With Coun. Peter Waterman announcing his candidacy for the position of Summerland’s mayor, interest in and discussion of local politics will increase as the forthcoming municipal election nears.
I hope, naively perhaps, that candidates will avoid generalities, unless their claims are credible after close examination.
For example, Waterman stated, in a news release, “ I felt that a lot of residents feel they weren’t heard.”
Really? Council held three public hearings to hear citizens’ opinions of the Urban Growth Proposal.
At the first hearing, the arena banquet room was too small to accommodate everyone, so the next two were held in the Summerland Secondary School gymnasium.
Council was there to hear opinions from the public.
At the second meeting people were invited to submit written questions. I expect answers were provided at the third meeting.
Meetings were crowded, many people spoke, and the first two meetings lasted until late evening.
When the process was finished, it was obvious that a large majority objected to items in the proposal.
Council had done what it could to hear everyone who wanted to speak. And yet, Waterman apparently wasn’t satisfied. He “felt that a lot of residents feel they weren’t heard.”
Would we have gained anything from hearing the same sorts of objections from more people?
Again, he stated, “…it (presumably council), has been uninterested in listening to the people.”
What a provocative assessment of council’s efforts.
Maybe Waterman is confusing “listening” with “agreement.”
Let’s hope we can still listen, yet disagree on civic policy.
Finally he stated, “we have to make valuable connections within our community which will allow us to expand our arts and retail sector and make sure it moves ahead.”
If he, or others who may become candidates, have schemes, or proposals for “expanding our retail sector and making sure it moves ahead,” why haven’t we heard about them in the last few years?