At a Gibsons council meeting held on June 4, the Town’s chief administrative officer, Emanuel Machado, made an untrue statement regarding the O’Shea/Oceanmount Community Association (OOCA). Machado stated that OOCA was “an Upper Gibsons Chapter of the Gibsons Alliance of Business and Community (GABC).” That statement is false.
Our neighbourhood association is a completely different legal entity from GABC. We were formed as a B.C. registered society on Oct. 5, 2017, four years after the GABC was registered in October of 2013. Our membership is different, our leadership is different and our mandates are different.
In October of 2018 we welcomed a new mayor and council. We fully support Mayor Beamish’s vision of an honest, transparent and fair municipal government that engages in meaningful consultation. Had that occurred with the former council we believe the significant legal fees incurred by the Town and the various societies in Gibsons would not have been required. Consultation builds trust and allows for reasonable non-legal solutions.
OOCA had substantial frustrations in dealing with staff and the former council who ignored our many requests for meaningful consultation and appeared uninterested in discussion or compromise. We believe the former council made an error in adopting a bylaw amendment for a development known as Eagleview Heights and was contrary to our OCP. We requested a judicial review of that bylaw amendment which is the only legal issue we have in progress.
While I can understand the frustration of having to deal with multiple separate groups whose citizens are fully engaged, I’m not sure how Mr. Machado’s “harsh critique” helps to rebuild trust. Our town has suffered through several years of intense, divisive debate. We are now hoping to move forward in a more positive way with new leadership.
William Baker, Director, O’Shea/Oceanmount Community Association