Thursday, July 5, 2012
Pass Herald - Letter to the Editor
After the Town Hall meeting on June 21, I spoke to many others who were there. We all have thoughts and feelings that cover a wide range, from agreement with some of the answers provided by the Mayor and Council members, to guarded satisfaction, to outright disagreement and anger. For certain, many are feeling powerless.
As I said at the meeting, I was insulted, as were other letter writers, to have our letters referred to in the "Mayor's Corner" as "uninformed ramblings of unhappy people." The Mayor's reply to my comments after I spoke, I felt were equally belittling and offensive when he referred to my letters as "bilge". I commented about being uninformed because it is very difficult to get answers from anyone at the Municipal Office. This was blatantly denied by the Mayor, but later substantiated by some audience members who had not been able to get phone calls returned, or letters answered either.
I wish to clear up the misconception that the Mayor and I are "very good friends". This is absolutely not the case. We were acquaintances at best while we were in high school together about fifty years ago, and I have spoken to him once on the phone and twice in person since then. And also, he stated at the meeting that we had met for over an hour, and talked about the new motorcyle shop in Blairmore. That is also blatantly untrue. The subject of our meeting was about the new bylaw banning all large trucks from the townsites, which incidentally resulted in a trucking operation based here being moved to Sparwood. Yet more lost revenue for the area.
With regard to two respected taxpaying citizens being ejected from the Town Hall meeting by a fully armed, uniformed police officer, many of us were shocked. Their "crime" was in neglecting to go to the microphone to speak, but rather speaking from their seats, albeit rather emotionally. It could have been handled with some tact. The Mayor is not a judge, and that was not a courtroom. Nor was he a teacher in front of a class of recalcitrant students.
To my way of thinking, communities in general are much happier when the citizens feel that they are actively involved in decision-making, and they respect those they have elected. Council has felt the need to bring in out-of-town consultants. many are questioning the high cost involved, especially when there has been minimal communication with the public before recommendations are put in place. We are being asked to simply accept these decisions with little to no involvement. A case in point is the hiring of two peace officers, and purchase of two vehicles. Many are questioning the need for so much police presence in this community. Generating fear does not go hand in hand with generating respect and trust.
This community is in trouble, and it saddens me to see it. Many of us feel that Council could definitely better fulfill their campaign promises of openness, transparency, communication, and particularly the prudent spending of tax dollars. Something needs to change to help this community thrive.
And, Mr. Mayor, despite your rather derogatory comments, I will continue to write letters ( and I would encourage others as well) to express my concerns publicly.
Comment: It appears, once again, our Mayor has been caught stretching the truth, if not outright lying to those of us he is suppose to be serving.
During the last municipal election this Mayor was quoted as saying he wanted to serve one term only. The way he is going about things that is all he will get... whether he wants it or not.
They must find it difficult.... Those who have taken authority as the truth. Rather than truth as the authority.