I am starting to think that the days of Mr. Assaff running rough shod over us, with his thoughtless ugly developments might be coming to an end. People are finally starting to take notice. Everywhere I go people are talking about his “vision” for the waterfront and they seem to be none too pleased about it.
I was a little despondent earlier in the week, I thought I am banging my head against a wall, what’s the point. I almost considered quitting this adventure and going back to not being involved and ignoring the local political scene. Burying my head in the sand again, like ninety per cent of the local populace. But the break was good for me, it gave me a chance to rethink and reinvigorate this blog. So I am back, more focused on change than ever before.
The first thing I noticed was that even though I haven’t posted since last weekend, the views have stayed constant, yesterday for instance 197 people came here to the home page, which is almost unheard of for this blog 5 days after I have posted. What that tells me is many of you are engaged. I think we have finally found the defining issue of this councils term, being the box store type development of the last remaining parts of the waterfront and the land around it.
The second thing are the stories that have been repeated to me a few times on my return to town, about a meeting that was held at the library on Wednesday evening as part of the Community Based Strategic Plan (CBSP) a “Community Visioning Session”. The organizers had set up seating for 20 people which under normal circumstances would be twice the required seating for this type of event. Seventy people showed up and it was standing room only. In fact some people saw how crowded the room was and turned around and left. The recurring theme at this meeting was the waterfront and how it is being mismanaged. The following was met with loud cheers and applause: “Stop building box stores on our waterfront”.
A consultant from MMM asked everyone to close their eyes and envision something that they do not want to see in town in the next 10 years. The following were the top three answers:
1. No high-rises on our waterfront.
2. Council does not sell any waterfront land.
3. “STEVE ASSAFF”– Surprisingly this comment was made by one of the youngest members of the audience a young lady. If anyone knows who that girl was I would like to talk to her, she is our future and I would like her input on a few things. No names just some commentary. You are without a doubt VFAN’s hero of the week and you have given me a new start.
For those of you that want to get involved another “Community Visioning Session” will be held again on the 3rd floor of the library from 1pm to 3pm Wednesday June 24th, I suggest the organizers might want to pick a larger room this time around. Those of you that arrive late attend anyway this is the only way to get your say on this very important issue.
Another observation is Chadwicks blog seems to be getting more and more desperate in trying to promote his pals development and agenda. His latest attempt was to go down to Block 9 take a bunch of photos of the land as is, and say “Look what is there now surely my buddy’s parking lot would be better than the scrub land that now exists in that location”. I think the answer to that by many of you and by the town is a very clear “NO”.
My last point comes from Steve Assaff himself. He made a big song and dance earlier this week about underground parking in his upcoming monolithic box. He had the town council reiterate the fact that he can put in underground parking and he also said he is allowed to build six stories if he wants. This also reeks of desperation. Steve I know that you read this blog, or someone reads the important stuff to you. The following is something that you need to hear loud and clear: We all know what you want to build; a three story box with your anchor tenant on the main floor. You have no intention of putting in underground parking, it takes too much money and we all know how much you like that stuff. So stop with the games and bluster. There are a number of us in town that know your game plan now and we will oppose you at every step of the way. You might want to postpone writing up that new lease for a while.