At the June 19, 2018 meeting of Haldimand County Council, planning staff presented a new design for the Beattie Estates subdivision in the south end of Caledonia. It did not include the collector road built on expropriated private property that was such a contentious feature of the first design presented in February.

First, three councillors vied with one another in praising staff for “listening to the public” and “incorporating public input” into the new plan. Then Mayor Ken Hewitt emphasized the importance of making the public aware that the county was working with the public to incorporate their concerns.

I wonder how all this sounded in the ears of the people of Cayuga, because neither staff nor council was willing even to listen to their concerns, let alone act on them or incorporate them into the county’s plans for that town.

“Listening to the public” and “incorporating public input” have not come naturally to Mayor Hewitt and his council until now. Have they finally understood that they are there to represent the desires of the people? Or is it that Caledonia has four times more voters than Cayuga, and this is an election year? Or is it that citizen groups and the new media outlet are finally serving up the public criticism they deserve when they don’t listen to the public?

Whichever is the case, listening to the public is very new to them. It would be interesting to see, if they were re-elected, how long they would continue to do it.

David McClung, Cayuga