Fergus Elora News Express Editorial
Where was everyone?
The June 7 “business town hall” on upcoming township capital projects drew only 15 people – who included three who were part of a presentation, a chamber of commerce staffer and local media.
All the time, we hear people complaining they can’t get any information out of the township, that they don’t know what’s going on, that council isn’t telling the people what’s happening.
Well, the June 7 meeting was a wonderful opportunity to find out about bridge construction in downtown Fergus, paving in Belwood, the return of the walking bridge in Elora, parks projects in Fergus, CW Hydro smart meters and lots more. It was all pure information: dollar amounts, project lists, dates, and so on. Plus, there was ample opportunity to ask questions, either during the discussion or afterward.
Given the fact that tax bills have just gone out, that there’s major reconstruction ahead in downtown Fergus, that council is (depending on your point of view) spending far too much or not enough money on the right things … we’re surprised the theatre wasn’t packed to standing room only.
This is the township giving out information. You should have been interested enough to show up.
Local business owners – members of the chamber of commerce who sponsored the event – should care about the area’s high taxes, about money being spent on parks and culture master plans, about losing business when the main bridges into downtown are closed in succession over the next three years or so.
Are the people who stayed away in droves last week going to be the same ones complaining this fall they didn’t know the Tower Street bridge was scheduled for work? That they’ve had no time to make plans to deal with traffic detours? That they’ve received “no help” from the township to get ready for the disruption, as if the township can roll out some kind of magic solution at the last minute.
Sometimes, you have to put yourself out a little – give up a couple of hours of mowing the lawn or watching TV or whatever – to be informed. It was a great opportunity to be informed, as people have supposedly been telling the chamber and were telling council candidates a couple of years ago they wanted to be, and only that handful of people could take the time to show up and be informed.
It’s certainly much easier to ask uninformed questions and make vague, unfounded accusations – but why do that if you’re not willing to find out the answers to your questions and be informed?
Council, the township, and organizations can only do so much to “get the word out.” At some point, you have to take some initiative, give up some of your time, and make the effort to get the answers to your questions and find out what’s going on.