Tuesday, July 16, 2013


So you ask, what is the big deal about a CPAC member criticizing council? My response: exactly; what is the big deal? In last Saturday's Woolwich Observer Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach wrote a Letter to the Editor criticizing Woolwich Council for their decision regarding "rebranding" the Township including acquiring a new logo. Sebastian felt that the costs involved of a new logo replacing the current one were a waste of money.

A few months back I clearly heard a Woolwich employee make a comment about a proposed nominee to CPAC having their name dropped because they were no longer a "friend of the Township". I was miffed at the time and regret not stepping into that one, then and there. I personally know that proposed nominee and they certainly are both a resident and a "friend of the Township". What the Woolwich employee actually was saying was that this Woolwich resident had had a falling out with Woolwich Council. She was appropriately very upset with a Decision that four out of five councillors had made that she had researched and invested a lot of time in.

Obviously this senior Woolwich employee felt that a disagreement with Council precluded any hope of their being ratified by Council to CPAC which is a committee of Council. Boy does this do a huge disservice to the maturity and ethics of Woolwich Council. Any and every political body is going to have petty, immature members. They are called human beings afterall and to err is human. It is my sincere hope that our current Council while very green 2 1/2 years ago, have long ago found their feet and are confidently approaching each and every challenge. That said they will make mistakes and they will be so criticized. Sebastian has done so and that is his absolute right. Similarily this other Woolwich resident made no bones about her disappointment with a Council Decison. Neither she nor Sebastian should be "disciplined" by Council in any form whatsoever including being removed as a volunteer from a committee of council nor being denied as a member.

So in a nutshell are volunteer, unpaid members of a committee of council expected to be boosters of said Council? Are those members there out of civic duty and responsibility to an issue or cause; or are they merely rubber stamps and mouthpieces of Council? If Woolwich Council or any municipal council want yes men and women; there are lots of those to go around including here in Woolwich. Our current CPAC are independent, strong personalities. Just as important they are honest and focused on the issue at hand which is restoring Elmira's groundwater to drinking water standards by 2028. They are doing this onerous and stressful job on their own time and at their own expense. Being "a friend of Council" is insulting and trivial and must not be a prerequisite.

Finally Sebastian in his Letter to the Editor makes the suggestion that Council should earmark their "rebranding" funds instead to the upcoming legal battles at the Ontario Municipal Board regarding the West Montrose and Conestogo (Hunder Pit) gravel pits. This nominee to CPAC completely agrees with Sebastian.

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