Editorial: Is anyone listening?

Based on the volume of letters to the editor received at The Leader this week, and comments posted to social media, residents of South Dundas are understandably upset about two issues in the community.

Clearly a nerve has been touched.

The two issues are related.

One involves how South Dundas’ government has treated a tenant who rents the apartment above Carman House.

The second revolves around how South Dundas’ government has treated community assets like Forward House.

It appears that both issues are not going away.

It seems that ultimately everything boils down to a question of respect: Respect for people, for property, and for residents.

Judging by the outcry, people are upset and they feel they are not being heard. They are definitely reacting. One thing is clear. The letters and comments from members of the community have repeatedly offered some solid, workable, rational approaches to the issues. The public has actually come up with financially viable options that still maintain the historical heritage of this community. It is comforting to see the community so thoughtfully engaged.

Perhaps it is time for council to take note and reconsider its previous stance on these issues.

There is no need to hold a consultation, or formal meetings which will just drag things out. The work has been done for South Dundas. It is evident that people in the community care about what is happening, are engaging, and are paying attention. Now would be a good time for council and administration to do the same.

There is no shame in revisiting a decision when feedback and information shines a new light on an old issue.

The appetite to financially support a change of position is present in the community, which is who will ultimately foot the bill.

A willingness to compromise, to discuss, and to listen, are all hallmarks of sound government.

Council and community members working hand-in-hand to accomplish workable goals for South Dundas would be a refreshing change.