A resident in a small B.C. community says it’s important to speak up when it comes to civic matters.
Last week, council in the village of Midway denied a variance request for a proposed five-storey apartment building.
The variance was denied following vocal opposition – not against the building, but, rather, the five-storey aspect, which was more than the village’s current three-storey limit.
Prior to the 4-1 vote, Midway resident Judy Willsey helped spearhead a drive opposing the five-storey variance, stating it went against what Midway is about.
The opposition drive included a petition that reportedly had more than 130 names on it. Willsey said the petition was hand-delivered to each councillor and the mayor.
Willsey also told Global News that 33 people showed up prior to the vote, letting councillors know they opposed the variance. She called it “an impressive number,” given Midway’s approximate population of 650.
“We then rushed home to watch (the council meeting) on Zoom,” said Willsey. “We were all holding our breath to see what would happen.
“The mayor gave a speech, which was excellent. It was about the integrity and the responsibility of council, and why he recommended that council vote against it.”
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Midway Mayor Martin Fromme confirmed the 4-1 vote and his statement, saying the integrity of bylaws must be upheld.
He also said if change is wanted, it should be an engaged process with the community and not just one-time scenarios.
Willsey said the 4-1 vote underscored the overall feeling in Midway. She also stated it’s important to pay attention to local politics, no matter where you call home.
“Pay attention to local government. Who you elect matters,” said Willsey. “And go to council meetings.
“At the very least, go to (your local community’s) website and read the (council meeting) minutes and try and decipher what they mean. And don’t be scared to phone the office and ask what it means.”
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