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Not listening, not caring



"I'm not listening and I don't care" seems to be the mantra of our elected officials, be they at the provincial or municipal level. When is Mayor Sutherland going to get a clue?

Allow me to quote him in the March 4 Chief: "It was a clear no and for whatever reason, the overall concept didn't resonate with people."

He also said in Council Corner: "It is also my hope that people base their opinion on fact, rather than innuendo and hearsay." He is, of course, referring to the results of the tax dollar-funded referendum on the wisdom of going into a $20-million debt foroh, something, the first money to be spent on figuring out how to spend the money.

Please, someone who is close to Mayor Sutherland, read him past issues of The Chief, especially the letters section. Even he should then understand why the "overall concept didn't resonate".

If the people of Squamish had facts to base their opinions on, if they had a clear vision and plans in place, maybe they would back him. More likely, the anger and disillusionment stirred by the Mayor's actions will lead to his next set of quotes being his exit speech.

Susan Barry

Garibaldi Highlands

Doak's paper trail

The following letters to Squamish Mayor and council and to West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky MP John Reynolds were copied to The Chief for publication.

Dear Mayor and Council:

Please consider this request for permission to extend my Licence of Occupation.

JR Transport/Burritt & Son Tucking approached Mrs. Coates many times in the last year regarding this request and were repeatedly denied - we were told we were "exhausting" her time. I am and have been diligently attempting to relocate but find there are very limited locations within my means. Due to decreased log hauling in this area, I am forced to be away from town much of the time.

The shortage of drivers is another problem. Many drivers have moved from Squamish due to the industry's insecurity and I am continually required to drive. These setbacks severely limit my time to seek alternate accommodations.

When I was informed of the Burritt & Son licence extension by The Chief on Feb. 16, I immediately contacted Mrs. Coates who informed me it was too late to apply.

She stated I should have asked for the extension last month! She also stated another reason for her denial was due to the fact she had checked with the Planning Department and found that I had not applied for a demolition permit which proved I was not making any attempt to relocate. I regret that a demolition permit was not high on my list of priorities. I had no idea the mayor and council had not been informed of our many requests.

Unfortunately, I listened to Mrs. Coates, who led me to believe all requests to the Mayor and council had to be directed through her. I'm new at this game and, apparently, naive. I now realize I should have bypassed Mrs. Coates and forwarded my concerns directly to your attention.

I believe one condition of the Softwood Industry Community Economic Adjustment Initiative (SICEAI) grant for the Adventure Centre was that the grant could not be used for any purpose which would create a hardship on forestry workers.

As I stated at previous requests, I am finding this relocation to be an extreme hardship and would appreciate an extension of my lease also.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Darren Doak, Jr Transport Ltd.

Dear Mr. Reynolds:

Regarding the attached letter to the District of Squamish, it was my belief (after many meetings with Mrs. Coates) that extensions to our License of Occupation were completely out of the question and that Feb. 28 was absolutely the last day of our (JR Transport/Burritt & Son Trucking) occupancy.

I was very concerned due to the setbacks as referred to in the attached letter. After the last meeting with Mrs. Coates, when I signed the License of Occupation contract "under duress", I was never contacted by the District of Squamish regarding the availability of licence extensions.

To my surprise, on Feb. 16 I received a phone call from The Chief newspaper informing me that Burritt & Son Trucking had been negotiating with the District and Mrs. Coates since the beginning of January 2005 and had anchored an extension to their Licence of Occupation until May 31, 2005.

All meetings we had with Mrs. Coates involved both companies - we were asked by the district to attend together for meetings.

As the district was dealing with both companies "unitedly", I was shocked and stunned when informed of this complete turn of events.

I find it appalling that the district would negotiate with Burritt & Son Trucking privately and firmly believe I should be awarded the identical license extension as Burritt & Son Trucking.

I have no idea of the reason for this discrimination - perhaps, during the last election the mayor and his team were not pleased to see that the campaign banners flown on my loaded truck were not in favour of "New Directions".

Any assistance/direction that you could give me regarding this matter would be very much appreciated.


Darren Doak,

JR Transportation ltd.

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