There seems to be a desperation in the minds of a few to “move on” with the water meter program, shake hands, smile, and carry on like nothing happened. Well, something did happen, and it has fractured this community.
A small group of “we know what’s best for you” political types totally ignored a huge public outcry against plans for the water meter program and blundered on regardless. Former mayor Brian Taylor (who doesn’t even live in the city), and former city council took it upon themselves to undertake a gross abuse of executive privilege, against the wishes of some 800 petitioners. They just put their fingers in theirs ears, refused to listen to alternate plans, and decided to spend 1.3 million dollars of taxpayers’ money on a very ill-informed program. As proven by threatening letters and ads, they also clearly bullied many homeowners into getting water meters installed. They didn’t even use certified plumbers, which is a clear breach of the BC Plumbing Code.
A town like this doesn’t recover from abuse like that in just a short while. Just like with victims of personal assault, these things are hard to get over. The victims here are democracy and the sense of trust and community one has living in a harmonious, respectful town.
Far from what some will want you to believe, there are only a handful of extremely vocal residents really interested in the current program. The silent majority are against the program, as proven by the 800 or so signature petition, and by the unending flow of negativity to it by many, many residents.
But how do you heal such abuse and betrayal from someone you elected to represent you in office ?
There is talk that this negativity is hurting Grand Forks financially and otherwise, limiting interest from external business and such. Well, you can put full credit for that on former mayor Brian Taylor’s and former council members’ shoulders. They screwed up, big time. What were they thinking ? This community is suffering from their self-indulgent power trip.
City council should be concerned about undoing the damage done, once again trying to move in a direction of democracy and respect rather than rule and obedience. You don’t get respect or harmony by use of the stick.
There are alternate solutions to the current water meter plan, ones that are much less expensive, less invasive, and much less disruptive. The water meter plan caters to the vested interest groups (those who may profit from our water) and to corporations making moves to take over our God-given resources. Do you realize that, down the road, with water meters, our water system could be taken over by some third-party corporation that would charge you by the liter?
The gullible have fallen for the water meter sales pitch of the vested interests, thinking that this is the only way to save water.