I attended a very disappointing open house at the Cedar Hill golf course clubhouse last week. The cause of this frustration is the typical lack of good communications I have come to expect from Saanich.
In particular, while advertising that the open house was to hear from the public stakeholders for suggestions on how to use the second floor space, immediately upon arrival we are told that not all suggestions are welcome. Anything to do with a restaurant has been ruled out of bounds.
The problem is I, and practically everyone I talked to, came to support some form of renewed restaurant or food and beverage service.
Immediately a large black cloud hung over the proceedings and many of us left biting our tongues. Saanich did not post this information on their website so it came as a complete surprise. Nor did Elevate Consulting make mention of it when I talked with them earlier. This is a serious communications problem.
The second communications problem came when the intro information presented to us said that Chemistry Consulting was studying feasibility of food and beverage service and their report was pending. What is the nature of their inquiry? Funny, I have not heard of this.
So the public cannot talk about restaurant options, but Saanich can and can use my tax dollars to do so?
I and many others at the open house tonight, suspect this public consultation process is a sham and the fix is in for a preferred solution.
The so-called expression of public input taken from this then will be cited as due diligence for Saanich decreeing some other use that the public didn’t want.
When people were told that they couldn’t vote for their first choice of a restaurant – their plan A – some began to offer weak and half-hearted plan B suggestions. Saanich will be making yet another mistake if they consider these plan Bs a serious sampling of public input.
If this mayor, council and staff cannot figure out a way around the cost of wages for municipal workers – a bump on the road, really – it is time to step aside and let a creative accounting and business team take over.
Please improve your communications with me and all stakeholders on this file. I would rather help you than be adversarial. But I will do what is necessary to be heard.