Tallying up the costs

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Dear Editor: I would like to present an amendment to the article published on Wednesday, March 26, headlined “Thistle critical of response from government.”

The article identifies $427,000 as the amount  spent on this plan. It also  quotes me as saying “it’s $600,000 out the window.”

The $427,000 spent on the Humber Valley Regional Plan does not include the countless hours of time invested by councillors and staff from each of the seven communities.

Nor does it include office supplies, mileage expenses or the cost to each community of sending its paid staff to sit on the technical committees.  

None of the elected officials who served on the governance structures were paid but their work has real value. Dozens of provincial government employees were part of the technical committee, including a senior representative of the Department of Municipal Affairs.

Service on this committee was part of their regular workload, an actual but unrecorded cost to the system.  

The $600,000 is probably a conservative estimate of the cost of the Humber Valley Regional Plan.

Dozens and dozens of people spent over a year of their lives discussing the problems of development facing the Humber Valley.

They were considered and thoughtful while wrestling with solutions and recommendations.  A three-year delay in responding to this massive effort by many people is, in my view, a very expensive insult.  

On the same page (in the Western Star) is an article titled “St. Judes still not paying up.”

To read this continuing saga, as well as arguments for and against developments that have or will occur in the Humber Valley and not believe we need a more regional approach to planning and services is wilful blindness.

The Humber Valley Regional Plan was an attempt to do this.

Had it been responded to in a timely fashion (let’s say six months) adjustments could have been made to bring this matter closer to a reality.    

Donna Thistle, past mayor of Steady Brook

Organizations: Humber Valley Regional Plan, Dear Editor, Department of Municipal Affairs.Service Humber Valley Regional Plan.Dozens

Geographic location: Western Star, Humber Valley, Steady Brook

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