Monday, August 07, 2006

Inside Stratford / Perth Editorial

Richard Roth in this week's Inside Stratford / Perth writes in his editorial:

The only thing I want to note is that my central position is that a town council in a municipality the size of St Marys simply cannot ignore a petition bearing (now) well over 1,100 names. Don (Gibson) makes very good points about public meetings of the past, but none of this explains why, if the public was so well informed, so many people are now clamouring for more information.

My understanding is that the Deloitte study is open to question. Perhaps handing out something like this out at a public meeting is a little too much, too late. Can a layperson understand it? At least one of the protest group members is an accountant, I believe, and perhaps this is why the Deloitte report is not being treated by the group as if it arrived carved on two stone tablets. I don't know.

I certainly respect those who want a rec complex, but I still feel the protestors have raised some good points, and I believe a petition representing almost as many voters as cast their ballots for the mayor is something that needs to be addressed. This tally is equivalent to the government of Canada being presented with millions of names. If this doesn't represent a groundswell of concern, I don't know what does.


Blogger stmarysarena said...

In the letter Richard Roth refers to Don Gibson cites as evidence of public debate:

"Council then debated the question in open session (held in the town hall auditorium to accomodate the large audience) and put it to the vote. All but one councillor voted to proceed with the project.

The room erupted with applause."

Robby Smink saw things differently:

"At a town hall meeting held in the town hall auditorium which I attended in June, over 200 people showed up. We all thought that we would have a chance to be heard. The proceedings began and Mayor Tony Winter promptly informed the public assembled that the meeting was a formal council session and that no audience participation would be allowed as the meeting was now 'in session.'

Did Mayor Winter and Council honestly think that when normal town Council meetings are attended by only two press members and less than a handful of the public that over 200 people came to watch Council first, individually justify, and then rubber stamp a foregone conclusion? It was the height of ridiculousness! There were a lot of 'irate taxpayers' after that fiasco, let me assure you!"

9:47 AM  

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