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Councillors can help shape public opinion

I read that John Taylor’s motion on height restrictions went through the Committee of the Whole at its meeting on 27 February.

However, I note there was no reference to his proposed 15 storey height cap that caused such apoplexy in some quarters. Maddie Di Muccio, for one, slammed the very idea.

At least we know where she stands.

But what surprised me more than anything else was the absence of any debate on Taylor’s motion. Here it is:

That Council direct staff to bring a report to Committee of the Whole in 45 days outlining the process(es), including public consultation, for which Council could enact a height restriction for multi storey buildings in the Town of Newmarket. Furthermore that Council direct staff to include in the report an analysis of any issues associated with height restrictions policy for consideration by Council.

True, the motion is largely about process but it provided councillors with an opportunity to say something, however tentative or hesitant, about the kind of development they want to see In Newmarket.

Instead.

Just silence.

I believe councillors should listen to what people in their Wards are saying.  That’s the right thing to do.

But they should also give a lead. That means speaking out and giving their point of view, qualified if needs be, on the big issues facing the Town.

Councillors are uniquely placed to shape public opinion.

They should be leading the public debate rather than standing in the shadows.

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