Wealthy retirees denying access to others in Comox Valley

Dear editor,

It is becoming an increasingly rare event to open a Comox Valley newspaper without reading about the death of good ideas.

Dear editor,

It is becoming an increasingly rare event to open a Comox Valley newspaper without reading about the death of good ideas, or, worse yet, the celebration of terrible ones.

The most recent arises from the former, and I wish I was shocked to hear that all of five (approximately) property owners have been able to delay what is inherently a project aimed strictly at providing for the public benefit.

The delay (read: imminent failure) to continue work on the Royston Trail network is the latest in a series of failures to improve the finest of Comox Valley assets, our landscape.

The reason? Apparently, rich people’s privacy trumps public access.

This will come as no surprise to anyone following the Stotan Falls Mexican standoff, not to mention the Goose Spit debacle.

The irony? Public opinion is sought after in the name of preserving democracy.

Under this facade, small groups are able to band together to decry spending decisions whose funds are derived from grants, which must be repaid should the Royston trail be abandoned.

So, in the name of ‘democracy,’ a minority amongst 18 (yes, 18) attendees manage to delay improvements to an area open to one and all, thereby securing their private gain and potentially costing the Valley hundreds of thousands of dollars, let alone the future benefit derived from outdoor recreation (which is virtually the only thing ‘to do’ in the Valley).

Though I’m not a fan of its slave-owning author, the quote, “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner” comes to mind.

This letter isn’t intended to debate the specific features of said trail improvements, as they are not the issue.

The issue is that the Valley requires public officials who are not afraid to make decisions on behalf of the public good. The issue is that, as is quite evident, we are governed by a small cluster of wealthy retirees who, almost giddily, disregard the greater good to preserve the shelter they have constructed for themselves from the real world.

Well, the real world is here, and the real world requires the people’s boldness, not cowardice.

Christian J. Wright,

Courtenay

 

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