FORT ERIE, July 27, 2012 – The Gateway Condominium project is another step closer to becoming reality.
At a Special Meeting held this afternoon, Town of Fort Erie Council accepted the terms defined in the overall benefit permit for the protection of the Fowler’s Toad, thus allowing the so-called “Bay Beach” project to move forward. After four and a half hours of sometimes heated debate, the Council chose not to object to the Ministry of Natural Resources’ toad permit, thereby preserving the Agreement of Purchase and Sale between the Town and the developer, the Molinaro Group.
Now lets get the shovels in the ground and “getter done”
I closed my store July 27, 2012 to speak at the meeting (a meeting that should have been “for information only). I was appalled at the fact that after my 5 minute delegation I was questioned by a Councilor apposed to the “Bay Beach project” as to whether or not I knew Doctor Green. This question was a feeble attempt by that councilor to show that I was not an expert on Fowler Toads which in my delegation I said I was not an expert and was relying on the expert opinions presented by town hall in house and hired experts and the Canadian OMB, MNR and our courts. This question had no bearing on my delegation which was directed to the risk of a law suit and years of costly litigation should the permit be rejected. I find it strange that 6 other delegates where allowed to expand on their delegations criticizing and bordering on slander of our MNR and the Molinaros. The questions that were asked of those delegates, appeared to me, to be well scripted to allow for those apposed to “Bay Beach” to expand well past the 5 minute limit and to consume the better part of 2 hours. Much of what was talked about had no bearing on the Permit and was rehashing many thing that had been previously dealt with at the OMB hearing and the Courts.
The reason for my first post was that this type of behavior in council discourages the average resident of Fort Erie to step up as a delegate for fear of being talked down to after completion of their delegation. There are fair questions and then there are attempts to intimidate a delegate. I understand that this is a fine line and could easily be a clouded issue. I have never before complained about any of the question that I have been asked, even when I was asked after a previous delegation if I was familiar with a report that was not public. I don’t usually complain, but to ask me if I knew Doctor Green without even giving me a hint as to his line of expertise, went beyond the point of foolishness. Perhaps these “New Councilors” should be give a education session to explain that to them. On second though, education sessions have been tried in the past and didn’t work.
I would really like to end my coments on a positive note So……..
That said I am very happy with the Council decision not to reject the Permit and to move on to other projects. I would also like to thank Town Staff , what is left of it, for all their hard work on this project and wish you the best of luck in the future with the Speedway Project. Hopefully the whole “Bay Beach” issue can now proceed and we can learn from the past mistakes and not get bogged down in the same way we did with “Bay Beach”. Congratulations to all and I look forward to a bright future for our little town.
i worked hard on this Bay Beach Condo project and i felt sorry for the developer/owner for all the unreasonable delays during the approval process. i believe we got the Site Plan approved by COUNCIL before i left the town, but did the project ever go?