ATTENTION: Certain blog posts containing scans of court documents have been removed from this blog as per a decision by the court reporter. This would not have been an issue if not for the actions of another blog in publishing confidential material. This is ongoing.
Now back to the regular rant:
One of this blog's regular contributors, Corruption Fighter said the following:
"Not to down play the serious threat this letter presents to 1 of the few people here with the guts to speak out , Sharon Bowers"
I feel that I have to set the record straight. I am not brave, nor do I really want the attention. If anything, I want to live in quiet and peace. I am a writer, no longer a political activist. Or so I thought.
I became involved in community organizations in my adopted home town, hoping that Crystal Beach would make a come-back from near death after the amusement park closed. The arrival of the prestigious C.A.U.S.E. group to study Crystal Beach gave many of us great hope for its future. The recommendations of the group became a blueprint for those working to bring the village back from blight and abandonment. That was in 1996.
In 2001, the town purchased the Bay Beach Properties from the Rebstock Family, a recommendation of the C.A.U.S.E. study. Many of us were elated that a large piece of waterfront property and parking lots would belong to the public.
Within a year, came the staff suggestion that the north section, which included the parking lots, be sold off to help finance a portion of the Friendship Trail. That's when I started The Strand. I wanted to inform people of the potential loss of a valuable part of the public property. The CAUSE recommendations did include the purchase of the Bay Beach Properties, but it recommended that the north section be sold off only to enable the purchase of more waterfront property in Crystal Beach. As someone who had participated in the study and practically memorized it, I was concerned that the town would sell the property and we would gain nothing for it.
So, we worked to stop the selling off of the north properties. A petition went nowhere but the 2003 election brought the issue to the fore and a new councillor was elected on the promise that he would not let the property be sold. And it wasn't. The award-winning 2005 Crystal Beach Neighbourhood Plan was accepted by council and it contained clauses about the maximum building height and the retention of the north side of the Bay Beach Properties. We all took a collective sigh of relief and I went on with my life, putting the Strand and blog away for a while,
In 2006, Doug Martin was elected mayor and some new faces appeared at council. Didn't pay much attention until Rino Mostacci, the town planner at the time, offered the suggestion that the south (lakefront) side of the Bay Beach Properties be offered up for a Public Private Partnership (P3) in order to take advantage of amenities offered in such a scheme. Not only are P3s expensive to the communities where they have been used, the chosen developer wanted to put two 12 story high rises on the public property in front of the public beach.
And now you know why I came out of semi-retirement and went full bore against Mostacci and everyone who supported the project. Many others took up the fight, right to the point where they realized that there needed to be a change at council because the then council ignored the petitions, pleas and delegations that came before it. Thus, in 2010 the voters selected four councillors who were not in lock step with the town planner, the mayor and even the former Ward 5 councillor who betrayed the people's trust with lies and self-interest.
The four brave councillors have weathered numerous attacks, lawsuits and a slanted local press.
Why is that? I think we know.
There is a lot at stake in this election. It boils down to the average taxpayer vs. the "establishment" which has been running this town for decades through puppet candidates and nepotism.
The record is available to peruse on the town's website. What was accomplished in the last four years. It is impressive, especially the lowest tax increase in almost a decade. That's what the voters should be concerned with: their taxes and the services they pay for through their taxes.
It's not about one blog vs. another.
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