To the Town Hall to meet the man who is going to run the Glenway “Lessons Learned” meeting on 23 June, Glenn Pothier.
I asked to see him.
I have half and hour and feel quite animated. Time is at a premium. I have too much to say and not enough time to say it.
I open by setting out the ground rules, as I see them. There should be no surprises and no ambushes on 23 June. People should know the format beforehand. How is the meeting going to be shaped? Will there be a presentation of some sort first? (He hasn’t decided yet.) If so, who is going to do it? Will the meeting be widely advertised? Will questions be solicited from the public in advance? Will the answers be available before the meeting? Will they be posted on the Town’s website? Will the meeting be live streamed and taped? Who will be putting the agenda together? (He will.)
I say it would be totally absurd not to have questions answered in advance (insofar as they can be). He agrees. I tell him I am going to submit my own list of questions to the Town’s Chief Administrative Officer, Bob Shelton, and I give him a copy. No-one wants to get bogged down in minute details but we need answers to the big questions.
For example, when the Town hired the outside consultant, Ruth Victor, to work on the Glenway file (to free up other senior staff for work on the Secondary Plan) was it made clear to councillors they were, in practice, ceding the final decision on policy to her?
Did the Town consider, at any stage, buying the Glenway lands to retain open space that would, in future years, be needed?
Why were no Newmarket planners at the OMB Hearing to support the Town’s position?
There are other questions but I leave it there.
Clearly, the whole point of the exercise is to learn lessons for the future and not to point an accusing finger or pick over the carcass as a way of embarrassing people.
I ask him who he is meeting in these half-hour slots.
We talk about the purpose of the meeting and what would represent a good outcome. I quote Bob Shelton who said in February that lessons learned from Glenway could in future be applied to other developments in Newmarket.
Quite so. That's what it is all about.