I attended the All Candidates Meeting Thursday for Merrickville-Wolford. All the Council candidates did well in informing us their views on the future for Merrickville-Wolford. All candidates for Mayor made their presentations also. Due to the many events of the year, CAO and Treasurer leaving under a shroud of secrecy. Recording of staff making questionable comments about tax payers and others including Dave Powers and contractors. There are many questions not answered. One lady asked about the renovations to the town office. The door is locked and the security glass makes you think the place is under threat of a robbery or attack. It make it so impersonal that people are uncomfortable. Imagine how people feel that go there for the first time. Not a good image for the village. The reason given was that, several years ago, a drunk in a bar in Smith Falls made some kind of threat. The police investigated and nothing was done. The man has since died, so they put this glass wall in anyway. All that I have talked to do not like it, and consider it a waste of taxpayers money. When asked about the cost, we were told it was part of the renovation package and they did not know the cost. The lady asked if it was around $100,000, and Ann Barr said oh no!! Guess what?? When they complete the $30,000 Kitchen renovation they have in the package, it will be $100,000 and they know the cost. Talk about deception! We have been led down the garden path by this current mayor and council. We do not know the circumstances under which the CAO and Treasurer left, or what the real cost was. The only “Transparency” in Mayor Nash’s claim is the new glass in the entrance. Deception, evasion and lies are the game plan for the current administration. The candidates for council have all made a commitment to giving taxpayers open and informative government, as suggested by many at the meeting. After council meetings they could put info in NG Times in the Merrickville Wolford section, as well as the Phoenix. Also hold periodic Public Meetings. How about that! Finally, public info, no cliques or hidden agendas. As many know, I have my own axe to grind. I have been tying to get Council and Mayor to correct my flooding problem created when Merrickville Wolford illegally entered and flooded my property. At the meeting, I said I was refused the right to make presentation to council. I stated that this is a democracy, not a hypocrisy, that I wanted to know why they would not let me make presentation to council. The moderator told me to sit down, that I could not ask that question. I refused, and said I am a taxpayer and had the right to a reply and would not until I had an answer from the mayor and council. Chuck MacInnis stood up and said they should not have been in there. I said he was part of the council that authorized it. He sat down. Mayor Nash and Ann Barr sat there stone faced and refused to reply. Integrity and trust are an important part of all human behaviour. That has been none with this mayor and council. Time for a change. There were some positive things came out of this meeting. Many people were seriously involved, and the council candidates all expressed a willingness to communicate with the public and do their best to resolve problems. Mike Cameron said he would come right to your home and discuss any concerns people had. When the mayor and council refused to reply to my question, Doug Struthers said I should make a request to the new council, and I will. When he was mayor before I know he had an open door policy.
He would talk to anyone, anywhere at any time. We need to restore the personal touch to our community again. Merrickville Wolford is family. This is very personal to me. Having been married here over 55 years ago, then building our home here 36 years ago on returning from Germany, this is home. Please get out and vote for change.