantial contributions but ultimately it's the taxpayers that will pay.

  • bruce farrell
    November 01, 2012 - 07:02

    Quite a "spirited" debate over this,last time any thing of this magnitude occurred in this forum was the flag flap---unfortunately I see more polarization occurring this time and it is more or less economics that is the dividing factor. A high handed attitude now,from the people who were so convivial when they had hat in hand to the public,this is indeed an invitation to rancor. Committee,why did you not float an idea or two to the community,that is being almost engaged? You are proving nay-sayers right.,at every turn lately. Closed door meetings to announce a name---foreboding,turns out justifiably Could have plastered Bearcats and Eastlink all over the rink..Heck they already have private dressing room and team room.no-one'd have blinked. This was a mistake.,further alienating Joe-taxpayer,what the hay,the target for marketing this place was middle to upper class all along,don't deny that it's in the Business plan!!

  • A Critical Eye
    November 01, 2012 - 06:14

    "In the end, it came down to money" - 8 words that summarize this whole naming fiasco. On a side note, I thought the Civic Centre couldn't look any uglier ... until I saw the picture in the Daily News today with the new signage added to the building. If, as a taxpayer, I wasn't going to be paying for this thing forever I'd almost laugh about all this.

  • chief wiggam
    November 01, 2012 - 05:15

    i still say the people should rebel and call it what we want. do a face book page and we the tax payers will call it by what we want.

  • Did I hear that right?
    October 31, 2012 - 22:00

    i don't think i ever heard or read anywhere during the ignite the spirit campaign that the person / business who donates the most money, with 5 years to pay up, would get the place named after them. The organizer's guidelines obviously were only for those in the know, the "organizers", and all the subsequent hush hush on dollar amounts, from all involved, would suggest the donations may not have been the highest by very much.....and i find it odd , that if using said guidelines, that two.....two donaters, Rath and Eastlink donated the exact same amount to share the billing....lots of insider trading here...Torygate continues...time for the auditor general to have a look around.

  • Christian
    October 31, 2012 - 21:56

    Congratulations to Mr. Rath. You have done a lot for the community of Truro out of the goodness of your heart. You are someone who sincerely enjoys doing what you can to benefit others. I believe the initial thought of having your name attached to the building must have been uncomfortable, and some comments on previous articles are probably making you feel even more uneasy. I hope that you can take comfort in knowing that there are people in the community who do appreciate your generosity. Regardless of the specific financials and politics of the facility, it is safe to say that your kind donation helped make this a reality. Truro now has a something to attract people (tournaments concerts etc), and they have a recreation facility to be proud of. Thank you for your part, it is not lost among some.

    • Jeff Johnston
      Jeff Johnston
      November 01, 2012 - 08:54

      Hey Mr. Christian , are you going to worship the image of the beast when people donate their money towards that ? This center was pure gluttony and is taking food off people's tables . They should have helped the poor instead .