Lack of transparency in Wagg’s Wood sale leaves many questions

Did they pave paradise to put up a parking lot?

To the Expositor:

“It is better to ask for forgiveness than permission” seems to be the motto of the Municipality of Central Manitoulin, or perhaps “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot” is more appropriate? Maybe selling a portion of Wagg’s Park was the correct decision, we don’t know, there was never any opportunity for the public to ask questions and get answers.

Every visit from our children, no matter the season almost always included a visit to Wagg’s Park. If public property owned by the municipality is to be sold, the process should be open and transparent to the public. It should not be a first come first served situation. We would even go as far as to say that the municipality broke its own rules and policies on selling public property. Previously, many landowners with property abutting public lakes, unopen road allowances and waterways within the township have requested to buy the property that abutted theirs, those request were denied. The selling of a portion of this park without prior public input or an opportunity to have questions answered is cause for great concern. Since the Municipality of Central Manitoulin did not give us the opportunity to ask questions prior to the sale of this property we would like to ask them now. We understand that it’s too late to have any effect on this decision, but it’s never too late to ask for accountability from our elected officials.

1.) Was the family that generously sold the land for Wagg’s Park contacted prior to the sale for their input?

2.) Why was there no public consultation prior to the sale of a portion of a public park?

3.) Why was there not a tender process, as in the past when the township sold public property?

4.) Did all landowners that have property abutting the park have an opportunity to purchase park property?

5.) Where does the money from these purchases go? General revenue?

I’m sure other taxpayers have more questions, these questions, and the answer to these questions deserve public scrutiny.

However well-intentioned this sale may have been, we know where that path leads.

Steven and Lise Shaffer