A lack of compassion for businesses shown
Letter to the Innisfil Scope – August 25 2010
In a recent article, entitled Business owners ‘crippled’ by road construction’, councillor Rod Boynton was quoted as saying, “We should all come out and support them.”
What efforts have mayor Brian Jackson, members of council and advisory committees and town staff made personally or professionally to support the businesses on which they have inflicted hardship on? The town has blocked a main access driveway without addressing a reasonable alternative, and by apparently mismanaging the project so that the period of disruption due to construction has been significantly extended.
I find it totally contradictory that the town is mandated to increase commercial activity within the municipality, to provide employment for residents, yet a councillor is so blasé about the negative impact of a planning decision that has clearly not fully addressed the needs of the several existing retail and service employers in the affected plaza referenced in the article. What kind of a message does this send to potential employers who are considering locating in Innisfil, when the needs of established business are viewed so callously by a town councillor?
And for the local taxpayer, we see an administration that spends significant amounts of money to attract new businesses, while refusing to recognize that an illconceived plan could herald a death warrant for several existing businesses and employers.
In general, I found Boynton’s comments, coming from an official elected to serve the people of Innisfil, to sound careless and insensitive. While his own retail business was, indeed, adversely affected a few years ago by development construction adjacent to his business, that did not result in a permanent impairment of access to his business.
Further, the location of Boynton’s business probably made it significantly less sensitive to the disruption caused by that construction, as traffic was not rerouted away from his gas station. The smugness of Boynton’s comments are very unflattering, both to the councillor and town administration. Where is the compassion for the real people who own these businesses, or are employed or served by them?