An open letter to Councillor Mark Grimes:

I was most dismayed when I heard you say that you would "never" meet with a group of people who wish to talk about their vision for Colonel Sam Smith Park. I was at the meeting last May, when you said that you would set up an advisory committee re: the park. Judging from your comment last night (June 5), it appears that you were being disingenuous.

First of all, I am not political in any way, nor are many of the people who care about the welfare of what we consider to be a very special and unique piece of property. I am angry that you choose to lump everyone together, and thus refuse to hear diverse opinions. Am I to assume then, that you will not listen to me when we disagree about other issues?

I can understand your frustration when you are publically challenged, but can't you see that people are upset because they are not being heard? If you had formed an advisory committee, as you said you would, many of these issues could have been addressed, and perhaps a better solution formed.

It appears that there are many people in the community whose opinions and dreams are being ignored: the skateboarders, youth and seniors who have waited years for a community centre, business people and families who want to see this area thrive, and those of us who treasure the peace, quiet and natural environment of Sam Smith Park. Many of us feel that the City of Toronto is trying to ram something through that is not necessarily in the best interest of our community, nor what we feel will best serve everyone.

You were elected to represent all of the people of this ward. This entails actively seeking out those with whom you disagree, and working to bring people together instead of frustrating and dividing them. It's clear that this is a diverse and active community, with great potential. Why not take time to really hear people, instead of assuming you know what is best?

I am writing this letter to you in the hope that you will follow through on your initial promise to form an advisory committe regarding what happens in Sam Smith Park. I would be happy to serve on it.

Susan Virtue

Link to "Letters", Etobicoke Guardian