Councillor’s response out of line

In light of recent updates in the media regarding a possible postponement of opening our community centre, I emailed my thoughts on this to each of the council members. I received one very prompt, courteous and unbiased reply from a council member, which I was pleasantly surprised at. I also received a shockingly rude one from another council member.

This is a direct quote from the email I received: “maam you are getting worked up over nothing. There have been no orders to slow down. Review council meeting of a couple of weeks ago for public verification of same.”

Despite the abrupt and grammatically incorrect nature of the email, I gave this council member the benefit of the doubt and replied with this:

“Thank you for your prompt reply. I am glad to hear construction is on schedule. As this is the case, I would simply re-iterate that there is no need to delay opening once the facility is ready.”

I was surprised to hear back almost immediately from this council member again: “please bone up on this, preferably before you comment further. The construction isn’t everything, there is recertification and a new provincial act involved, which we are told on a new facility will be used. Staff are trying to determine the timing.”

Well, Mr. Councillor, I decided to “bone up” on the issue. After reading the new act in which the regulations are updated for re-certification and new facilities (www.lifesaving.bc.ca/node/1935), I am curious to know exactly which part of it is presenting a problem for council. Many of the potential problems should have been taken care of by this point, as much of it pertains to construction and permits regarding spray and wading pools. The rest of the roadblocks that I could see hinged directly on the principal operator of the facility once it is open (ie pool safety plan). This decision has not been made. Decide who will run it now, and the necessary planning could begin that much sooner.

There are obviously many issues at hand here, and I appreciate that council must do its due diligence in the area of fiscal responsibility. But I ask the council and the public: What does “due diligence” look like when it comes to responding to the public, who voted for them in the first place? All other issues aside, I would hope that an apparently educated professional working in our community and on our behalf would have the sense to know how to respond appropriately. It seems in this case, however, I am wrong.

S. Otke

 

Penticton