Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Councillor Bauman Flip Flops Sells Parkland


This post will be a short one but a necessary one.  It will be short because if I continue to write I will most likely say something I may regret and this is the internet.

Tonight, October 6, 2015 I attended another council meeting.  This meeting by the agenda was supposed to be directing staff on what to do based on last weeks decision by council to not move ahead with the school plan.  However, it turns out that last weeks vote was in a Committee of the Whole meeting which, as I have just learned, is pointless and a waste of everyone's time.  The actual vote on the project occurred this evening.

There were 11 delegations registered to speak in support of the project which most of us through was the purpose of last weeks meeting.  However, I look back on it now and Mayor Shantz wanted to postpone the vote to tonight but Councillor Bauman felt that since so many people came out they should vote that evening.  In that vote Bauman rejected the school proposal.  I have realized that this was a challenge call out to the other side to realize that they may lose.  The other sided responded with 11 delegations.  Most of these delegations all had valid points and spoke passionately about the topic.  Others, unfortunately, felt the need to make up numbers and try to persuade councillors with seriously skewed and outright false facts.  I mean making up a number like $1 000 000 in extra costs if they don't build now is a mind boggling publicity stunt.

In the end Councillor Bauman asked the vote be revisited and he passionately stated his new position in support of the project.  This flip flop by Bauman and the expected support by Councillor Hahn left the council 3-2 in support (4-2 if you include the Mayors vote).

If Bauman would have voted yes last week providing a 3-2 support of the project I would have been disappointed but I would have accepted the outcome as the most inevitable.  This week I was emotionally charged by the new challenge ahead of me an the numerous volunteers that came forward to me this week.  We had an opportunity to come together and work on projects and actually build our community.  After this engaging week, watching Bauman flip flop was devastating.

Congrats everyone you will get a new school, despite the fact that you chose to live in Breslau knowing that your preferred school was an hour bus ride away.  I chose to live in Breslau to back onto a park, but I guess your school board has more money then my township.

What I feel is the biggest loss to Woolwich is the volunteers that came together to make something our of our park.  They are devastated and feel they have been shot in the back.  The businesses that have donated money in the past have now said they won't donate a dime.  I am interested to see the magic for how far this 1.75 million will go.  Once they use that up, that's it.

I am going to stop now.  Good night Breslau and good luck, because that picture at the top of this post, is just a memory.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you Matthew for writing this and all you have done for our community. I feel that tonight's defeat will not be fully understood for sometime. Destroying greenspace is never an answer. Sadly, dirty politics wins out again and money talks. Not everything can be learned in a classroom or by a book.

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    1. Thanks Kat. I am going to need a bit of time to process this one.

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    2. I think many of us will.

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  2. I hope they have a really good spreadsheet started because we all should be demanding to see where every penny of that $1.75m gets spent

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    1. They will only disclose it if someone constantly holds them to it. My bet is that after this all the volunteers who were prepared to come together to build the park will be demoralized and not have the energy to keep fighting. Then the township staff will just do whatever they want.

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  3. This is infuriating. Talk about completely devaluing the time, effort and money put in by our volunteers over the years. With the stroke of a pen, 4 people who don't even know or live in the area can destroy this beautiful park space. Who in their right mind could, in good conscious, stand in front of council and imply this is wasted space? Let your children PLAY for goodness sake! Park space isn't wasted just because there isn't a park plopped on the land or lines drawn in the grass. I didn't realize a place for kids to run and play was a waste. What a damn shame...
    Jess

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    1. I am very disappointed in the whole process and Council wonders why there is lack of trust.

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  4. A little proof reading goes a long way. This whole blob is a really tough read. This post especially.

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    1. Probably a good thing I don't get paid to write then. I write how I think and how I feel. I don't really care if it is a literary work of art. Thanks for the feedback.

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