Sunday, June 26, 2022

Reader Calls For ‘Reality Fairies’ to be Elected to Council

Dear Editor,

In an editorial last May 5, you told your readers “I urge readers to submit letters to the editor sharing their thoughts on the upcoming election and the candidates that put their names forward in hopes of earning a seat on council.”

Editor Vance. If you have a pen and paper handy? I wish to place my order.

For Mayor? I want a Reality Fairy. Deputy Mayor? Same. Councillors? Reality Fairies. Every single last one of them. I want 7 Reality Fairies on Meaford Council.

Let me explain.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a small town wanting facilities and amenities commonly found in towns 3 or 4 times the size of towns like Meaford.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a small town not wanting to lose its historical feel and therefore fighting every single proposed condominium development, commercial hotel proposal, and new housing development tooth and nail. Stuff that, you know, expands the tax base. Increases tax revenue. Tax revenue – that pays for stuff.

The problem emerges when a small town wants to do both.

When I read an article in the Meaford Independent telling me that a new rink, community centre, swimming pool and municipal office will likely cost us $20,000,000 I do what I always do. The math. OK. Sign on the way into town says there’s about 14,000 of us, kids are pretty much useless, won’t pay any of THEIR share of the taxes, which means my share of $20,000,000 will be roughly… HOLY CRAP!! I don’t care what kind of bonds you issue or how many grants you get. My share will be large. Not as much as my buddy Bill. But, wow. My share will be huge. Bill’s? Wow.

What followed that article was a series of articles, editorials, and letters to the Editor demanding developers be shamed for proposing plans, or, even worse, making public their development proposals, without informing Meaford Council beforehand.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a candidate for Mayor, Deputy Mayor, or Councillor, saying “We have an obligation to listen to everyone.”

The problem emerges when the people they listen to have zero facts to support their position and those people aren’t shown to the door. Meaford needs a Council that can get on with actual Meaford Council business.  Reality Fairies can tell the difference between fiction and facts. And get on with business. Real Meaford business. Stuff that affects all of us. Reality Fairies don’t pander to fringe groups and their delusions.

By the time most of us reach the age of 9 we understand that having nice things costs money.

Santa Claus isn’t running for Mayor in Meaford. The Easter Bunny isn’t running for Deputy Mayor either. Nominations close in August, but I can offer you all a rock-solid guarantee there won’t be 5 Tooth Fairies running for Council either. (If you’re under the age of 9 and reading this, I assure you it’s because Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy(s) are busy doing their real jobs. And good on you for reading the paper if you’re under the age of 9! Wow! But if you’re not careful, someday you might end up like me. That, by the way, is a warning.)

So, we all might need to vote for the Realty Fairies. Whoever they turn out to be.

Editor Vance. Please don’t misunderstand me. I. Don’t. Care. I can’t say that strongly enough. If that’s what we collectively want as a town? Fine with me!

I only think the good people of Meaford should CHOOSE. But it has to be one way or the other. WE need to CHOOSE! And live with the consequences we CHOSE! I am personally OK – one way or the other. Emphasis – on CHOSE.

Whatever the ballot looks like, please, please, Meaford, vote for the Reality Fairies on it.

I have only one deeply and very personal concern I will share though. My fear.

Correct me if I’m wrong. Fact check me if I’m incorrect.

But I believe it was Ken Dryden that said “A small town in Canada that is closing its hockey rink is a small town that is dying.”

And, well, hockey rinks, well, hockey rinks, cost money.

Go figure.

Bruce Mason, Meaford

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