Janet sent me this letter and I was going to post it tonight.. but you can read it also in the Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette— stay tuned for more!!
Reader: Taxpayers should be properly consulted on decisions involving Roy Brown Park
Our municipal politicians are elected to office to serve town residents and act in our best interest. It is expected that they will put their interests aside as they work for the people of Carleton Place.
I expect council members to act with integrity, thoughtful consideration and good judgement as they make decisions that affect our community.
Being a member of a municipal council is often a difficult, thankless job and there can be many powerful influences that can cause a council to stray from its mandate to serve town residents.
Regrettably, on Aug. 16 our council will be put in the position of choosing to act in the interest of town residents or bowing to the strong influence of a developer.
On June 28, council voted 5-2 against a developer’s proposal to dump contaminated storm water into Roy Brown Park instead of the developer managing the storm water on its own property. Council voted down the original proposal because it is an inappropriate use of public parkland.
The issue should have died on June 28 with the defeated motion and the developer should have respected the decision of council.
However, there was no respect for council, its authority or its decision.
With no direction from council to do so, this proposal has been put back onto the Aug. 16 agenda. Why is council being forced to deal with this issue again? Because the developer wants it. The situation puts me in mind of a persistent teenager trying to wear down parents in order to get what it wants.
However, a flip-flop should be something that you wear on your feet. It should not describe the actions of your council.
As background, in 2004, $385,000 of taxpayers’ money bought land for a park and dedicated it to the memory of First World War flying Ace, Roy Brown.
The park is to have a dog park, tennis courts, playing field and a large recreation building as well as trails and picnic pavilions. A grant from Canada 150 will be used to place signs in the park with information provided by the Roy Brown Society and historical society.
On Aug. 16, council will once again have to review a plan from a developer to dump its contaminated storm water into the park. The people of Carleton Place have not been consulted, no part of the park has been declared surplus to the town’s parkland needs and the area needed to contain the water would be the part of the park that was to be used for the dog park, tennis courts and parking lot for the recreation building.
Why would council even consider removing public uses from public parkland and replace them with a holding area for polluted water and contaminated sediment from an adjacent development? After all, it is the duty of elected representatives to manage public lands in the public interest.
Town council voted against it once already. It is imperative that they vote against it again on Aug. 16.
Our tax dollars bought Roy Brown Park for parkland. We own it.
To use a popular Lanark County phrase “Back Off Government! This is our Land!”