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Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Island of White Rock: One City Council's Delusion








to:
editorial@peacearchnews.com
date:
Jun 27, 2008 8:20 AM
subject :
"Island of White Rock"
mailed-by:
gmail.com


Dear Editor:
I thought I could resist commenting.... :)

After little thinking I arrived at the following few conclusions:
1. "The Island of White Rock" makes perfect sense, since its all a matter of perception (obviously, Council must feel on an idyllic island, detached...).
2. Some of us still believe if we pay for it, it must actually be worth somethin'.
* 2a.
3. I could myself (again?) suggest, for free: "Shake a shrub, find an artist!"

... On the topic of "creative thinking", shamed MLA, and "dead in the water" Spirit Square project...
I wonder if the shrubs would have been shaken and a handful of artists would have fallen out ...
Could one of them, in a brain storming session, in this city of mermaids, located on this lovely and cozy bay, would have suggested an idea good enough to float around to the liking and, compromise of everyone?

(While my letter was not published, the ones that were, were absolutely brilliant - worth digging through the archives :) )
additional comments

*2a. It also shows, once more, that local ain't good enough... We must seek out and pay for that which is "imported", foreign.
What makes this statement a bit of an odd take is perhaps if they would "leave the island" and experience "the wide world" they might develop somewhat of a "cultured" vision and attitude...

But then again, why bother, we have elections coming up in November - not a moment too soon!

My suspicions were confirmed when Councillor Mat Todd confessed to our local press Council actually felt White Rock as an Island...
Ay Chihuahua!
What's next?
Dictatorship in isolation?

4 comments:

Pauline said...

Thrilled to hear you fighting the establishment. "Never" give up!!!

Alicia M B Ballard said...

Spoken like a true Bostonian...
hee-hee

Matt Todd said...

Your cynicism really shines through on this post.

My comments were that this community talks about itself as though it were on an island. I was not saying that I myself support that. Quite the opposite, I was being sarcastic in observing the behaviour of this community.

If locals want City contracts, locals should apply for them. If the best proposal comes from a California company, should we decline because we know there must also be good talents here at home... even though they didn't apply?

Something interesting that came of the research by the Californian agency is that White Rock residents live in a state of delusion about how the city is perceived by people who don't live here.

Interviews of White Rock residents came up with completely different descriptors than those of people outside White Rock. When speaking honestly to a neutral person, people from other cities often did not describe White Rock in flattering terms. They certainly had a much different perception than those who live here.

That's how they came up the "island" idea -- because the community is fiercely independent and pretends that what happens outside White Rock shouldn't affect them.

The benefit of hiring a company not from here is that they will have a clearer view of what attracts or repels visitors from White Rock -- they don't have the baggage of comfortable delusions of what White Rock offers potential visitors.

Alicia M B Ballard said...

Mr. Todd:

Council behaves like “an island”.
Not cynicism, but an accurate observation of how detached this Council generally is from the population.
Time after time it appears to navigate from conflict to conflict, oftentimes dragging out matters ad nauseam. Until, as if by ambush, gets resolved “in the dark of the night”.

There does not appear to be a congenial attitude, neither one of service.
How often is it really in tune with the community?
How often does it appear to go directly against their wishes – and I must assume at this point – the long term benefit of a healthy, balanced and harmonious community life.

While Council must make serious financial decisions, particularly based on the tiny size of our city, why, do you think it rubs so many the wrong way?

Would there be an open house/door policy that was indeed inviting in manner, not only in word, maybe locals could feel more inclined to approach the office.
But, if on the other hand, they are ignored as I have been by all of you – what do you suggest we do?

Alicia

PS:
As the TV doc says: "You not only must do the right thing, you must also appear to do the right thing".

It would sure eliminate a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions following this advise.

Which brings me to the one of the duck :)