LETTERS: Citizens don’t have the resources the Town does

Most presenters do not have the benefit of having a well-paid staff to research and advise as to how to formulate presentations to council.

I read with interest the letter by Peter Wainwright, a familiar name on Sidney council (PNR, Feb. 24).

It is most interesting to hear how things are perceived by those sitting behind the podium.

I attended the Feb. 9 meeting and I must confess it was my first experience as such.

As in any political meeting, emotions from individuals may not follow a given script and their reply to the threat or perceived threat to their residence may not be succinct enough or organized in presentation to council in a neat spreadsheet summary.

Most presenters do not have the benefit of having a well-paid staff to research and advise as to how to formulate presentations to council. The Town of Sidney has the resources.

Under the scenario as expressed in his letter to the editor, the people will now need to raise money to hire the appropriate advisors in order to “demonstrate they are reasonably well informed and also why they hold a particular opinion.”

We do not agree that council may believe that it doesn’t have “much option but to rely on the members’ own judgement in making the decision.” It’s contrary to the municipal government process.

I have heard from some of the citizens who are concerned. It appears that the recent council vote has solidified the perception by residents that the council has not considered their concerns. I note there were at least two petitions, numerous letters of concern and lots of attendees at the meeting. There were numerous letters to the editor and newspaper articles. There is a general perception that something is wrong. I have heard that in essence the “bonus density provision” is being used at every instance where a developer thinks it is in their best interest. For instance; is a $20,000 payment by a developer really appropriate when looking at the price of units put up for sale by the developer?  How many park benches would that buy? I can’t imagine it as being fair. Maybe other people feel the same way.

Would the residents have been happier with seven units versus 11?  I believe the majority answer is ‘yes’.

Almost everyone supports development. However they support reasonable and logical development. Just because the OCP allows for the development does not make it right for the area or for the town of Sidney. Maybe people are beginning to believe that the OCP is incorrect.

No, it’s not correct or particularly diplomatic “to resort to bullying” by linking the numbers of concerned residents to the number of votes in the next election. But it does demonstrate once again that the residents do not feel as if their concerns are being addressed and as such, emotions will run at a high level.

Having sat down and collected my thoughts, I can only conclude that I should become “concerned — very concerned.”

D. Laviolette, Sidney