RE: Bob Foster axed from healthy growth committee, April 1.
Rather than getting caught up in the story line that Centre Wellington councillor Bob Foster was removed from the healthy growth committee because he was not following the party line, I chose to watch the March meeting to hear firsthand what the committee was facing.
Councillor Foster’s behavior was appalling. However, there was something even more troublesome. He simply was not on the same page as the other members of the committee.
This committee is poised to begin tackling the hugely important issue of attainable housing. Its community members are well equipped and eager to start. Councillor Foster wanted to see the numbers before agreeing we have a challenge. What? Lack of attainable housing is recognized as a problem by virtually every jurisdiction in the country. It is a widely reported issue. That the committee is ready to move forward and work towards proposals for council is commendable.
As to his behavior, councillor Foster monopolized the meeting. He repeatedly beleaguered two points. Firstly, whether or not the “healthy growth work plan” needed to be approved by council. The answer was no – it not was not a report, nor did it contain any proposals or recommendations. It was shared by staff as a possible roadmap for committee discussions on attainable housing.
Secondly, he insisted that heritage considerations could not be ignored. The answer to his concern was it is mandated that heritage issues be reviewed when they arise.
The community members of the healthy growth committee do not need to be hindered by such unproductive participation.