If the Town of Gibsons or any local government were to officially authorize any unsolicited report performed by anyone with professional certifications, we could flood Town Hall with a plethora of sparkly letterheads containing conflicting "professional" analyses on any topic.
Statistics show a growing number of Coast residents with higher educations and professional backgrounds. Although the correlation is unconfirmed, there also seems to be a growing number of people with professional opinions.
But I am also certain the vast majority of these professionals would immediately call into question the practice of submitting a supposedly apolitical report by showing up at a local government meeting and publicly accusing the Town's mayor of trying to suppress information. Such a tactic could not be any more political!
We must further question the credibility of any kind of "consultant's" business analysis performed without any consultation with the business in question - and the unbelievable notion that any businessperson would be planning to lose millions of dollars in exchange for the unlikely potential of a "tax holiday" on current properties that are surely billed in the low tens of thousands on an annual basis.
In fairness to the Town's citizens, such a "study" can only be regarded, as the mayor correctly stated, as a "submission from a resident," regardless of the letters behind one's name. There is a regulated, legal process for the Town to commission studies and reports, and for staff to select successful proposals based on qualifications, cost and other criteria.
It's unfortunate sides are taken ever more quickly on local political issues, before the true professional reports, duly commissioned by council, have even been released. Despite the tactics being employed by some, I expect I am one of many Gibsons residents who await these reports with an open mind.
Silas White, Gibsons
© Coast Reporter