This is an open letter. Belonging to a wide group of concerned citizens that include heritage district property owners and downtown merchants, I am flummoxed by Councillor John Edwards’ attempt to rescind the previously debated Heritage Conservation District (HCD) bylaw this evening. I would hope that as a progressive slate of newly elected representatives, you could focus on fresh plans and possibilities for our Town.
Rinsing and repeating democratically disregarded ideas from the previous Council should be recognized for what it is – cynically-driven politics motivated by little more than a short-term profit motive and/or misplaced ideology, with a total disregard for our shared river ecology that our fellow citizens in the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists have painstakingly proven is endangered.
The prize worth voting for is the jewel that is our heritage downtown, that need not suffer an Enerdu hydro generation factory stabbed through its heart. Our downtown’s enviable transformation over the last two decades has made it an oasis for residential life as well as retail, culinary, cultural and knowledge-based businesses that attract talent, investment and tourism dollars from far outside our community.
The legacy worth fighting for, which the HDC designation gives you the tools to protect (and as internationally renowned wetlands ecologist Dr. Paul Keddy has stated in the MVFN report, preceded all of us by millennia) is the endangered Appleton Wetland.
Thus your decision this evening has multi-generational impact, not just for vocal voters interested in protecting and enhancing a man-made heritage district, but for the documented suffering in the environmental area of our river where species have no votes, and no voice.
Thank-you for your consideration,