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Streetstrut silence raises questions

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Dear Editor,

Watching Whitewater Region council and committee meetings as they were live-streamed Wednesday, Sept. 18, I was hoping there would be some discussion about StreetStrut. You see, there is an $18,000-plus deficit after this year’s event.

StreetStrut is touted as a tourism event, not something just for the community.

The first and second years drew decent crowds and the weather co-operated. Each time StreetStrut was brought to council, it was discussed. There was also a lengthy discussion when it was decided against moving it to another community within the township, which it was supposed to do.

During the Sept. 18 meeting, community services manager Jordan Durocher brought a report about this year’s StreetStrut advising there were about 100 less volunteer hours because the afternoon event did not happen. There is also a deficit of just over $18,000 because Mother Nature didn’t co-operate just before the event, which meant the expected crowd didn’t happen.

The report also noted StreetStrut would be on hiatus for 2020.

That was the end. No discussion.

What I didn’t see in the report was the affect the fencing erected throughout Saturday had on some businesses along Main Street. I also don’t know if the staff who worked throughout the event on Saturday was paid or given time in lieu of or were working as volunteers – meaning without any kind of remuneration.

It was disappointing not one council member asked how the deficit would be made up. It was disappointing not one council member asked why the hiatus. It was disappointing not one council member asked if this is a tourism event, why weren’t more tickets pre-sold.

I’m also wondering if the businesses were advised there could be a disruption in their business on Saturday.

I support council because I believe they are making the best choices they each can with the information provided.

But, when I read the report, I had these questions … why didn’t one council member?

This letter is also going to council with hopes answers will be forthcoming at an upcoming committee or council meeting.

And, just in case you, the readers, are not aware, you can attend committee and council meetings, held the first and third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. at council chambers in Cobden. You can also watch it live on the township’s website. And, if none of those suit, you can also watch any council meeting afterwards on the township’s website.

Sincerely,
Connie Tabbert of Whitewater Region, Foresters Falls