Where was the 'silent majority?'

To the Editor:
It is time for Council to hold public input meetings at a time of day when more Revelstoke citizens can attend, especially on issues as pivotal as the use change for the proposed shopping plaza on the highway at Mutas Road.
Tuesday’s Council meeting contained the most lively debate I have ever witnessed since the ski hill controversy. All Councillors made valid points, pro and con, but I felt Connie Brothers’ well-crafted plea for the democratic process was exemplary. Brothers championed the cause of getting more input from the ‘Silent Majority!’
Yes, Council and the City held a meeting for public input. It was conducted to the letter of the law; can’t fault them on that, but it was held at a time when many can’t attend: mid-afternoon.
Consequently, we now have the go-ahead to put a plaza with grocery store and pharmacy on the highway with the input of only a few. Is that what the majority wanted? We don’t know. We just don’t know.
Brothers made the point that the decision did not have to be made today (Tuesday) because, if it was voted down it causes another motion to be made that would allow time for more input and perhaps the main ingredient of politics; compromise. Being at the meeting I got the feeling a few of the Councillors didn’t fully grasp the alternative. Voting ‘No’ would not have killed it, just delayed it a bit for more input.
Will the development bring more jobs? Yes, for a while. Will it, as approved, gut the downtown? There are precedents to say it will. I talked with one developer after the Council meeting who pointedly said he was thinking of buying a lot to develop in the heart off Revelstoke, but not now. Granted it was a spur of the moment comment and not admissible in the court of public opinion.
Regardless, it was one of the toughest decisions this Council will make, but I feel they did it without all sectors being heard from.
Steve Bender
Former City Councillor and Citizen