With our new Mayor winning the recent election with the slogan of transparency and openness, most people in town assumed that this Council would be just that: open and transparent.
With that idea in mind I waited for the usual notice in The Observer asking for submission of resumes for the various committees that are part of every Council. Even the last mayor, who was accused of not being transparent enough, ran a notice asking for submission of resumes. However, no notice was published and so I finally submitted my request.
I have an extensive history in Harrison, as a developer, business owner, Chamber Director and registered housing professional yet received no response and now with the Committees announced, I realize this process was never meant to be democratic and was anything but transparent.
Like many residents and business owners, I am left with nothing but questions. Why wasn’t I considered for the Advisory Planning Commission (APC)? Why did I not even get a response or acknowledgement of my application? How were committee members selected? Do they have appropriate qualifications? Why is there no voice representing small business?
What makes this particularly annoying is that as a Harrison Hot Springs residential and commercial land owner, as well as business owner I have invested a great deal in this community and yet I have no voice. Legally I cannot vote on Election Day as I live in Kent and now not only will my voice not be heard in the APC but the Economic Development Committee that I served on under the previous Council has been disbanded. This is hard to understand at a time when the tourism economy is down, businesses are closing in Harrison and many of the rest are up for sale.
This brings me my last point, years ago after reading the OCP I invested my life savings to live and do business in Harrison Hot Springs. The OCP Document stated above all that this was and would continue to be a resort destination. Unfortunately the actions of Harrison’s politicians too often say otherwise. The result is a town that does not develop and today you see businesses dropping like flies and those that are not closing are trying to sell. The only problem is there are no buyers.
It’s my hope that Harrison gets back on track and its politicians think twice about doing anything that could further harm the lives of business owners in Harrison.