After observing deliberations by Parksville mayor and council regarding recent issues, it is apparent that city council is intent on serving Parksville staff instead of the taxpaying residents.
John Harding of The NEWS recently reported the concerns of residents on Trill Drive, regarding the proposed waterline/trail adjacent to their backyards. The residents do not negate the fact that this needs to be built, but have proposed that it should occur on the opposite side of the railway tracks to provide their privacy and security.
A reasonable request. However, the Parksville staff have advised this is not possible due to the location of fibre-optic lines in the area. If the contractor cannot avail itself of new tracer technology to locate the lines before digging, then I suggest another contractor be considered.
This year residents of Soriel Road requested that council consider extending the sidewalk adjacent to a proposed subdivision for safety concerns. Sorry, council got a report from staff and concluded that is not possible.
Recently the City of Parksville announced its intentions to remove Gorse adjacent to Highway 19A with a herbicide. Local residents requested that Parksville consider other methods due to the health implications of herbicide use. Sorry, Council got a report from staff and concluded that they would proceed with the use of the herbicide.
Council chambers were packed recently with residents from the Foster Park area upset with the staff proposal to allow camping in Foster Park. The residents had a legitimate concern. Sorry, council proceeded to pass the bylaw as recommended by staff.
I understand the importance of deferring to staff for their opinion, however when that opinion is in direct conflict with the wishes of the affected taxpayers, then mayor and council should approach staff to review the report with the intent of “how can we make this work to the benefit of these citizens” instead of “it’s our way or the highway.”
At the all-candidates meeting held prior to the last municipal election, every candidate declared their commitment to serve the residents of their community. Mayor and council are elected to represent the interests of Parksville taxpayers, not the staff.