Letter: town doesn’t easily recover from disrespect

The gullible have fallen for the water meter sales pitch of the vested interests, writes Jack Koochin.

An open letter to mayor and council:

There seems to be a desperation in the minds of a few to “move on” with the water meter program, shake hands, smile, and carry on like nothing happened. Well, something did happen, and it has fractured this community.

A small group of “we know what’s best for you” political types totally ignored a huge public outcry against plans for the water meter program and blundered on regardless. Former city council undertook a gross abuse of executive privilege, against the wishes of some 800 petitioners. They just put their fingers in theirs ears, refused to listen to alternate plans, and decided to spend 1.3 million dollars of taxpayers’ money on a very ill-informed program. I believe residents really felt bullied: many homeowners received letters that appeared to threaten to charge the homeowner $2500 for a pit meter if we didn’t book an installation appointment by Dec. 1, 2014. They didn’t even use certified plumbers, which is a clear breach of the BC Plumbing Code.

A town like this doesn’t recover from disrespect like that in just a short while. The victims here are democracy and the sense of trust and community one has living in a harmonious, respectful town.

Far from what some will want you to believe, only a handful of extremely vocal residents are interested in the current program. I believe the real majority are against the program, as proven by the 800 or so signature petition, and by the unending flow of negativity to it by many, many residents.

But how do you heal such abuse and betrayal from someone you elected to represent you in office?

There is talk that this negativity is hurting Grand Forks financially and otherwise, limiting interest from external business and such. Well, you can put full credit for that on former council members’ shoulders. This community is really suffering from their extreme arrogance and disrespect.

The current city council should be concerned about undoing the damage done, once again trying to move in a direction of democracy and respect rather than rule and obedience. You don’t get respect or harmony by use of the stick.

There are alternate solutions to the current water meter plan, ones that are much less expensive, less invasive, much less disruptive, do not put the City in a position of liability, and do not harm residents with RF radiation.

The current water meter plan could be viewed to support vested interest groups (those who may profit from our water) and to corporations making moves to take over our God-given resources. My opinion, of course… but do you realize that, down the road, with water meters, our water system could be taken over by some third-party corporation that could charge you by the liter?

The gullible have fallen for the water meter sales pitch of the vested interests, thinking that this is the only way to save water.

Jack Koochin, Grand Forks