A meeting was held on August 9th in the offices of the Municipality of Mississippi Mills. It was a high profile meeting concerning the future of The Don Maynard Park on Gale Street and whether or not the Town should sell it in order to finance upgrades to other parks in the Municipality.
It was an emotional meeting as Don Maynard was a very influential and well loved teacher and developer of parks and recreation in Almonte. The park was dedicated in his presence so that in this small way the memory of his commitment to the community would not soon be forgotten.
The meeting was held (I assume) to gauge the feeling of the community on Council’s intentions. The feelings were obvious. There were approximately 350 people in the council chambers and outside, all of whom were incensed at the gall of Council and it’s administration to consider such action.
There were many speakers, all of who spoke well from researched and well thought out material. The subjects were varied from mental health benefits, to traffic considerations, a respite area for the seniors who will soon be occupying the new nearby home, to playground at the school and much more.
It appears that the Municipal Act requires that when they are considering changes such as this, a public meeting is required. What is the purpose of a “required meeting” if it is only to fulfill the obligations required in the act but not to respond to the expressed wishes of the ratepayers. Those approximately 350 people are the ratepayers. Council and staff are in the positions that they are in at the pleasure of the ratepayers. As ratepayers we have a right to speak and they have an obligation to listen. They may not like everything that they hear but they still have an obligation to listen AND TO RESPOND TO THE WISHES OF THE PEOPLE, otherwise there is no purpose to the meeting.
There have been comments made in the media about expletives and threats after the meeting. Well I was at that meeting from the beginning to the bitter end and I never saw or heard of any threats. The police did arrive (as was expected and one of the cruisers followed the CAO home or so it appeared) the other police car drove around the parking lot a couple of times and then left. There were about eight people at the front of the offices talking about the dry weather and how the farmers were faring out. The only comment that I heard was “look they are following her home, is that necessary?’
There is however one other issue and that is the “expletives” issue. An emotionally charged Steve Maynard was leaving the hall after an evening of discussing the memory of his father and the possibility of council removing the Maynard Park tribute to him when the Mayor leaned in close him and whispered something. The actions of Mr. Maynard were in response to that action, according to a woman who was within five feet of both of them. Mr. Maynard was not “escorted” from the hall but encouraged to leave by one of his friends who said something to the effect of “let’s go he’s not worth it”
Tell me something; what kind of a bully would bait the man into a confrontation, after the emotional evening Mr. Maynard must have experienced. There is a very obvious disconnect between the Mayor, and the ratepayers of Mississippi Mills. He needs to develop a little common courtesy and respect, not to mention taking an anger management course.
To the Council and staff of Mississippi Mills; there are some serious problems throughout this whole organization; perhaps you should take a serious look into it before it self-destructs? Remember you are operating the business of Mississippi Mills on behalf of its residents and you are obligated to fulfill your judiciary duties.
A seriously concerned citizen;
Brian J. Gallagher