Who are the boneheads that got us into this mall mess?
To paraphrase Pogo, ‘I have seen the boneheads and they is us!’ Us… better known as the populace, the great unwashed who plough through life not really caring about what goes on outside our own little bubbles, barely noticing the fly ball that whizzed past us and crashed into our fragile little sphere; we, the silent majority.
Well, guess what, citizens of Sleepy Hollow, after voting for a Council that promised faster development, full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes, we got exactly what we asked for; one quick public meeting and BANG, It’s a done deal, one new shopping centre on the outskirts of town. Don’t blame our councilors for doing what the mood of the day dictated. Our local legislators were merely doing what was expected… UNTIL… the excrement hit the turbine.
Somebody noticed, in fact a whole lot of somebodys noticed that the decision went through based on the outcome of one meeting that a whack of the public didn’t notice or couldn’t get to because of the time of day it was held. Again, don’t hang the albatross on Council. It was done to the letter of the law, however inadequate that law may be, especially for a decision that could affect Revelstoke for decades to come.
Yes sir. Kudos to our Councilors for backing up the train and saying, in essence, we might have screwed up in how we handled this one.
How about we go back to the old tried-and-true method of getting more public input on gargantuan decisions. Hold a public information meeting, with the developers, where everybody can meet and drop their two cents worth on the principals. Hold it in the Community Centre, in the evening, as we did for the ski hill and the annual allowable cut with the forestry people back when Geoff Battersby was mayor. Over 700 people showed up; a much better sampling of what the majority wants. Mayor McCheese has already alluded to such a move. Hurrah!
So, what if the mall ultimately goes through? We’ve been offered a solution in a Letter to the Editor of this fine journal a few days ago from an interested party in Washington State who talks about the downtown Bellingham experience with a shopping centre being built on the highway. Bye-bye city center shopping. Notice how he says it took 30 years for the downtown to rebuild through revitalization? It doesn’t take a Stephen Hawking to realize that revite works. So don’t wait. Redouble our efforts NOW. At the very least, Mr./Ms./Mrs. Downtown Merchant, spiff up those more-than-a few stores, that need a fresh coat of paint. Do I have to name names? Don’t wait. Do it immediately.
As a herculean challenge revite is something into which the city contributes a fair chunk of the budget but have you seen the budget projections and the size of the projected tax increases for the next five years? Good (expletive) luck. If we wish to mitigate the effects of a highway mall we may have to really bite the bullet on this one, starting today.
Yours in social satire,
Ms. Anne Throap
PS: Bonehead result #2; “Anybody but Harper” was alive and well in this riding for the federal election. It caused a lot of strategic voting, which, as it turns out, gave us an NDP rep in Ottawa. He’s not even a member of the Official Opposition which makes him a Captain Dunsel (Google it) MP.
‘Hey Justin, did you hear something faint from the back benches?’
‘Nah. Must have been the wind.’