On March 26 I received the following question on my blog “I am interested in your opinion of the ALR mistake at the subdivision in lower timberlane track area?”
My opinion on this subdivision issue is that the citizens of Powell River, including myself, do not have enough information to have a reasonable opinion based on facts rather than rumour and guessing. This is the same situation for the Inn at Westview, the lawsuit against the city that was settled in 2017, the park on Marine Avenue that never happened or $213,000 given to a start-up for a climbing wall in 2016 that is still not available to the public.
Council should hold a public meeting to share with the interested public the information they have on these issues. Yes, The Peak has done stories on some of these issues, but those only provide an introduction to the issue. The public can attend Committee of the Whole meetings which are held at 3:30 on Tuesday before regular Council Meeting and ask questions at the end of the agenda but space and time are limited and does not provide Council and Mac Fraser the opportunity to prepare answers and compile background information on questions raised. By holding a public meeting and assigning a Councillor to lead the discussion on each of these issues, the City would be putting teeth in its commitment to facilitate an informed, involved community. This was a priority identified in the 2016 Annual Report by the City on page 7:
Community Engagement – The City will facilitate the community being informed and involved in local matters and initiatives.
Yes, this would take some Council time but very little money. The reward would be an informed public, which should result in less rumour, accusations and threats of lawsuits.
I will be attending a Chamber of Commerce meeting in the Cedar Room at the Recreational Complex on April 18th from 12 to 1. Council has been invited to discuss the past 4 years in a “Question and Answer” format. Perhaps the issue of the controversy surrounding the loop road will be addressed and I will then be able to state an informed opinion. If so, I will blog again on this issue right after that meeting. The Chamber meetings are open to the public but you must RSVP to the event and the cost of this event is $20.