An Open Letter To Dialogue Partners and Hamilton City Council

I will not preach or hurl invective. All I will say is, the tenor of these statements and apologies has been divisive and manipulative, and for myself, I am neither swayed, nor impressed.

I can’t speak for all of Hamilton, and I won’t pretend to do so. But for myself, I have to say that the handling of this portfolio has been most enlightening, and not at all encouraging. Nine months should have been ample time to prepare to engage the city, and the fact that you clearly weren’t ready shows me and many of my friends and neighbours that you aren’t as competent as you have led the city to believe. That City Council clearly believed in and approved your bid and has at no time (as a unified body) spoken against you demonstrates that they are clearly culpable as well. As such, you are not being singled out.

So believe me when I say to you, we activists are not bullying you. We are not abusing you. We are embarrassed by our City Council, upset by these developments, and adamant that we will not be made to suffer more of Council’s incompetence and arrogant assumption that we are just going to accept whatever chicanery they get up to and forget our ire in time.

There are plenty of people in this city that don’t pay enough attention to what Council does, and we activists can’t help but feel that that is by design. We view this citizen engagement initiative with, I think you will agree, justifiable skepticism, and cannot help but feel that you, Dialogue Partners, have proven yourselves mildly contemptuous of our growing concern, in as much as you have gone on the defensive and tried to marginalize those of us who have seen fit to criticize you.

Please understand this: if you complete your current contract with Hamilton City Council, I believe the project will fail. Too many of us have too little confidence in your ability to deliver this project with anything remotely resembling balance and accuracy.

I don’t wish your business any ill will. I don’t think you are grossly incapable of performing your task in this growing field. But you have proven yourself to be a poor fit for Hamilton, and even if some suburbanites who feel disenfranchised from the urban voice of Hamilton have expressed some desire to see the project continue with your group, I believe that you have nevertheless lost the urban core, and should expect skepticism, resistance, and skewed results, accordingly.

Lee Edward McIlmoyle

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