LETTER: A ‘broad, sound plan’ for downtown is still needed

In the latest fiasco, council plans to invest $3.5 million in touch-up projects that are important final touches.

As an ardent supporter of a vibrant and visionary downtown/waterfront development, I and many other dedicated citizens have repeatedly submitted progressive, thoughtful, effective and visionary ideas to improve our little city in the country.

Since 1992 I have witnessed charettes, CRMG, countless letters and postings which presumably have ended up in the mayor’s wastebasket or on a shelf with the seniors’ centre proposals. There have been countless meetings, public offerings and artist conceptions, but a lack of vision and a defined broad plan and leadership are the order of the day.

We witness the excuse offered about absentee landlords’ indifference as a cause. But, in fact, there is a clear lack of visionary and comprehensive leadership. A willingness to develop a broad, sound plan for downtown/waterfront is more apt, to establish standards that all may be held to achieve. Paramount is the lack of effective two-way communication between city hall and citizens.

In the latest fiasco, council plans to invest $3.5 million in touch-up projects that are important final touches. Sadly, it is again thrown out in some misguided spirit presenting poor timing and optics.

Instead of a standard, that receipt of same may be dependent upon landlords and planners creating and committing to a sound development concept, and agreeing to do so would be rewarded by council, on behalf of citizens.

Yet again we witness the unsigned Downtown Business Association letter perpetuating the enabler and apologist role supporting mayor and council who, as stated by another writer, are simply “placing lipstick on a pig.”

Whereas writer I. MacKenzie’s letter on Jan. 12 enumerated some issues of major concern to the vast majority of residents,  sadly perpetuating the existence of a dilapidated hotel with boarded windows, pawn shops, tattoo parlours and adult entertainment – all hallmarks of a skid row or city in demise.

As consumers and taxpayers, we are looking to visionary and progressive leadership to emerge from council and downtown leaders that will address visionary ideas, aesthetic revitalization plans, and products and services of need, accessibility, convenience and customer service. Indeed, this $3.5 million is an investment by taxpayers via our council and we deserve more transparency and to know complete project plans forthcoming.

As stated, we are still bristling from the mishandling and demolishing of the Rotary observatory and sadly do not have much confidence in the mayor. So we do not need more perceived patronizing letters to council from perceived cronies that seek to exacerbate more division in the community than to be impartial vendors.

George Evens



Mission City Record