I read the editorial ‘Decorum key to civil society’ editorial in the Aug. 9 RMO with interest since I totally agreed with the sentiment expressed in the title.
Unfortunately, it was downhill from there since the editorial became a rant regarding public input into hearings in the Bow Valley generally. As a local newspaper, you cannot fail to understand that, when residents’ homes are threatened, when their health is affected by dust and noise, when wildlife corridors are at risk, residents will stand up and be heard.
You discussed an appeal against a decision to allow an industrial operation on Three Sisters undeveloped golf course. The editorial described behaviour of the supporters of the appellant as disrespectful. I attended the hearing and heard nothing disrespectful. The editorial claimed that the board chair did not step up to insist that a respectful hearing was held. This is not the case.
Chairman Ron Casey did maintain order, his board asked many questions and rendered a verdict. The result was not at all surprising since the developer’s representatives, in my opinion, gave a quite inadequate presentation and had not prepared answers to some obvious questions.
I also read the article ‘Dirt pile stays after neighbours win appeal.’
I have always felt the reporter is well informed and can write good material. Unfortunately, I don’t think this article enhanced the reporter’s reputation. The article claimed that on multiple occasions supporters of the appeal interrupted the developer’s staff presenting their case. This is an exaggeration.
There were a few chuckles when the representative said illegal operations in the past were unknown to TSMV and QuantumPlace. I believe one would have to be blindfolded and wearing heavy duty ear muffs not to see and hear large trucks dumping rock, gravel and soil into a large and very noisy crusher operating on your own land.
I believe this whole unpleasant and very costly exercise could have been completely avoided if the developer’s representatives had taken the obvious and simple step of excavating the soil, gravel and rock separately and forming separate stockpiles, one of which would have been soil requiring little screening. This obvious step was taken in the early 1970’s when we were operating and reclaiming strip mines in the Quarry Lake area.