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LETTER: Paranoia or due process

Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Fall 2013 the RDKB (Regional District of Kootenay Boundary) launches the Kettle Blah-Blah Plan. A few months later Grand Forks city council slams through a unanimous motion to install residential smart water metres. The citizenry clamours, an open-house is held and already by April 2014 a request for proposal to install the metres is put out to tender.

All fine and good for what appears to be a rather “swift” administrative directive. In the meantime 800 Grand Forks residents sign a petition requesting the motion to install metres be rescinded, the community be truly consulted, a referendum be held and other options explored. In the meantime the Blah-Blah Plan is not completed and one would have presumed City Council would have held off on water metres till it was…since water is on local governments’ radar and city council was supposed supportive of the Blah-Blah Plan. Why jump the gun on the metres is my question now.

In following the saga from the fringes I come to the conclusion “due process” is not being served in the matter. While Grand Forks council sponsors workshops to increase citizen participation, it stomachs with difficulty involvement not in lock-step with its fiddle tune. I suspect there is more to this than meets the eye and it is not of the global conspiracy variety.

An alert published this week by the City of Grand Forks, “…suspicious phone calls to members of the community regarding the installation of water metres…please contact the RCMP,” reeks of red herring and fear mongering by the City to sway the community’s favour. Really, how many calls, to whom, were they robo-calls? If so serious, why not the RCMP alerting the community? It is their domain after all. Let’s track down the culprits if culprit be…or get down to the hanky-panky behind the alert.

GF Gazette’s Roy Ronagan April 23rd Agenda 21 comments put him far off the mark on this one. All over the map to make his case for water metres he seems to have lost perspective on the democratic process presently under threat in this community in the matter. To paint 800 members of the community and a handful of concerned citizens as paranoid because they not agree with the City’s position is over the top.

No one will disagree there is always a lunatic fringe to be found on both ends of any issue. That can be a culprit phone call on water metres in Grand Forks or again plans by Ronagan’s Gazette boss David Black to refine bitumen at Kitimat. Take your pick.

Donald Pharand