Re: Task force will review user fees for city programs, services (May 1)
I was saddened to read that the city has set up a task force to review user fees for the use of parks and recreational programs, services, rentals and memberships. Council claims that there would be an opportunity for the city to collect about $75,000 in additional fees from out-of-town users. For council to even consider justifying such a small financial gain is absolutely ridiculous when compared to the value that non-resident participation brings to the city. Brantford should instead welcome everyone regardless of where they live and thank them supporting programs, not trying to charge them an extra user fee. Community is about building relationships of respect and kindness with our neighbours.
Re: City to move ahead with Arrowdale sale and Premier called on to lift COVID prohibition on golf (April 29)
The two articles separated by just one page really make one wonder about this current city council.
In the first article, the city states that it intends to push ahead with its plan to sell Arrowdale Public Golf Course after Know Your City Inc.’s leave to appeal was denied. This was a golden opportunity for the mayor and council to extend an olive branch to residents by acknowledging the true will of the community and cancel the sale. As has happened way too many times with this council, they dropped the ball by staying with its strong arm policy. Councillors seem to forget they were given the honour to serve the people via a democratic election. They were not given the right to make autocratic decisions.
In the same article, KYCI, the citizens group that challenged the city’s decision, declared a win for residents. While I fully support the efforts of KYCI, I feel everyone has lost. An uncaring mayor and council have lost because of all the unnecessary angst, anger, sadness and mistrust they have created. Supporters of Arrowdale, who for the first time in their lives wrote letters to the editor, respectfully protested, started a Facebook site and made attempts to contact the mayor and council only to be ignored, have lost because they can no longer respect the political process. Arrowdale is not an elite golf course. It is for the regular everyday working stiffs and retirees. It is for the young or old, golfer or non-golfer and winter enthusiasts. They all have lost an affordable form of recreation and socializing.
Turning the page to the second article, I find that, by a 9-2 vote, council approved a motion to join the provincewide petition to open up golf courses during the province’s latest pandemic shutdown. What a surprise to read that councilors John Utley, Rick Weaver, Greg Martin and Dan McCreary all made favourable quotes. They are four of the five who went back on their word to the people of Brantford when they originally voted not to sell Arrowdale and to invest in improvements. Coun. John Sless is the fifth member of that group and he also supported this motion. The coup de grace came when McCreary, who made the motion, was quoted: “But we’ve got in place a government that seems to listen.” Too bad the people of Brantford cannot say the same.