Please note the version printed in the August 1st edition of Rocky View Weekly was modified and omitted the final paragraph. What follows is the full letter.
The recent flurry of letters to the editor makes it clear that Rocky View Forward presents a direct threat to what has been the status quo for far too long in Rocky View County.
One would think there is plenty of room for two groups in this County. Oddly when a group of developers and landowners (most who don’t even live in Rocky View) form their own group to lobby the County little is said. The moment a group of residents who reside in Rocky View do the same they are called out as extremists and are trying to tear the County apart. The hypocrisy is fascinating.
Those who criticize Rocky View Forward present this as a pro-development vs anti-development debate. They assign the "anti-development" label to those asking for responsible development - development that pays its own costs of infrastructure, effectively manages its stormwater and does not pass the tab on to the taxpayer. Interestingly, this label comes from a bunch of yes-men who believe that all development is good development. Yet, this great development they speak of is responsible for Rocky View’s $120 million debt, mostly from the “if we build it, they will come” attitude that has repeatedly failed.
Sadly, this yes mentality has permeated the majority of our Councillors whose decisions all to often benefit the developer or landowner while ignoring the well-founded concerns of affected residents. Think Harmony, Bingham and recently Glenbow Ranch. In each of these cases, the voice of the clear majority was the opposition – namely residents. Yet, in each ruling, it was the minority (developers) who Council favoured and continues to favour.
In these next few months you will hear concerns masked as landowner rights. However, if you look more closely you will see it is a clever façade for entitlement. No one disputes people should be able to do what they want with their land - so long as they follow the rules. Herein lies the problem. It is commonplace for the majority on Council to repeatedly ignore the rules and vote against its own administration’s recommendations. While that is Council's prerogative, it becomes problematic when it becomes the norm.
For too long, Rocky View residents have remained unaware of county politics, assuming things will take care of themselves. However more and more people are paying attention. For those with vested interests in the status quo, this increased attention is problematic. Rocky View Forward brings light to many of these issues. So, it makes sense we're ruffling the feathers of those whose power has run unfettered for decades.
Rocky View Forward is getting under some people’s skin. You need to ask why. More to the point, you need to consider the source. Are they big landowners or those with developer interests? More importantly, why is it that any view other than theirs is extreme?
The election is in October. Come that time, Rocky View Forward’s website and County New Online are just two places people can go to get information and create a more balanced view on what’s really going on in Rocky View. But don't take our word for it. See for yourself.