Good argument, bad facts around Nelson committees

It is a pity that the well-articulated letter by Kate Bridger, undermines its own credibility by stumbling over some fairly basic mistakes.

Re: “Let the downtown breathe,” Letters, June 26

It is a pity that the well-articulated letter entitled “Let the downtown breathe” by Kate Bridger, undermines its own credibility by stumbling over some fairly basic mistakes. I say “credible” because the author makes a good argument to let the downtown regulate itself, rather than be controlled by “power-wielding committees.”

Except, in this case, the downtown is doing just that. The issue of sandwich boards was raised by the Nelson Business Association, which polled its members on the subject and held an open house which I attended, along with many others. The business association then approached city council with their recommendations.

I think this is about as close to “the marketplace determining what is acceptable in our downtown” as you can get using a democratic process, involving far more than “a select few.”

What has all of his to do with heritage? Absolutely nothing. I sit on the city’s heritage commission where this subject has never been discussed. I suppose that this body was the target of the “city-endorsed preservationists” jibe, but we were not consulted, thank goodness. It’s not part of our mandate.

I also happen to sit on the city’s advisory planning commission, and again, we certainly never talked about sandwich boards, let alone setting rules for their design.

Whilst I actually agree with the spirit of Kate Bridger’s perspective, the targets of her vitriol are actually quite innocent in this case. A stronger argument is made when facts are presented with passion, rather than accusations levied without foundation.

Chris Drysdale



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