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Jul. 31, 2021 | Saturday
Local News
Letter: Town councillors are not 'old boys' network
Letter to the editor

Dear editor:

This is in reference to Samuel Young's June 10 letter to the editor, "Underground group aims to unseat town council."

I feel some clarification is required on the statement that this council is an entrenched "old boys" network and in the hip pocket of various groups and industries in town.

Of the present town council, this is the first term for Norm Arsenault, Allan Bisback, Clare Cameron, Wendy Cheropita, Erwin Wiens, Sandra O'Connor and Betty Disero as lord mayor. Previously Gary Burroughs was our regional representative.

I find it hard to believe they are members of an old boys' network or in anyone's pocket. The reference more aptly applies to members of the previous council who were repeatedly elected for many years.

In over 20 years we have lived here, the same names appeared in election after election.

Yes, the new residents in town did indeed change things. The election of 2018 had a record number of 25 candidates for eight council seats, three running for lord mayor and four running for regional council. The only incumbent re-elected was John Wiens.

Does this sound like the old boys' network or old clique? Clearly there was dissatisfaction with the previous council.

These councillors and lord mayor are to be applauded for their hard work and in spending their time not only to deal with being in their position for the first time, but also dealing with the challenges of COVID.

It is not this council that has kicked the can down the road; they are dealing with the fallout of the can being kicked down the road for decades in order to keep our taxes lower than they should have been. Today's councillors are the ones paying the price.

Many years ago land was designated for a large parking lot (where the firehall and community centre were eventually built) with shuttles transporting tourists to Queen Street.

When the council of the day tried to implement this idea, residents on Simcoe Street loudly complained that headlights from the cars would shine into their windows and this idea was abandoned by council. This would have solved today's parking issues, proving you can't please everyone.

I say kudos to our current councillors and to the difficult tasks they have faced during their first term in office.

Luba Fraser