/Democracy works with compromises

Democracy works with compromises

To the Editor,

In response to a letter concerning Haliburton County’s shoreline protection bylaw in the last issue of this paper:
It is not surprising that the operators of a tree service company, when speaking with prospective clients about removing trees – possibly from on or near the shoreline – would be unlikely to find much vocal support for the bylaw. Nor would I expect that the operators would have encouraged much open dialogue on the issue. After all, if you’re talking to five property owners every working day for three years about something, you need to keep it short.
This might be why our councillors may not have spoken directly to 4,500 property owners who were in favour; they have other work to do on our behalf, as well.
What the councils have done over the last six years, however, is hold public meetings, make available numerous draft bylaw proposals, encourage public participation in surveys and questionnaires on the subject, and study bylaws enacted in other municipalities. All in order to come up with some regulations that will help to protect the lakes that give Haliburton County so much of its value.
To suggest that our councillors have not listened to their constituents or given opportunities for public input is absurd. To further suggest that those who voted in support of the bylaw did so intentionally against the wishes expressed by most of their constituents is malicious and evidence free.
Opposition to something does not require that untruths be told about the issue or its supporters.
I feel that the bylaw does not go far enough in many ways. Mr. Fedeski and Ms. Bromley obviously feel the opposite. Disagreement often indicates that compromises have been made, which is the way democracy works.
Remember to vote! On ALL the issues and on good information.

Andy Muirhead
Algonquin Highlands