Res­i­dents not im­pressed by coun­cil’s ab­sence

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Ge­orge and Lynn But­ler, co-own­ers of Rothe­say House Her­itage Inn, write from Har­bour Grace

Please al­low me space in your pa­per on be­half of a num­ber of res­i­dents of Har­bour Grace.

Many res­i­dents of the Her­itage Dis­trict of Har­bour Grace at­tended a public hear­ing on July 23 at 2 p.m. at Har­bour Grace. A no­tice to res­i­dents was ad­ver­tised by the Town of Har­bour Grace for the past month re­gard­ing a marine in­dus­trial ex­pan­sion (MIE) along the Wa­ter Street shore­line of the Her­itage Dis­trict of Har­bour Grace.

A num­ber of res­i­dents who will be di­rectly im­pacted by this pro­ject took the time from there busy sched­ules — be it bed and break­fast own­ers, res­i­dents tak­ing time from work, res­i­dents with their young chil­dren in tow and oth­ers — to present thought­ful ob­ser­va­tions and ob­jec­tions to the pro­ject site se­lec­tion be­ing the en­tire shore­line of the Her­itage Dis­trict.

They pre­sented to a me­di­a­tor hired by the town as is pro­ce­dural I am told for public hear­ings. Also in at­ten­dance were the town plan- ner and the town clerk.

What was glar­ingly and ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing was the to­tal ab­sence of any elected of­fi­cial from the Town of Har­bour Grace to hear the emo­tion and con­cerns of res­i­dents.

As elected coun­cil­lors and thus ser­vants of the res­i­dents of the town, one would have ex­pected a level of pro­fes­sional cour­tesy and re­spect for those that may have elected you. Not one coun­cil­lor in at­ten­dance. There was plenty of time to sched­ule or resched­ule com­mit­ments, work be­ing an ex- cep­tion of course. Per­haps it would have been more rea­son­able to sched­ule this public hear­ing for 7 p.m., which would have al­lowed more at­ten­dance and ex­po­sure of this MIE pro­ject to the gen­eral public.

Where was the newly formed Har­bour Grace her­itage com­mit­tee or any of its mem­bers on this mat­ter? Af­ter all, the Des­ig­nated Her­itage Dis­trict of Har­bour Grace is al­ready an at­trac­tion for tourists and lo­cal res­i­dents, and needs pro­tec­tion from in­dus­trial en­croach­ment. Peo­ple will not walk down

Wa­ter Street to ad­mire another Har­vey’s wharf as in St. John’s.

Coun­cil­lors not be­ing aware of there own public hear­ing is just not good enough and coun­cil’s ab­sence speaks vol­umes to this pro­ject and to the res­i­dent taxpayers and in­vestors of the Her­itage Dis­trict.

As elected coun­cil­lors and thus ser­vants of the res­i­dents of the town, one would have ex­pected a level of pro­fes­sional cour­tesy and re­spect for those that may have elected you.

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