Letter writer questions council’s achievements

Observer column leads to questions about council

Is The Observer biased by showing support for the current mayor and council of Harrison Hot Springs for the upcoming elections on November 19?

If they are, I do not have a problem with this as long as all the facts are disclosed and are correct.

I refer to Ruth Altendorf’s article dated September 23 which had incorrect information. I do not know where Ruth obtained the information in her article as I have not seen her at any of the council meetings or committees. To put the facts into prospective the water treatment plant, the funding for this was achieved by the previous administration as was the budget for the water reservoir.

I have not seen any repairs carried out to the Fred Hardy Bridge as it is a new bridge installed just over three years ago under the previous administration. I would like to know which two long-term bills have been paid off ten years ahead of time as these have not been discussed at any budget meetings I have attended. The Plaza and beach front improvements have been paid for from the two per cent hotel room tax, which was a tax which Mayor Becotte originally thought would not generate enough revenue to benefit the village (The Voice – 8 Nov 2005) but Mayor Becotte seems to be very content that the last administration went ahead with this as he is now making use of the revenue from it.

The Memorial Hall, 372 residents signed a petition asking this administration not to proceed with the renovations of the Memorial Hall as they felt its useful lifespan had come to an end and should be replaced with a new facility. These residents were proven right when this current administration paid over $18,000 to a consultant to undertake a community based needs assessment which highlighted that the majority of residents want a new multi purpose community facility. Contracts, such as the solid waste management (garbage collection) were not open for businesses in the village or anywhere locally as this administration without consulting these businesses decided they could not do the work.

Now I have corrected and given accurate information (which I can evidence) let’s look at items which have failed under this administration.

The extension to the paid boat launch parking was not done correctly and had to be withdrawn. What ever happened to the bylaw officer’s office? Was it really good use at $400 rent per month?

I do not think so.

Well water – why does the mayor, Councillors Kenyon and Harris feel so strongly about changing our source of fresh lake water to well water which they know has contaminants already in it, and what about those households who were targeted and charged by the council to join the waterline extension in Hot Springs road and McPherson road to come off well water – will they get their money back if there is a future yes vote to well water?

Final issue, I have concerns with the proposed introduction of extended traffic calming in the village which does not address vulnerable areas such as the school in Walnut Avenue and McPherson where the fatality occurred. This traffic calming study cost $31,000 and some proposed measures to be installed in Miami River Drive have not even had surveys carried out to ascertain if they are necessary.  Why do we pay for incomplete studies?

Ray Hooper

Editor’s note: The plaza renovations were funded in part by a Spirit Square grant, and the traffic calming study is not yet complete.

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