Here in Grandview, we have suffered under the pretensions of a so-called Community Plan process for almost four years now. It started out with great fanfare and hope, but swiftly degenerated into a planner-led debacle. At one stage, the then Chief Planner Brian Jackson was forced to admit that the process had been an utter failure and had not served the best interests of the neighbourhood’s residents while our Mayor cried crocodile tears to ensure his re-election.
After this fiasco, the Planners and the politicians regrouped and came up with what proved to be the equally distasteful Citizens’ Assembly idea. However, after months and months of total immersion within the planners’ worldview, even the force-fed Assembly couldn’t come up with a plan that was acceptable to the Planners and their paymasters. To those who doubt me, you have to explain why, almost a year since the CA presented its report, its recommendations (or versions or rejections of them) still haven’t been incorporated into a revised Plan that the Planners feel confident enough to offer residents’ for their opinion.
When the CA report was submitted last summer, we were advised by the Planners that there would be further public consultations in the fall of 2015 leading eventually to a new Community Plan presentation to City Council in the spring of 2016. We now find ourselves in April of the latter year, without consultations and without any news of a Plan.
All of this history — and the fact that taxpayers are forking out millions each year for twenty or more City communications staff — is the required background to the main thrust of this post.
Over the last few months, a large number of Grandview residents have written to individual Planners, the Planning Director, and/or the Mayor requesting information about what is happening with the Plan (or important parts of it) and the process. Over the last week or so, I have personally tweeted local Planner Andrew Pask on numerous occasions asking for an update. The response? Zilch. Not even the courtesy of an acknowledgement, let alone any substantive reply.
If it was just me being ignored, I might understand that; after all, I recognize I have been a pain in their neck for a long time and they are probably sick of hearing from me. But they can have no such excuse for ignoring other residents and groups from the community who write asking for information. Especially when they have two dozen City-hired communications people available to spin a reply.
Who do these people think they are that they can simply ignore repeated reasonable requests from the people who pay them and whom they are pledged to serve? Their ignorant and pompous behaviour in this respect comes mighty close to genuine hubris; and no good can ever come from that.