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Democracy must not be forced

Posted on October 24, 2018 by Taber Times

I have supported and applauded the present town council for their due diligence, fairness and respectful attitude towards the citizenry of our great town.

Even after the hearing on Tuesday, October 9, re: their choice of 50th Street and 53rd Avenue for a multi-service centre for protective services including a new fire hall, I still feel the same.

They have worked on the issue of determining where the fire hall and related services should be established for several years, but in each case, have been unsuccessful in obtaining a broad approval from the residents. This last choice is not acceptable, either judging by the packed council chamber and presentations against it that were made at the hearing. I can understand why council, behind closed doors, might have made the decision they did.

After numerous failed attempts and frustrations with the electorate, they must have determined they would exercise the authority bestowed upon them a year ago when the municipal election was held and they were authorized to represent the people.

Perhaps they are learning that although the gears of democracy turn slow and for good reasons, they must still practice restraint and patience in any decision that is not well received by the citizens, even if they are tiring after years and hours of work. Effective democracy cannot be forced.

My suggestion is that council consider other options that may be available; I respectfully forward one that was mentioned in passing at a meeting I attended two years ago.

It is that an auxiliary fire station be built, probably in the northwest area of town. It would consist of a rapid response fire engine, equipped with such things as basic fire fighting tools and first-aid supplies. Its purpose would be to race to the fire in only a few minutes, take care of preliminaries such as clearing the building of humans and pets and connecting the hose to the hydrant and begin spraying water or whatever retardant the fire requires. By then, the main fire hall response team with their vehicles and those of the police and emergency services will have arrived.

I realize this suggestion has been written by an amateur in these kinds of things, but perhaps the idea has some merit and perhaps, if not already, should seriously be considered.

RAY SHEEN

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