VOCO Update
by Lynne Boldt

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May 17, 2002

      Well well well....with or without the numerous contacts made and received by VOCO in response to the 'last minute' announcement of the "Special Events By-law Meeting" held last Wednesday at the Fenelon Falls Legion, it almost appeared for a while, that democracy is not truly dead yet in Victoria County. With close to 200 people filing into the Legion on a Wednesday night in May, I just hope that Mayor Truax, Solicitor-Clerk Rosalie Evans, Director David Amos, other city bureaucrats and city councillors took diligent note of the responses, comments and direction given to them that evening.

      The citizens from Bobcaygeon, Verulum, Fenelon Falls, Fenelon Twnshp., Balsam Lake, Omemee, Lindsay, and so on, should be very proud of themselves for speaking with a united voice and letting the City Leaders know, in no uncertain terms that this by-law could well be the straw that breaks the community camel's back. Businesses, volunteer and charity organizations and citizens alike do not want this by-law and if it passes the powers-that-be will NOT be able to say the 'silent majority wanted it' - it was very clear that the majority were NOT silent and they DO NOT WANT IT.

      Those in attendance and many I have spoken with since would also like to know why this by-law is even an issue as Council has NEVER requested any such by-law be introduced, and furthermore why has someone already been hired (ie. put on the payroll) to issue permits for a by-law that has not been requested by Council nevermind brought before them to be voted on.

      If the by-law does not get passed by Council, will it be one of those issues that comes back again and again (like a dog with a bone) until they can justify hiring this person for this job???? It seems to me I did hear somewhere that the Mayor said the solicitor-clerk brought this by-law forward because it was on her "to-do list, for no particular reason"...go figure.

      Anyway.....congratulations to all those that attended the meeting that night, it truly was a welcome display of grassroots democracy.

      On another front....in a not quite so democratic process, VOCO made it's umpteenth submission to the appointed Visioning Committee on May 8th and yet again, to the "Good Government" sub-committee of the Visioning Committee on May 13th. While only one person was allowed to submit to the Committee on May 8th it was interesting to note that the Visioning Committee Chair commented on the VOCO representation being the largest group of people that have attended a Visioning Steering Committee. Could it be that they have finally, finally acknowledged the presence of the people? Only time and the final "vision" will tell. Keep your eyes skyward for the all-inclusive 'Vision' to come floating down from the hallowed realm of City Hall in the near future.

      The postcards for MPP Hodgson continue to come in on a regular basis and keep your eyes open for VOCO's newest addition soon to be introduced to our city travellers.

      For more information on these or other VOCO activities, please feel free to visit the website at www.geocities.com/vocomail or plan to attend the next regular meeting being held at the Fenelon Falls Lions Club in the Fenelon Fairgrounds next Thursday, June 6 beginning at 7:00pm.

Reprinted with permission from The Promoter

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