First the good news: the Heritage Hills park wasn’t named after a politician.
Politicians should never name any public amenity after a politician. At least 50 per cent, and likely more, voted elsewhere. Politicians are adequately recompensed; many think overpaid and overrated. The naming of streets, parks or public facilities should be to honour people in our community that have contributed selflessly and worked to build and serve our needs. There are many lifelong volunteers who have worked tirelessly in our community that will never be recognized.
Now the bad news: It beggars belief that the RDOS would allow a developer to call the tune in the naming of a park. And give him a free pass from contributing more parkland as his project expands.
What were they thinking? Or, perhaps they weren’t. More likely they read and passed a staff report with minor modifications. The people of Area D will pay the price for politicians asleep at the wheel.
The fact that the people in Heritage do not recognize the name of Garnett is immaterial. Many are likely not from this area and cannot be expected to understand or respect our history, though Garnett’s contributions are unclear.
Garnett helped the developer attain funds to develop the land. I guess the developer didn’t make any money on this project. It was a charitable project serving the needs of the community and not himself.
The people of Heritage Hills contributed $1 million to the enhancement of this park. If the developer wanted naming rights he should have paid for these amenities.
Again what was the RDOS thinking? The park has limited value and cannot be used for development yet the RDOS gave the developer a $385,000 tax receipt and an agreement to let him hold the balance of power in the naming of the park.
Vassilaki was right when he said, “I feel sorry for the people up there not getting the name they wished, but a contract is a contract is a contract.”
Historically the people living in the RDOS do not hold this arrogant body accountable for their actions. This results in off the rails projects simply because they do not expect higher standards then they presently receive. There is an old adage; you get what you pay for. Politicians are supposed to work for us. We should never forget that.