In defence of Comox council

Dear editor,

First, I wish to commend Erin Haluschak for a well-balanced article in this paper a few weeks ago regarding the Shakesides building issue.  Erin’s piece covered the topic well and avoided the emotional issues that always seem to cloud sound decision-making on issues like this.  Secondly, I would like to applaud the prescient citizens of Comox, who had the very good sense to elect a council with foresight, steadiness and a remarkable capability to make sound decisions for our town, despite the spiteful and ill-informed rhetoric that has emanated from some sources.

Our town is gradually transforming into a jewel, one that is nationally recognized, but letters to this and other papers, along with insufferable and prejudiced websites have consistently pilloried this council and its members, who are quietly doing their duty on behalf of the silent majority.

Whilst dissension and open dialogue are certainly a necessary part of our democracy, when people resort to openly “critiquing the performer instead of the performance,” with name-calling and vindictive dialogue, we quickly devolve to the Donald Trump method of conflict resolution – and we all see how that is working out.

I totally get why people might not understand why or how decisions are made at the municipal level, but what ever happened to writing a letter or sending an e-mail to the individual representative, instead of venting one’s spleen through the media?  It achieves little, except perhaps letting others know just how narrow-minded and parochial some people can be.

A recent letter with a pathetic report card format critiqued the council for a lack of progress in the Town’s rebuilding and rejuvenation process whilst simultaneously castigating them for their failure to protect “sacred” trees and derelict buildings whilst doing it! Incredibly, other groups have tried to blame the current council for trying to rectify situations created by decisions taken many years ago by other councils, such as the Shakesides issue.

It seems to me to be a miracle that we have good folks stand for these municipal positions at all. I have a couple of suggestions for those who would see public carping and moaning as the way to improve things. First, attend a couple of council meetings, or at least watch them on-line. You will see that this is not easy work. Or even better, put your name in the hat to run for these positions — you will see just how much work and personal effort that actually takes.

Secondly, if you have a valid critique on an issue, propose it in a constructive manner with options, it will go much further than personal attacks.

Finally, you should also pay heed to some advice your mother told you: “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.”

Elections are coming up soon enough, you can make your views known then.  It’s a shame that all that energy is wasted on being negative, when there is so much to do.

Terry Chester

Comox

 

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