Referee submissions didn’t get fair representation at public hearing
While I understand there were legal requirements that made it necessary for the public to sit through over two hours of presentations from VIMC’s consultants, (because there had been changes from the Aug. 21 public presentation), there was no effort made to identify what those differences were or what their impacts might be. Further, from the audience, the graphics used were illegible from a distance and poorly labelled. Their presentations could have been time limited, as those of the public were. This imbalance is judged to be unfair to many.
What we must remember, though, is that it’s council who needs to understand the application and its revisions; not the public, since it’s council who will vote; not the public. If members of the public need to understand the application they are free to read all of the documents on the municipality’s website. I doubt many have done so.
Since the public had to sit through the VIMC presentations, I urge council to have the submissions of each of the referees be read publicly, in order for the procedure to be seen to be more balanced and fair. For example, for those who think VIMC’s archaeological presentation was adequate, I refer you to Chief William Seymour’s letter on the same topic. It makes VIMC’s opinions seem shallow and specious.
It appears that some members of the public may have been led down ‘the track’ by VIMC’s consultants. Let’s hope council isn’t! Bring all of your critical thinking skills to this work! Don’t simply believe what you’re told because it’s from a consultant paid by VIMC! We don’t know what directions they were given by their client or what they were paid to produce their reports. Better to rely on third party reports because they are impartial. (Navcon is an example.) Further, the submissions of the referees are critical because they weren’t paid to write them. I urge you to give them fair representation.