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Councillor - Town of Blue Mountains

My Tribute to Neil Carscadden – 1942-2014

As President of the Blue Mountain Ratepayers’ Association for the past 6 years, I want to express, on behalf of the Board of Directors and all members of our Association, our deepest sympathy to Diane and her family regarding Neil’s sudden passing.

When I met Neil back in March of 2007, I had just joined the BMRA Board and had expressed (to anyone that would listen) the need to be more active in communicating our Brand town-wide and the need to get more of our members involved in local and everyday issues.

I knew that we needed to develop a WEBSITE – so where do I start, who do I contact to start the process? Well, the word must have got out somehow and I was approached by Gary Adams and Neil Carscadden.

At the time, both Gary and Neil had developed a website, called the INSIDERS NETWORK, to assist local community organizations in communicating and marketing their brand to interested internet surfers and members. They were offering a free web page and free email blasts. Their basic hope at the time was to attract a large audience and commercial businesses that would be interested in advertising, at a cost.

Although anything for free is suspect, both Gary and Neil were very convincing and I couldn’t see any downside. Neil and I started the design of our web page, but I confided in Neil that my goal for the BMRA was to have or establish an independent website. Part of our agreement included an ‘Exit Strategy’.

About a year after meeting Neil (in May, 2008), I became President of the BMRA and I was advised that the INSIDERS Network wasn’t progressing and would be dissolved. Rather than look at this situation as a “setback”, I approached Neil and seized the opportunity to start working on our own website.

The rest as they say, is history. Neil became the BMRA webmaster and over the last 6 years we have worked on a design that, in my opinion, has helped us communicate or reach out on a regular basis to approximately 1,500 voting members, including a large number of condo unit owners in The Blue Mountains.

Although Neil was hired as a website consultant, he was in many ways, my “right-hand’ man and what I would call an ‘invisible’ or ‘silent’ Board member. In my opinion, he gave us a lot more than we paid for. The website was my voice and he helped educate me in the use of this valuable communication tool. I would call him anytime to send out a blast and no matter where he was (somewhere in North America or with his grand kids), he always said he would get it out as soon as possible (and he did).

Neil – if you can hear me, thanks for all your help in advancing the communication network of the Association and I can honestly say that you will be missed by the Board and the many members and residents of the community who knew you.