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Letters: Week of Dec.1

Councillor apologizes for harsh words Sir: To each and every citizen of Sarnia I offer my deep regret for contents of a conversation I was having with two of my City Council colleagues that was captured on tape after our meeting of Nov.

Councillor apologizes for harsh words

Sir: To each and every citizen of Sarnia I offer my deep regret for contents of a conversation I was having with two of my City Council colleagues that was captured on tape after our meeting of Nov. 14th had adjourned.

Harsh words fell out of my mouth out of frustration and I have to own them. We are all the best and worst of ourselves and I am just as human as everyone who lives on this planet.

What is different about me is the very public nature of my life that is an open book for all to see.

As a passionate community developer I have accomplished great things in and for my community that I am proud of.

I embrace each day with an enthusiasm for life and take great pride in giving 100% to all that I do. I screwed up and I'm here in a very public and personal way to say I'm sorry.

Leadership can't be just about the good times.  In the yin and yang of life, leadership has also got to be about getting through the bad times. Leadership has to include owning up to one's actions and words - regardless of how they are spoken or why. Leadership can and should be about humility, and through humility, grace.  Grace is about putting bad things behind in order to focus on better days ahead.

Sarnia has my commitment to do just that and through the very best of me that is my promise!

Respectfully provided,

Bev MacDougall

Sarnia City Councillor

Councillor’s comments disgraceful

Sir: If it wasn’t obvious before, it is now apparent what some members of Sarnia council think of their constituents.

People wishing to address council have been denied this right and, when a city taxpayer did manage to do so, she was treated shamefully.

The behaviour of councillors Cindy Scholten, Andy Bruziewicz and Bev MacDougall, the “esteemed” warden of Lambton County, revealed how little regard they had for the lady who chose to speak at the Nov. 14th meeting.

In my not so humble opinion, the disgraceful comments of MacDougall, together with the childish behaviour of Scholten and Bruziewicz, clearly show how unworthy they are to serve on council.

They have been vocal participants in what can be referred to as the “goon squad” who have spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars in their persecution of the mayor.

The sanctions imposed on the mayor have gone far beyond what is reasonable - he is not even allowed the employees’ addresses for the purpose of sending them Christmas cards, which he has always done.

Isn’t Canada a free country?  Where do they get the authority to impose such ludicrous restrictions?

These people, obviously, don’t practice what they preach. It appears to me that if anyone is guilty of harassment and “bullying”, they are.  Scholten even sic’d the integrity commissioner on councillor Dave Boushy, the only member of council who had the intelligence and the courage to speak out against their atrocious assault against the mayor.

It is most unfortunate that they must be tolerated until the next election.

Bernice Rade


Higher fence needed for dog park

Sir: I just finished reading in the Nov. 24th edition about the dog park that some people want in Germain Park.

Someone should tell them that four-foot fencing is not high enough for large dogs.

I know of people, including myself, who have dogs that can and will jump over a four-foot fence.

We had to put up a 5.5-foot fence and our dog can still jump high enough to see over it.

Also, I don't think council should use taxpayers’ money to fund this dog park. Thank You.

Alan Palmer


Laying down the lawn

Sir: I was saddened by your recent story about a couple removing their living lawn and replacing it with artificial grass made of polyurethane (Couple turfs front lawn, replaces it with plastic grass, 11/17/2016).

I have personally witnessed many “lawn conversions gone bad” in California due to the ongoing drought in the western U.S. and met many homeowners who regretted ripping out their grass lawns.

Real grass is part of a living and diverse ecosystem. It produces oxygen, cleanses the air and water, limits storm water runoff, and provides much-needed habitat for wildlife, birds and insects.

Even an artificial lawn requires maintenance. Dirt, debris and pet waste must be washed off an artificial lawn with water. In the summertime, plastic grass heats up and many people spray water on the surface to cool it.

Even the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was caught hosing down its plastic grass to wash off dog poop. Giving up a living landscape for a plastic one is not a trend to embrace.

Kris Kiser

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

Alexandria, Virginia

Protesting Donald Trump not a waste of time

Sir: I was astonished by the letter from Yasmeen Ibrahim, the University of Ottawa student.

She started out by saying that she empathizes with the #NotMyPresident movement, but the rest of her letter contradicted that.

She goes on to say most of us are ill informed of what powers we possess, and that we should always respect the results of a vote.

Yet, several dictators have risen from their elected parties and been responsible for the deaths of millions. In my opinion, Trump has the vibe of a dictator and the only freedom of speech he likes is his own.

Does Ms. Ibrahim think the Civil Rights Movement was non-productive? Even politicians like Bobby Kennedy marched along with them.

Without people protesting and marching, Martin Luther King could not have delivered his moving ‘I have a dream’ speech.

I suppose she would have frowned upon the Boston Tea Party of 1773. Does she really believe that people’s opinions matter to the Representatives of the U.S. Congress and Senate, and that the American people have more power through them than marching?

Does she not know about special interest groups and lobbyist? Money talks. Voting takes one minute and happens once every four years.

Yasmeen might young but she needs to get her head out of the sand. She presented no new ideas or solutions, just blah blah about democracy.

Canadians have a very long history of protesting in the streets. Marching and protesting is what freedom looks like. It’s a sounding of an alarm that something is wrong, no matter what country it’s taking place in.

Tracy Jutras


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