THE WASAGA BEACH STOCKWELL REPORT
Never a dull moment at the monthly committee meetings held by the Wasaga Beach Council. This week`s General Government Section of the Coordinated Committee saw a two page report from Andrew McNeill, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, entitled, “Beachfront Tenant Meeting”.
The report noted that, “While the majority of tenants appear to be content with the terms and conditions of their leases, a minority have been vocal about lease rates, the impact of special events on their businesses or the increased competition. This small number of tenants have used a variety of means to raise their concerns ranging from discussions with staff, to by-passing staff and contacting members of Council directly, to making deputations to Council.”
In an effort to address these concerns, the report suggests that a meeting be called with all the current tenants to, “listen and understand any and all issues that are top of mind on the part of the tenants; to identify any actions that could be considered to resolve any tenant issues of concern; to provide a one-time and time limited (i.e., 24 to 48 hours) opportunity to any tenant in a Town-owned unit to break their lease with no penalty if they wish to do so, and; to clarify the protocol for reporting any issues or concerns.”
After a lengthy discussion, the final vote saw the recommendation carried 4 to 3, with the opponents being Deputy Mayor Bifolchi and Councillors Ego and Bray. However, the debate that preceded the vote was rather interesting.
A good portion of the debate centred around the source of the complaints that triggered the staff report.
Continuous complaining from two specific sites of the Social Media, along with a few disgruntled tenants, upset with the efforts of the Town to revitalize the beachfront, had cast a negative cloud over the Beach One properties.
When Yours Truly entered the debate, Wasaga Sun reporter, Ian Adams, tweeted: Coun. Stockwell takes aim at broader picture of having all Council on board: “petty arguments are getting in the way of good decisions.”
Those were some of my comments. However, I also stated that we have the same attitude from some members of Council as a few Social Media complainers. These complainers are constantly speaking against Council`s 2015 purchase of the Beach One properties and espouse a negative view of every effort to provide a successful business atmosphere in the area.
I also mentioned ex-Deputy Mayor David Foster’s appearance before Council during the interviews to appoint a new member of Council a few weeks ago.
When asked, by Councilor Ego, what he thought of Council`s decision to purchase the Beach One properties, he replied that whether he agreed or disagreed, once Council has made a decision, it is incumbent for every member of Council to agree with that decision.
It is my opinion that not all of Council takes that approach, and that is the reason that we are accused of being a dysfunctional Council. Unfortunately, that won`t change until the next election.
So, the Committee decision will go to the next meeting of Council for ratification, which is scheduled for July 26th. Should the decision to follow the recommendations in the report regarding tenant complains be ratified, the process will be acted upon.
Hopefully, then….there will be peace in the valley.