Slap in the Face from Chairman of the Council
I have a bunch of notes from tonight’s “open house” meeting, but I’ll get to that in a day or so. One thing really stood out to me from the whole meeting, and it really needs to be addressed.
When one local resident brought up a concern about drug dealers merely being pushed to adjacent streets, Alexis Pennie (chairman of the Greenway Council) replied – and this is a direct quote –
“Well, people still have to make a living!”
Was it a joke? I hope so.
Was it in ANY way appropriate for the chairperson of the Greenway Council to make such a joke about a very legitimate concern posed by a resident?
The thing is, he CAN joke about it. He has the privilege of not living on the affected route, nor on the adjacent streets. He doesn’t have to deal with the blightway, nor does he have to live with the consequences of migrating crime from the temporary installation being added to crime those on nearby streets already have to deal with.
I happened to be sitting across from Matt Hendricks, a Greenway Council board member. He appeared – rightfully – horrified by the “joke”.
Matt pointed out that the Greenway council is dormant right now, and that no one has any idea whether or not it will reactivate at some point in the future. That Alexis was not speaking on behalf of the project, when he made the joke. It was very clear that he wanted to distance Alexis’s comment from the project.
The thing is, though… Whatever the actual status of the Greenway Council, the fact remains that Alexis is/was the chair. He was the name and face of this project to all of those who have been impacted it, who have been presenting our concerns, who have been ignored, and – yes – who have been disrespected by members of the greenway council.
For him joke about such a big issue in OUR neighbourhood speak VOLUMES about the lack of respect that our concerns are being met with. He – and the Greenway Council – owes the residents of this neighbourhood an apology.