- Our Town
Community belongs to the people
To the Editor:
Mayor Adelaar's dictatorial performance at the February 13 meeting of Bowen's municipal council should be of serious concern to islanders, including those who voted for him in good faith. To state that he, and only he, has the power to set the agenda - without any commentary or discussion - is chilling to say the least.
The fact that he made that Orwellian statement within the council chambers of the Bowen Island municipality, of all places, is particularly disturbing and gut churning. Bowen's self-described "new sheriff" appears to be totally oblivious to the very spirit which beats at the heart of this community - the municipal electorate with the largest voter turnout in the province.
Adelaar could not have placed a more crimson flag before the eyes of those who have fought so hard and so diligently, for so many years, to forge this community into British Columbia's staunchest bastion of democracy. Every major accomplishment of the Bowen Island community has been made through the sustained power of its people to uphold that democratic framework. The overriding message of Bowen Islanders to the rest of the world has always been that this community solely and fully belongs to its people and that, above all, its governance must be of the people, by the people and for the people.
Following in the footsteps of those who have laboured valiantly in the past, Bowen Islanders must always ensure that the democratic lifeblood of their island community will never be staunched. The continuation of Bowen's island way of life depends upon it.
Adelaar campaigned on a platform of creating a more harmonious and better functioning political climate. Instead, he has begun his mayoralty on the worst possible footing, by setting an autocratic tone and style of leadership which is an affront to the fundamental and steadfast democratic spirit of our community.
The last thing this community needs is an autocratic style of governance. Nothing could be more disruptive or alien to what Bowen Island is all about. That course of action can only lead to confrontations which will make the quarrels of the recent past seem like a walk in the park.
I take this opportunity to inform our island friends that my wife Meredith and I will be returning to our Bowen Island home in the spring. I encourage my fellow Bowen Islanders to keep a vigilant eye and to always defend the principle that the only path to "peace, order and good government" in a free society is for our elected representatives to govern democratically.