Letters: ‘We were promised a chance’

Says Maple Ridge mayor and council are ramming through a decision that will forever change the main entry to the city.

Editor, The News:

Re: Ridge launches 2020 plan (The News, Sept. 21).

Rather than a positive, it is a new low for any mayor or council in the history of Maple Ridge.

They are ramming through a decision that will forever change the main entry to the city and limiting the potential for increased commercial investment without any interest in what the public fears the negative result will be.

Ever since the rally to stop the Quality Inn proposal, the public has been asking for a chance to voice concerns over having yet another low-barrier shelter being built here.

They have been ignored … despite video and numerous e-mails showing and describing property thefts.

Council bought the property on Lougheed Highway and told the public to wait until B.C. Housing had decided upon what the new shelter would be.

We were promised a chance for major consultation and input prior to any decision being made. Yet, on Sept. 12, the mayor and Couns. Kiersten Duncan, Craig Speirs, and Tyler Shymkiw voted to accept the “minimal barrier” recommendation, without any chance for public comment.

Mayor Nicole Read even used an archaic bylaw that defies Robert’s Rules of Order to deny debate to stop a councillor from having the motion referred for a month.

They passed a motion to proceed with consultation and public engagement on a low-barrier shelter.

Deferral motion was denied. It was explained during the meeting that council procedural bylaw takes precedence over Robert’s Rules of Order.

The mayor’s answer to a question asked at a council meeting made it clear that the decision has already been made; no delay is possible as the 40 people living in the temporary shelter need a place to live when the temp shelter closes.

A mayor and three councilors who all ran on listening and acting for the benefit of all the community, claiming a desire for transparency and openness, don’t care what the shelter will do to our city or its people, don’t care what many residents want, and even refuse to give them a chance to voice their concerns …

A true low point in our history.

Graham Mowatt

Maple Ridge

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