Letter: Mayor’s survey comments concerning

All voices need to be heard when it comes to municipal issues

Re: Mayor credits previous councils for ‘unprecedented level of satisfaction,’ Oak Bay News, Nov. 4

I am very concerned with comments made by Mayor Nils Jenson in the Oak Bay News regarding hearing “from the same people on an ongoing basis at council and tend to read their letters to the editor that come from specified groups or certain individuals but it’s important for council to move beyond that and listen to what’s often called the silent majority.”

In fact it’s these very same people who often have their finger on the pulse of the community and do represent the silent majority.

It is people who write letters and attend council meetings who have enough concern or have enough passion to speak out and they provide council with excellent information on important issues.

Mayor Jensen says the “survey allows us to go beyond the activists and listen to what the residents have to say.”

Since when have residents who write letters and attend council meetings become “activists” rather than concerned citizens?

This also speaks to Mayor Jensen’s comment on CTV last week when he said, “People will not come to council to ask for a deer management problem because the anti-cull group are loud, they’re aggressive, they hoot and they holler.”

I have never seen this behaviour in two years of attending every council meeting where deer have been discussed. In fact, the only people I have heard speak at council on deer have been respectfully offering solutions and ideas for deer management.

The mayor and council would do well to listen to the voices of the community no matter what side of the issue they are on.

Yes the survey is “one other source of information,” but it should not discount all of the other voices. Many flaws in the survey have been pointed out, especially around the wording of questions that seemed to point to a predetermined outcome, and some of the statistical numbers, particularly on deer, were seriously misrepresented by the mayor in the media and have once again damaged the reputation of Oak Bay.

Leslie Reid

Oak Bay

 

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