Saturday, February 23, 2008

Councillor King's statement on the Woodwynn vote

Attached is a statement by Councillor King regarding the recent Council motion to confirm Woodwynn farm as agricultural land and to prohibit any institutional zoning:

"1st. I wish to make it clear that the vote on this motion authored by Councillor Graham is NOT a rejection of Mr. Leblanc’s idea. Nowhere in the motion does it mention Mr. Leblanc’s idea – which has not been received as an application.

2nd By voting in favor of the motion I am not indicating that I am opposed to Mr. Leblanc’s idea as I have not seen details or yet received an application.

I ask that the media and the public NOT characterize this motion as a rejection, but rather it should be seen as a re-affirmation of the existing zoning given limited information.

Voting opposed to Councillor Graham’s motion does not indicate support for Mr. Leblanc’s idea just as a vote in support does not indicate rejection. It is important to follow what the motion says and not attach extra-meaning to it.

If Council wishes to clearly reject a proposal it should wait for an application and then make a clear motion to deny the request. Council must maintain Mr. Leblanc’s “right to an unbiased decision maker” and must keep an “open mind”, which means that it must accept evidence before making final decisions – such as an application.

I believe that Councillor Graham’s motion is premature but is valid given the limited information before council. This means that I can vote in support of the obvious nature of the motion given the lack of an application or information to the contrary. In order to not have a “closed mind” I ask that it be recorded that I recognize that this motion does not bind my hands or the hands of council if presented with information in the future.

1) This motion is therefore unnecessary… AND I move to postpone the motion until an application is received for deliberation.

2) I move that Council indicate it has not made a decision on the idea presented by Mr. Leblanc AND that Council remains “open minded and unbiased” if Mr. Leblanc wishes to proceed with an application… "

Note that the link attached to this article will take you to the minutes for the Feb 11 Planning and Development Committee meeting where you can look at the motion that was passed, Richard Leblanc's presentation and Councillors King's 12 questions with Mr. Leblanc's answers.

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