RE: Wilson Farmhouse and Park

A resident’s perspective.

I attended the recent committee meeting on the above Wilson property and found it dispiriting. I should point out, up front, as you will see from my original email prior to that meeting at the end of this one, I am in favour of the staff recommendation on this issue.
A brief sample of what I heard from those speaking against the staff recommendation:
– An emotional young lady with a European bent seemed to compare the not yet 200 year old Guelph to Europe, for instance Prague and its 1,100 year existence
– The head of a heritage body mentioned the Wilson Farmhouse in the same context and sentence as the wonderful Church of Our Lady Immaculate and made some bizarre reference to the energy inside the Wilson building. Maybe that’s what keeps the squirrels jumping
– A teacher, who I believe identified herself as a civic or community activist, was allowed by the chair to violate completely the delegate guideline which in part states: All delegations must not: Make detrimental comments, or speak ill of, or malign the integrity of staff, the public or Council. And I refer mainly to the staff reference. In addition she (Ms. Watson, I believe) then used two children of tender years to parrot her position. I applaud her for bringing the children there to see our civic government in action (on this night inaction) but abhor the way they were used here. Wonder if the remaining children in the class would like it to be a whole park
– A musician/artist who gave me the impression his addictive hobby is speaking at council meetings
None, or perhaps one of the “against” speakers live in the area. Not one of them addressed or seemed concerned about the financial implications of their position. And yet two councillors on the committee and two in attendance seemed to be completely swayed by the above contributors.
Those who spoke in favour of the staff recommendation, and the staff delegate herself, were to me most convincing in their reasoned points, made in a much more civil manner.
What I did hear from all sides was that many mistakes were made over the past thirteen years by all involved with this issue. Surely the thing to do now is to take the staff recommendation in this case, and never let it happen this way again. Why on earth continue to exacerbate the problem.
I want to add that I was, for seventeen years, the executive director of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, charged with preserving our nation’s history in all sports. As such I was one who leaned heavily to the conservation side. But absolutely not in this case. Please support your staff now.   AS

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Filed under Heritage, Wilson Farm Park

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