Leadership with integrity needed
Re: City ‘vindicated’ in Arrowdale sale, says councillor (Jan. 15)
So, Coun. Jan Vanderstelt feels vindicated by the decision in the court case over the sale of the Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course? The only thing he and the other counciillors who voted to sell Arrowdale accomplished was to divide our great city. What councillors did may have been legal but, in my opinion, it was unethical.
We’ve never been told how much of the $14 million from the property’s sale will actually go towards affordable housing. We all know that it will be a lot less than $14 million
When are we going to get a breakdown of how the money will be spent?
All we can hope for now is that the voters remember the councillors who went along with this scheme.
Vote them out. Let’s get some leadership with integrity on the new council.
Brantford deserves better
Coun. Jan Vanderstelt’s bravado and grandstanding seem to show he wasn’t so confident the court case over the Arrowdale sale would go the city’s way. But, when it did, he just had to thumb his nose at the vast majority of Brantford citizens who oppose this senseless sale. He seems to have forgotten that he works for the people of Brantford and should be listening to what they feel is best for the city, and that is: Do not sell Arrowdale.
Vanderstelt and Mayor Davis exchanged emails where Davis threatens to resign if council questions his leadership and listen to a small group of self-interested golfers opposed to the sale. I wonder what beef Davis has with golfers. Is it that the very soul of golf stands for sportsmanship, integrity and honesty? Sadly for Davis and Vanderstelt, tobogganers, non-tobogganers, old and young, people who neighbour Arrowdale, people throughout Brantford, non-golfers and golfers (who are not self interested) are vehemently against this sale. They demand council listen to them.
Vanderstelt brags that the court case upheld the process that the city followed, but simply meeting minimal legalities does not make this decision right, moral or ethical. The public feels cheated by those councillors who voted for this sale. Arrowdale is a small, family-friendly parcel of land that the public can use for golf or tobogganing. It isn’t a country club. Everyday citizens understand this. Too bad the mayor and his supporting councillors don’t.
Vanderstelt gushes about the new park to be built on the Arrowdale land and the article mentions that 17 acres are set aside for it. Not mentioned is that only when the eight councillors who voted to sell began to realize they had painted themselves into a corner, did the offering of a green space start to surface. It started with four acres, then rose to 17. Peculiar numbers of acreage to be offered, unless this was pre-determined, which flies in the face that those councillors entered the meeting with open minds. As for this “amazing” park that Vanderstelt claims is coming, the public has already made it clear they would rather have Arrowdale. When the city asked for suggestions about what this park should be, a pathetically low number of 331 people replied. This from a population that is close to 100,000. So, eight councillors are building a park for 331 people and closing a golf course that attracts thousands of rounds a year and taking away some of the best tobogganing hills around from families all across the city.
Brantford deserves better from our elected officials. It deserves them honouring their word and not flip-flop, as was the case when five councillors from the previous council went back on their promise not to sell Arrowdale. It is sad indeed when eight councillors decide not to listen to the public outcry over this sale and hide behind the argument that they did nothing legally wrong. If any of these eight councillors decide to run in the next election, I hope voters ensure that they never represent our city again.
Would that be vindication? No, because Arrowdale would be lost. But it would be justice.