I am writing this letter because I feel strongly that the truth must be told. In the April 22nd edition of the Gazette front page article, titled “Rehiring city CAO is ‘a lark,’ says Pharand, “Councilor Hammett is quoted as saying that “the behavior of a minority of residents and non-residents over the installation of water meters was appalling such that bullying, intimidation, harassment and threats were directed towards Mr. Allin and his family.” The argument she laid out was that he was dismissed for the protection of himself and his family against those peoples’ tactics.
As a proponent of the “anti-water meter group,” I really question this line of thinking because I attended many of the council meetings where water meter issues were discussed. In fact, the disrespect that was shown was directed from council to the concerned residents who had the courage to speak up in the face of bullying and intimidation from their side. I personally endured councillors with their backs turned toward me as I spoke, and received thoroughly dismissive, condescending attitudes from the former mayor and others on council.
The “anti-water meter group” have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in their conduct; they worked long and hard to bring forward valid, well-researched concerns and more fiscally viable water conservation options for the city to consider. All of those meetings were taped, and I hope that people will check out the GFTV.ca website for themselves so that they can see firsthand how intelligent, articulate citizens with genuine, valid concerns were summarily dismissed by the previous council when they got up to ask questions and/or make presentations.
One more very important point needs to be made: I did not see Ms. Hammett at most of the meetings I attended, and she was not yet on city council. So where is the credibility in her statement above? To me, it sounds like she’s trying to re-paint history with unreliable, inflammatory information.
Bev Tripp, Grand Forks