LETTER: Council should know County is not for sale

I would like to express my support for Scott Johnston’s response to Council’s comment about them being “Wellington weary.” (The Gazette Aug. 13:Councillors not the only ones Wellington Weary) I too heard the same comment and couldn’t believe elected officials would respond to a community’s problems in such a fashion. As Mr. Johnston points out, residents are justifiably weary from hundreds of tourists walking on their front lawns, defecating in their backyards, traffic gridlock and having to endure just all-around poor manners. No doubt life in Wellington has changed dramatically due to the proliferation of AirBnB’s which destroys communities, not build them.

Residents have been exposed to years of tourists’ promotion campaigns (often lead by various councils and supported with our tax dollars), and yet residents had very little input into how their community would develop. The drive for money-making pushed all other concerns aside – and here we are now having to deal with what years of neglect created.

Only now, we are discovering Shire Hall has never bothered to find ways to help local taxpayers benefit from the tourist trade – claiming they didn’t want to burden the tourist businesses with red tape. To date, tourists have not contributed to the communal coffers – they come and go for free, but the businesses surely prosper. This has to make any sane person wonder what was the point of giving our community away for a few seasonal jobs?! The only positive word I can give to Mr. Johnston is he is not alone with his feelings of anger and frustration. I hear and feel for you brother,most of PEC does too!

Perhaps Scott can find encouragement in knowing Wellington has supposedly received a lot of council’s attention – so much so the poor dears are now tired and weary from hearing all their problems! It’s hard to believe a council of 14 representing a total population of 24,000 can get weary from the workload of one ward but that’s what was said! For years, I have written to my Sophiasburgh Councillor about speeding on Cty. Rd. 15, to the deplorable state of the Northport boat launch, to something as basic as the 2017 Commemorative Canada Tree in our Centennial Park – which has been dead for at least two years – this poor guy must be really weary – he hasn’t responded to anything in a useful manner since being elected.

So, take heart Mr. Johnston at least your councillor seems to be trying. As sad as it may seem, our council has not shown a great deal of skill in solving problems they have either created or ignored for years – like tourism in Wellington, or speeding in Northport.

I believe this community needs to have the opportunity for meaningful input with their “council” about how they want PEC to look and function in the years ahead. We don’t need meaningless online surveys, nor questionnaires in the post, nor anymore council created citizens’ committees – these have all been tried before and council ignored it all – they do what they want, regardless of public opinion. Even if it means waking them up, we need eye to eye contact with our council so we know they got the message – our community is not for sale!

Dennis Fox

Northport