In the report, which the BR glossed over in its haste to cover all of the 428 pages in the agenda, was a statement that is so offensive to local democracy that it must be highlighted and exposed. In addition the response to local resident Keith Oliver from the Architect of the proposal was so condescending and insulting that it shouldn’t pass without rebuttal.
But first to the comments made by the Town Planners about the people who commented on the proposal.
We challenge anybody reading this piece to say that it was written without bias. Are there any comments that demonstrate the tone of the supporters, if not then the comment is biased. Should editorial comments be written by independent planning professionals in such a way intended to influence or should they just state the facts. We think “just the facts ma’am” should suffice. I also challenge everybody to read the 48 comments and discover that very few of them are written in the same wording and formats. We would suggest that the tone may be similar but little else is. As to the accuracy of Mr Oliver’s drawings, the allegation that they are inaccurate is just an allegation made by the proponent, after all what else would he say? We would point out that during the public discussion by Council it was demonstrated that the drawings used by the Proponent were out of scale and inaccurate. So who was unduly influencing whom?
The point of this post is to say to all that it is unprofessional for the Town Staff to be taking sides against the Citizens who pay their wages. This report was signed off by three of the Town’s Staff: the CAO, the Director of Planning and the Manger of Planning. This supposes that the intent to slag off people who wrote dissenting opinions about a proposal that is supposed to be presented as fact not opinion, is a Town position designed to persuade the decision-making Councillors to vote in the affirmative. Staff reports are not supposed to be slanted and must be free of editorial opinion, this one in this instance was not. The effect of this stance is to persuade some Citizens who made the effort to participate in the process, question their efforts when they blown off so easily by the professionals.
Mr Oliver came in for some very hard slaps from the proponents architect a Mr P Shield, a fellow with four sets of letters behind his name – very impressive?
However that does not give him the unbridled permission to be dismissive, condescending or even insulting to Mr Oliver by dismissing him as “neither a planner, an Architect, or an elected politician” as if the lack of any of these attributes disbar him from making comments or were they used to deify those occupations? If he had checked around Town with anybody other than the Town’s sycophants he would have learned that Mr Oliver, despite the lack of Architectural letters behind his name has worked in the Building and Construction Industry as well as having been involved in large Developments up and down the Eastern Seaboard for decades. he has even been hired on as an expert adviser on a couple of prestigious projects in his lifetime. So to dismiss him as a “dreamer or obtuse naysayer” is really bad form. But coupled with the arrogance of the proponent when addressing Council – “You don’t have to listen to anyone you make the decisions” what can we expect when the Big City slickers ride into to Town to show the rubes what they need.
In fact it is the TVM group that is behind the times here. In failing to consider alternatives within the confines of existing rules whilst insisting that because they are bankrolling the project they know best, they are making moves that will be costly both in dollars and local support. This building can be redesigned, conform to four floors and be cheaper to build if they are willing to listen. But hey what do we know, not much in their minds. Still never mind at a price point of $350K for the cheapest unit in a collapsed condo ,market we wish them the best in trying to get this thing off the ground. But better still if they fail perhaps the next design will sell.