Dear Mayor and Council,

Perhaps you  don’t remember (Councillor Gillis should and Councillors John Edwards and Shaun McLaughlin were part of it) but the Mississippi Mills Community Official Plan was the first example in the Province of Ontario where the people of the community wrote the Official Plan and presented it to Council (bottom up planning). That was why it is called the Community Official Plan, a plan of and from the people of the community.

The first go at it happened with the Township of Ramsay before amalgamation and that took almost three years. The working group for the Plan included members from many different organizations plus the planners, Government officials, and Councillors. The following challenge was put to them: “You are up in a balloon overlooking the rural community and what do you see?” The people saw lots of forested land, streams and the river, shaded curving country roads, farms and scattered houses plus many other attributes. The second question put to them was, “ In fifty years time, what would you like your community to look like”? And, low and behold, they wanted it to look just like is is now, with values as currently stated in our Community Official Plan.

Before you begin changing those values, dear Mayor and Council,  I challenge you to hold a community visioning session. I dare you to give the people of our beautiful Mississippi Mills an opportunity to see if they have changed their views of their rural community to include more rural housing developments and large estate lots.

I look forward to a reply from Council to Millstone, accepting this challenge.

Sincerely,

Cliff Bennett