Comment 74022

By mattjelly (registered) - website | Posted February 08, 2012 at 17:03:27 in reply to Comment 74009

Ellen Morris is a wonderful person, someone I was glad to meet with over coffee immediately after we had a long debate about the nature of Ward 3 Resident's Association's role in property standards issues and multi-residential issues in Ward 3.

If the Ward 3 Residents Association were an open page, people could read all of the discussions that took place, without all of the context removed.

Yes, I was engaged in a long debate that emerged as a result about asking simple questions about how the W3RA operated from a governance perspective- simple requests to see the association constitution and bylaws, which most residents associations usually have. I asked simple questions like "do you have a board", "how do you make decisions" and "do you work with other existing neighbourhood groups within the ward" and "how do you ensure your organization is representative of all of Ward 3's 40,000 residents?"

People took umbrage to those questions, and we had a vigorous debate about the group's intent to shut down multi-unit residential properties in the ward. Those questions are important, as the group wants to immediately effect the living arrangements of people who are caught in the middle of bad situations, bad landlords, and visible neglect.

A few of us expressed caution that the group's frustration in terms of the lack of ongoing and proactive enforcement of property standards and zoning bylaws could possibly unsettle residents- and those residents should at least be invited to meetings, invited to join the discussion. I offered my perspectives from by-law crawl- what works, what doesn't, and what's fair and what's not. I offered my opinions as a citizen of the adjoining ward, which would also be affected by any policy decisions the group is advocating for.

A few of us agreed to disagree in the end- there was a mutual distaste after days of arguing for this kind of conflict. Ellen and I had coffee, and we got to know one another, got to know and respect each other's concerns. We walked away friends. I expressed to the entire group that I was willing to do the same. Mahesh- the invite still stands. Sit down with me and let's be serious. Let's stop this madness- this isn't what Raise the Hammer is for.

And Mahesh- the burden is on you to release publicly the entire discussion for people to read in full, before you make the kind of smears and unfounded allegations that you have here. If you don't open the group and release it, I'll do a screen capture of it and gladly post it.

Nothing that I have ever said to you in public or in private has been in any way related to your background. Ever. And you know that.

Stop subjecting people to this. With all due respect, you have way more to offer than what has been on display in these past few days. Sincerely.

And yes, I am glad Jason Farr represents me at City Hall. He's a good man, and often we can simply agree to disagree and be friends who respect each other.

Be well.

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