Letters to the editor 

Facts a mere annoyance

Facts a mere annoyance

I thought my frustration had reached its limit with this asphalt plant mess but apparently there's room for more... I just received the RMOW's response to my latest Freedom of Information request which states, "There are no records responsive to your request . " My FOI request was for the letter referred to here by our CAO Bill Barratt, who said the following in a May 18, 2010 presentation to c ouncil: "In 1997 the owner ( Frank Silveri ) submitted a letter to find out if he required zoning to operate at the existing site. The interpretation of staff of the day was that IP1 permitted the proposed land use ( i.e. asphalt plant ) ." This letter is even referenced in an FAQ sent to residents of Cheakamus Crossing by Mr. Barratt in July. So... tell me, how can there be no record of this letter when the RMOW has cited it numerous times in public forums?

In addition to this "ghost" of a letter, what I'd really love to see is the response from the RMOW essentially giving Mr. Silveri permission to operate the asphalt plant without proper zoning. I asked for that as well and guess what "there are no records responsive to your request . "

It's mind-blowing how the RMOW has so blatantly misrepresented the zoning of the current asphalt plant throughout the past year. How many times have we heard Mayor Melamed, members of c ouncil and senior RMOW staff vehemently confirm that the plant is allowed in the current zoning? Too many to count. They've consistently backed this up citing the legal opinion of Don Lidstone QC, with Melamed saying things like "complete confidence in the legal advice of Mr. Don Lidstone, QC, and our senior staff . " Heck, the m ayor even blamed a junior staff member for misinterpreting the zoning when he did a presentation to c ouncil last fall stating that asphalt production was not permitted in the current zoning. Hmmm, I wonder if m ayor and c ouncil are feeling as duped as I am right now. Or are some feeling incompetent for not looking past the face-value advice of their staff and reviewing the information for themselves? Either way, there's gotta be some kind of shakedown going on at the h all over this, don't you think?

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