As Mayor of the Town of South Brook I write in response to the article “Under the Dome” in the 26 December 2013 issue of The Nor’Wester.
When I decided to run for a second term as Councillor in our Town, I made it clear in my campaign literature, and in the Candidate’s Forum that I was in favour of repurposing the Hillside Recreation Center (the Dome) to provide a shared space for the use of several community groups. Documents have already been circulated to every household outlining how much The Dome is costing the Town of South Brook each year, compared to the minimal time each year that the building is used.
When the election results were complete I had received the most votes, and I was subsequently chosen by my fellow Councillors as Mayor for a second term. This is a strong indication of community support for this portion of my vision for the Town of South Brook.
At the regular Council meeting held on 10 December 2013 a petition in favour of renovating The Dome was presented. This petition contained 272 signatures of voters within our Town. Therefore, fully 70% of the voting public have publicly demonstrated their support for the project.
Subsequently, a motion was made with the intent of proceeding with renovations to The Dome which would provide space for recreational use, space for our Volunteer Fire Department, and, space for our Maintenance Department. After some debate on the issue three of the six Councillors eligible to vote were in favour of the proposal and the other three were against, causing the motion to fail. This, of course, does not prevent a similar motion from being made in the future.
At the close of the meeting I publicly asked why Councillors would chose to vote against a project, which has the overwhelming support of the community. No logical answer was forthcoming. I ask again, in this forum, for each Councillor who voted against the motion to write their own letter to the Nor’Wester detailing their reasons for voting against the stated wishes of their friends and neighbours.
Finally there is, in the Town of South Brook, a minority group who seem to operate under the slogan “Save Our Dome”. I ask the members of this group, “From what do you wish to save The Dome?” Do you want to save it from being used by our Volunteer Fire Department for storage of their equipment? Do you want to save it from being used as a Green Depot for recycling? Do you want to save it from being used by our Maintenance workers so they may do equipment repairs out of the cold and inclement weather? Do you want to save it from being used by the public as a place to prepare floats for Christmas and South Brook Day parades? Do you want to save it from youth and families who would enjoy an improved ice skating surface in the winter months? Just what does “Save Our Dome” really mean?
Finally, I urge Councillors and others who are against this project to rethink their attitude and vision for our Town. I ask them to follow the instructions of those who voted for them. I also ask them to set a good example of democracy at work for our youth by voting to share an under utilized facility for the benefit of all.
Paul R. Mills
Mayor, Town of South Brook