Hot or Not?

Included in the coreesepondance received at the May 14th Heritage Advisory committee was an insulting letter put forth by an entity that seems to be struggling with its own identity.

Better known by their all too appropriate acronym H.E.A.T. The “Heritage East Aurora Taxpayers” has apparently morphed into a larger gelatinous mass expanding their new name to “Wells Street Neighbours – Heritage East Aurora Taxpayers”.

Complete with a nonsensical small red heart as part of their letter head, this makeover creates unnecessary confusion for those receving their communications and makes one question if this new entity of “W.S.N.H.E.A.T.” serves the previous boundaries of H.E.A.T. or now just those that neighbour Wells St? 

Whatever the motivation behind this re-branding effort it certainly seems to prove the cliché “If you can’t stand the H.E.A.T. get out of the kitchen”, or in this case out of their own name.

The letter from “W.S.N.H.E.A.T.”, which illustrates how porely this rate payers group does in the area of communication, is available through the town’s website.   I have extracted it and provided it here for ease of viewing:

The following letter is one I have forwarded to the Heritage Advisory Committe in response:

This letter is in response to a letter the committee received at it’s May 14th meeting from an organization referring to itself as the “Wells Street Neighbours – Heritage East Aurora Taxpayers”.   The letter was dated April 30th and was included in the agenda and was pulled and discussed at the May 14th meeting.

 The letter starts inexplicably by congratulating Clr. Gartner for running a Friday night youth gathering some years ago.   If Clr. Gaertner was the authority on youth programming that is purported in this letter no doubt the organization would not only still exist, it would have seen an adoption rate that reflected growth.
What is conspicuously absent from the is that the HotSpot operation Clr. Gaertner is credited for running was unsustainable and ultimately closed.  From what I gathered it failed due to either an unwillingness or inability to innovate, which to me reflects on poor leadership acumen.

The letter also fails to mention the much larger, more successful, sustainable and ongoing youth programming that is done throughout the town by countless service groups and town run initiatives.  
Failing to include this wider appreciation of youth programming illustrates this organizations collective ignorance or selective editing.  Either way it is insulting as a resident and taxpayer to read.

The letter then goes on to remark how Wells St. neighbours “with children” appreciate the town providing youth programming.  This leaves a reader to wonder if it is the assertion of this organization that conversely Wells St. neighbours not having or not presently raising children do not appreciate the town providing youth programming.

The authors of this letter proclaim to be “the” present stewards of the Wells. St. neighbourhood, a statement that should be discarded as of nothing more than grandiose posturing.

The corporation of the town of Aurora, it’s citizens, council, staff particularly the Heritage Advisory Committee are all the stewards of our entire town and is committed to preserving heritage buildings, street-scapes and natural spaces in our community.  The role of stewardship is one that is accomplished regardless of imaginary boundaries that observed by one particular ratepayers association.

After bypassing the hyperbole and obfuscation the purpose of the letter seems to be to assert a position that no demolition should be considered until the South East Heritage Heritage District is complete.Adhering to such a position appears to me as putting the cart before the horses mouth, and then muzzling said horse.

As members of the Heritage Advisory Committee are no doubt aware, and certainly need no lecturing from any ratepayers association about, the South East Heritage Heritage District is being conducted in accordance with a process that requires public consultation, staff and council input.   The boundaries of which are in a draft stage, and have no impact until they are formally agreed upon and adopted.  

I fail to see how “discussions” surrounding the re-purpose and use of buildings in the area should be in any way discouraged in the community at large, or by members of committee, council or staff.

As for the old library and fire hall, I fail to see how they are considered “significant structures” being neither designated or listed.  As identified buildings surplus to the town’s needs the authors of this letter do nothing to reinforce any significance they believe these structures to have, and it makes one question their inclusion in this letter.

The “Promenade Study” that is referenced in the letter is viewed by a section of the community as a rushed through and incomplete urban design document that needs to be revisited along with a more realistic work plan if it is expected to accomplish even a small percentage of its goals.

Just because said Promenade Study didn’t specifically recommend a “youth”, not exclusively “sports”, facility doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be discussed by the community at large, and discouraging such discussions certainly isn’t in the interest of the democratic process or the community as a whole.

It is unfortunate that the “Wells Street Neighbours – Heritage East Aurora Taxpayers” have chosen to place their desires above and beyond those of the entire town’s.

I trust the members of the Heritage Advisory Committee can appreciate the entire town’s concerns, including those found in the local newspapers and other media outlets, some made by members of council with respect to discussions of the town’s much needed Youth Centre.

If the committee is going to recommend anything to council it should be that the entire community, not just this so called “Wells St. community”, be involved in future decision making.

Just as it was inappropriate for a single neighbourhood in the North East to decide that they could close off streets and install chicanes because safety was some how reserved for their particular neighbourhood and the rest of the entire town had no business in arriving at that decision, it is equally inappropriate for this identity stunted ratepayers group to determine what type of urban planning discussions can be had that involve public lands that happen to be in their neighbourhoods.

It’s fine to be part of a ratepayer group.  It’s fine to be proud of your neighbourhood.

Just not at the expense of the rest of the town.

We are all Auroran’s, and this is “our town”.

Just because you believe you’re more special than the rest of us doesn’t make it so.

Watts on your mind?

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