Letter to the editor 1, Dec. 5, 2019

Missing in action

Dear Editor,

Last Monday’s Hudson council meeting was late in starting, the reason being the absence of Mayor Jamie Nicholls. When it was obvious that the mayor would not be present, Councillor Austin Rikley-Krindle stepped into those shoes as Pro-Mayor. It was not an easy job, but he handled it with grace under pressure, especially given the circumstances.

According to the mayor’s prepared statement read by Director General Philip Toone, he has decided to step back from his duties to reflect on his role as mayor. In his statement, Nicholls mentioned that his personal vision and values might have caused harm and stress to citizens and that he was sorry if that was the case. He was referring specifically to proposed By-law 526.8 which would have impacted many property owners by enlarging the 10-metre wetland buffer to 30-metres, thereby limiting any new infrastructure in some backyards.

Because the by-law was not adopted than night, it self-destructs. I suspect council will work hard at finding another solution to protect wetlands that considers all potential implications to their constituents, while still promoting the principals which were inherent in the original idea of the by-law; the protection of wetlands.

While the mayor is away on a leave of absence, council will be reduced to an even six members who would result in an impasse with no seventh member to vote in the event of a split vote or tie. Instead of worrying about this situation, I hope council will take this opportunity to forget the past, come together in solidarity and move files forward for the benefit of Hudson taxpayers. The 2020 budget is due in about 10 days and that should be their priority.

This is not the first crisis the town has suffered, and it will weather this setback as well. Although emotions may run high, it is only because Hudsonites care about their town, their neighbours and the environment.

Just make sure to remember that those councillors are our neighbours who committed four years of their life to giving back to their community.

Let’s encourage them not to give up.

Diane Piacente

Former Hudson Town councillor and Interim Mayor

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