Letter - If you don't want to deal with issues, why run for council

The Regional

July 27, 2011

This past Saturday proved that life isn't always predictable. At the residence of an elected official, I was chewed up and spat out like a bad stick of gum. A little later, at the south end of Argyle Street (about the last place I'd go to socialize) I received kind words, hand shakes, and a hug. Ya just never know.

Below is the spiel I delivered after receiving my verbal bludgeoning:

"Good Morning. I'd like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules and braving the heat. I won't keep you long and I would ask that you stay on the street. We have rules about trespassing that some of us actually acknowledge.. I was hoping that this could be a rally rather than a protest, which it would be, hinged on council's reaction to some illegal construction in town. When I informed Mayor Hewitt that a protest would take place in front of his home if council refused to do its duty, he was not enthusiastic.

"I suggest we put things in perspective. Hundreds of households and businesses in this area were inconvenienced to varying degrees, some outright terrorized, some for months. These people were powerless to do anything about it short of taking the law into their own hands. They learned the hard way that to ask Council 'What can You Do?' is a mistake. Far better to learn in advance what Council can and can't do and then state: "Here's What You Can Do. Why Not Do It?'

"Before you accuse me of trying to be the tail that wags the dog, I should point out the following: If council wanted to do something about this it would have been done by now. If Haldimand County doesn't care, nobody cares. The OPP doesn't care. The Province doesn't care. All we're asking is that council do what it is authorized to do. "I'm not certain how long the process is, but I'm guessing hours rather than days. I would ask that each of you contact the Mayor and your representative on council and inquire of them why they are refusing to do their duty. I would ask: Since you knew that incidents like this have been occurring for five years, since you knew that they would continue to occur, why, if you don't want to deal with them did you run for council in the first place? If you expect to get paid and I'm guessing that you do, the people of Haldimand County have every right to expect that you do the job, not just the parts you're comfortable with.

"I'm of the opinion that if Council steps up to the plate on this issue, the citizens of Haldimand County will support them."

Doug Fleming