Mayor Phelps recently asked: “Who are these guys?”
This was in reference to a group calling themselves Comox Valley Common Sense. I would like to answer his question. I consider myself a member of this loosely formed group and I am one of those “guys.”
We do not subscribe to any special-interest agenda nor are we funded by any special-interest group. We are taxpaying voters in the community and our bond is our desire to see common sense restored to City Hall. The website expressing our views is www.votecommonsense.org.
My own concerns which are among those shared by the group include the following:
• The lack of common sense in not only projecting $2 million in taxpayer dollars to build a shelter for a very limited number of people in need, but projecting an additional $1 million a year in taxpayer-paid operating costs for a net increase of 10 more beds than is currently available in the community.
• The lack of common sense in attempting to force the residents of Maple Pool out of their low-cost housing by trumping up a floodplain issue. In fact many other occupants are allowed to remain on the same flood plain including the Lewis Centre.
• The lack of common sense displayed by Mayor Phelps when on Oct. 17 he went to speak with the “Courtenay Occupiers” who in their words have set up a “permanent camp” on public property in the heart of our city.
Instead of counselling them to remove their tents and vestiges of permanent encampment, he offered encouragement and support; thereby strengthening their already-volatile sense of entitlement (you can check out his speech to the Occupiers yourselves on You Tube).
A mayor who possessed common sense would respect the right to protest and assemble as guaranteed in our constitution, but he would not permit them to set up a “permanent camp” on public property.