More commentary on the R1 issue

Another resident’s reaction to the recent PSPAC meeting at the Irving Centre has been posted at Voices of Wolfville. Our favorite points from this piece:

To spend thereafter all this time on the “Vision for Wolfville” I regarded as wasting time with the intention to avoid and or shorten the discussions on the really relevant issues of the MPS draft. Nobody in the Western hemisphere will argue about these ideal principles which look good on paper and on the screen and are probably copied from somewhere else. … What was missing was the connection and relevance to the unique situation of the Town of Wolfville and the actions to be taken to get – over time – a step or two forward towards the realization of these idealistic principles.

Indeed. The same could be said of the survey and the community circles which supposedly formed the basis for the Task Forces direction. The questions there were all very general , not very specific to any one “solution” such as rezoning for increased density. The one general question about increased density was answered 50/50 for and against and yet what came out of the task force Is very specific and for the elimination, not just the reduction of the lowest density zone.

The then discussions on sustainability seemed to be based on the hallucinations that sustainability would and could be achieved in this Town within its borders and its given limits by just following the outlined idealistic principles of sustainability.

The writer is kind. Hallucinations perhaps, ideological bias has to be considered likely.

When Mr. Wrye was asked how many R-1-property owners he had consulted regarding the proposed R-1 changes, his answer was “zero”. His response initiated additional laughter. He as well was unable to come up with a correct number on how many properties are in the R-1 zone of Wolfville.

Given the extremely large turn out, the petition of 340 and the many people who actually got up on their hind legs and spoke out against this proposal, it seemed silly to argue, as one committee member did, that the committee had to vote for people not in the room and to keep the “interest” of the town as a whole in mind. We wished that same member had the same qualms when there was only a very small, one sided contingent present at a Town meeting, in favour of, say, for example, an anti-smoking bylaw and it has passed like you know what through a goose. No concern then for people not represented.

One of his [Bob Wrye’s] other statements that he has served the Town of Wolfville with decisive input for the past 25 years may look good on his resume but is only indicating to me that it is overdue time for a replacement in exchange for new ideas. In this context I like all the advantages of the American system, where key-people can serve only two terms max.

Absolutely vital.

Among them, Mr. Glyn Bissix then described his personal situation stating that he lives in a big house he might not be able to hold-on to, especially after retirement in about 5 years, unless the change of the zoning from R-1 to R-1-A would take place. There seems to be a huge conflict of interest and Mr. Bissix seems to have a mental block if unable to see this conflicting situation. His personal problem has no relevance to all the residents of Wolfville and should have no impact on his Committee input and decisions as well. He would be well advised to learn about the Nova Scotia Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. … Later on, the motion, to keep the R-1 zone as it is, was denied due to the fact that Mr. Bissix voted openly against it. What a farce! I had expected that an honorable Mr. Bissix would have stayed at least neutral.

This committee member does seem to be in conflict of interest in another way as well. Did it seem inappropriate to anyone else that this member, who was the prime framer of the survey (the questions on which tended a certain way some would say) which the Task Force touted as a basis in principle for the rezoning proposals, then spoke passionately for one side at the meeting, against all logic and the strong arguments of residents in the hall, and then voted against the motion which would have preserved R1? It seems his mind was already made up before he arrived at the meeting. Shouldn’t Committee members at least commit to being open to voting with the majority and be free of strong preconceived views? We are sure that if every resident of Wolfville disagreed the man would still be unswayed.

Read the rest of this resident’s impressions here

It is nice not to be a lone voice crying in the wilderness.


Comments are closed.