Editor, The News:
The silence before and following the announcement of the pending demise of the parks and leisure services commission is deafening.
Here is an organization that has served two communities very well for over 20 years being summarily disbanded.
The decision has been made in-camera with no public consultation, despite of the fact that thousands of our citizens are affected, many of them children.
The News reported that a deal to remedy identified cost issues was in the works. This has apparently been abandoned. As far as one can tell, there has been no attempt at mediation.
The benefits of the cooperative model have been many. Both arts and sports organizations and have achieved synergies that would not have materialized had each city been operating independently.
Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge share so much naturally. The school district, host of many sports facilities, is one entity for all our kids.
The health region and hospital are the same.
The RCMP is one unit.
The geography lends itself to cooperation.
Here we are, all the people residing between the Pitt and Stave rivers, bound by the Fraser River and the Coast Mountains. Not such a big area, and so well defined. Citizens move around it with ease. Many have lived in both places.
Why are we so hastily abandoning a model that demonstrates inter-city cooperation, effective use of resources, and which encourages positive relationships among our citizens?
All with hardly a murmur in either place, at any level.
It all looks like a bad divorce.
I urge politicians in each city to give it their best shot.
At the very least, seek mediation and speak with your citizens before undoing a proud history of creative, cooperative endeavor.
Editor’s note: Ms. King is a former member of Maple Ridge council.