I’m writing again to review the unexpected response we’ve had to our letter published last week about the Maple Pool situation.
After reading it, a number of people have contacted us, all of them adamantly agreeing with what we said in our letter, and all of them with the same question: what can we DO about it?
Like us, it seems that many people are very frustrated by the council’s continued procrastination on the issue, while the Lins quietly just get on with dealing directly and effectively with the problem, without help from anyone.
No one who spoke to us could understand why the council persists in placing every obstacle they possibly can in the way of the Lins, rather than offering to assist them with their excellent work.
All agreed that the location of Maple Pool is ideal, and solves the council’s problem of where to place an affordable home for those who need it. They even think it could become a model for other cities dealing with the same problem.
Many people are very angry with and feel betrayed by the mayor, whom they voted for because of his promise to stop harassing Maple Pool.
The public elected this council and mayor because they promised to show more common sense than the last council, and they are bitterly disappointed, some having lost faith in the election process altogether.
If there is a zoning issue at Maple Pool, people want to know why property is easily rezoned all the time for big developers (as the residents of McDonald Road know all too well), but not for Maple Pool, when rezoning that property would not have any impact on the surrounding area.
Like us, everyone who has contacted us simply cannot understand why the government is so heartless and cruel, so dead set on closing Maple Pool, and why they aren’t offering the Lins all help they need instead. It really is mind-boggling.
Many of them seem to think that a person (or persons) on the council stands to somehow profit by the closing of the site and that council members have their own agenda, which is not in the public interest.
This is a sad but understandable attitude given the lack of trust and confidence the council’s treatment of this issue seems to have instilled in the public.
As to the big question everyone has asked me, i have no idea what we can do about it. I am just an observer, an exasperated newspaper-reader, and a writer, with a very busy life.
I’m not a leader-type, an organizer, or a politician, and living in a regional district, i didn’t vote for the council either. I do not know any of the parties concerned personally and i’ve never visited Maple Pool. We have only stated the obvious from what we’ve read over the last couple of years about the issue.
It appears to me that public opinion doesn’t have any government influence once someone is elected, even if they’re elected on false promises.
Therefore someone with political and leadership skills would be required to step up to the plate and take on the council on behalf of Maple Pool.
There are a lot of people in the Comox Valley who are capable, talented and experienced at dealing with politicians and legal and practical matters. We can just hope that one or more step forward soon to take up this important issue before it’s too late. I’m sure they could rely on a lot of public support.
Those who have contacted us have wondered about starting a petition. Do petitions do any good? I don’t know, it might make people feel like they’re doing something, and perhaps it would be useful.
Would people outside of the city be allowed to sign? How would it be worded?
Common sense tells me the time and effort would be far better spent on actually building a dike or berm at Maple Pool, if flooding is genuinely the issue concerning the council, or in doing whatever is actually required to meet whatever regulations are supposed to be in violation.
Someone suggested forming a Friends of Maple Pool organization. This sounds good to me, if the group were actually powerful enough to change how the government insists upon dealing with Maple Pool, and also if the group were prepared to actually lend useful help to the Lins’ efforts.
Another group sitting around talking on and on about the issue wouldn’t be of any more use than the council is.
We think possibly the most effective thing people can do is to personally contact Courtenay City Council (at City Hall), which is pursuing Maple Pool in court, and the regional district (across the street from Monte Christo Restaurant), which currently has some money to spend on this very problem, and make your views known.
Writing is probably best, and send it to the newspapers as well, so other people know they are not alone in their thoughts and frustrations about this issue. You also need to contact your own government representatives and let them know your feelings, and insist that something be done.
My husband and I will be there with tools in hand when dike-building or some other practical and needed work begins.