What Should We Be Now Concerned About in Carleton Place?

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“The house had been left abandoned for a number of years, and someone told me the interior looked exactly like a horror film. Dump’s personal thoughts were that a few councilmen did not get along with the Findlays. So when an application for planning was put in, which would utterly destroy the founding Findlay house, they were only to happy to pass it”. —The Findlay House

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One of the most risky jobs you would ever want is civic life. After watching my father for years as an alderman I know I wouldn’t want any part of it  Civic mayhem isn’t limited to staffing in any small town. Sometimes cross contamination can infiltrate, and I wonder if some small-town councils become an “unnecessary layer of democracy”? Do we suddenly become a “one-party state” run by a “good old boy” policy?

Rumours easily travel through small towns and entangle the powers that be. Opinions become evident on Facebook pages, and everywhere you look:

WE NEED SOMEONE WHO WILL DO SOMETHING FOR THE TOWN.WE NEED SOME CHANGE!”— is the chant.

Many, including myself, think that we know what the problem is, when in reality we are looking at a symptom. Carleton Place will always be what the community will support, and what it will not support. I know personally that putting on an event in Carleton Place is impossible work. You need to have thick skin, dedication, and a great sense of humor.

Doing things “like we did last year” is no longer going to work. The town needs to develop unique entrepreneurs who will start businesses that will create a buzz — which in turn will encourage tourists. Carleton Place needs to stop duplicating mistakes. Are we angry that Manitoulin Chocolate Works is not coming to Carleton Place? Of course we are. But sometimes, you have to get angry to get things done.

Together, we need to drag out the hard issues of what happened, identify them, and address solutions. Look at communities similar to ours and see what has really worked for them. It’s also important to realize that things happen over an expanse of time, and not just the last few months. Learn from others! No idea is stupid, and community revival doesn’t always hinge on industry. Solving economic problems in Carleton Place is not a short-range project. The problems we are facing are most likely the results of years of trends and may take years to solve.

Things aren’t working-and that’s a fact!  We need people in office that will help us, and the community needs to make its voice heard. Both sides need to listen and be responsive and open to each other. Instead of sitting back and complaining, we as a community need to get out and  make a difference. It’s time for those in office, and the rest of us (as they say in the late night ads) “to pick up the phone” before things go really south.  The clock is ticking.

1982- Keeping Obstetrics Open for the Carleton Place Hospital

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Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

2 responses »

  1. Hard to reply to this. I would love a blend of keeping historic buildings intact, stopping infill with 1970’s split level architecture blight, encouraging copacetic industry with jobs. We have a unique heritage and an old/new boy network of cowboys. They have no vision other than despoiling and gutting that which attracted many to our town in the first place.

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