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Ding! Ding! Round 2 WL arena debate

Council scraps about democracy, policy, and preparedness

By Mike Williscraft

Finger pointing and squabbling resulted in very little debate at Monday’s council meeting on the proposed new recreation facility for West Lincoln.

Off the top, the matter was deferred to the May 19 Public Works & Recreation Services Committee meeting leading to one debate. It flared up again when Mayor Doug Joyner “pulled” the matter from last month’s PW&RS minutes to bring it forward as a motion again.

Unlike the April 20 meeting where the motion was not discussed as no members of the committee would second it, Coun. Dave Bylsma did second it Monday night.

“I seconded this for the sake of moving it forward,” said Bylsma.

“Democracy is not dead in West Lincoln. I support the committee’s direction. I talked to them and they felt, as individuals, they could not second it. A lot of information has been handed to me. We’ve never had the opportunity to discuss it.”

Joyner noted that the PW&RS meeting was the proper forum for thorough discussion.

“The council chamber was full of residents eager to hear the debate,” said Joyner, noting “extensive” information from years of studies and public input sessions is readily available.

Coun. Jason Trombetta blamed Joyner for him not being informed on the new facility issue.”

“I have no documents, no information. I would have appreciated it if he (Joyner) had gotten together with me over a coffee to talk about it, but that didn’t happen,” said Trombetta.

Coun. Alex Micallef, who also served on the previous council, said he had to “stand by my colleagues”, adding, “We need extra time to discuss this.”

Council never did deal with the motion put on the floor by Joyner to approve proceeding with the arena project. Rather, it stopped mid-debate to approve another motion that the proposal – as introduced by Joyner – would be sent to May’s PW&RS meeting.

Former councillor and local developer Lou Di Leonardo chastised council for a lack to transparency on the matter during the public delegation part of the meeting.

“Whether you were in agreement or not, there was a lack of democracy. Ignorance and indecisiveness are very costly,” said Di Leonardo.

“I take great exception to those comments,” said Bylsma, adding, “You sat in this chair. Two other men had opposing views and they got elected. We’re not going to be bullied.”

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