While I would not like to see this baseball park turned into a fire hall, I do not
think it appropriate to regard Mr. Marr as a mentally challenged person.
He runs a business, served on volunteer organizations and has been elected/re-elected
several times. Referring to him as someone who does not operate with a "full deck"
implies some mental shortcoming. Even though I disagree with the notion of this
conversion, I don't think Mr. Marr is mentally deficient. He may be just wrong.
Placing the hall in the Green Roof area or some other vacant area south of it deserves
consideration. Possibly the reason that Selbourne Park is attractive is because
it is deemed FREE.
Placing the hall at the school is troubling for the reason you object to it at Selbourne;
namely, it is a residential area.
If fire equipment would have been bought within the current hall's limitations and
that of the bridge, we may not need this debate. However this issue is resolved.
Mr. Marr is not intellectually ("not operating with a full deck") deficient.
Port Stanley, ON
Editor's Response: I stand by my opinion that anyone who would suggest combining
a children's playground in the same location as a firehall, as Mr. Marr did in his
article printed in the Lake Erie Beacon, has serious reasoning issues and a questionable
Running a business, serving on volunteer organizations, or being elected/re-elected
is not an automatic stamp of intellectual prowess or ethical integrity - look at
the Senate expense scandal; and it is a well-known fact that a former Prime Minister
of Canada conferred every evening with the ghost of his dead mother on the issues
of the day - something most people would consider to be aberrant behaviour. Volunteer
organizations also frequently accept intellectually or personality challenged members
as a means of integrating them into the community. Personally, I know at least three
people who have done quite a bit of valuable volunteer work in this community but
who do suffer from mental health issues - but not one of them would ever suggest
combining a children's playground in the same location as a fire hall.
My primary objection to locating a firehall at Selbourne Park is because it is donated
land with a lighted ball park and skate pad contributed to the community by the
hard work of volunteers, and usurping it for a firehall is exactly the same as slapping
all those community-minded volunteers in the face and completely devaluing their
contributions to our community. The park is also the only green space of any size
in the entire village and is heavily used by members of, and visitors to, our community.
Land donated for a specific purpose should not be considered FREE land by
the municipality to use as they please; besides, the Selbourne Park location for
a firehall would also require the $100,000 to $150,000 installation of a traffic
light at Warren and Colborne/Sunset, so it really isn't FREE.
My secondary objection is that locating a firehall in a residential area is an accident
waiting to happen and thus a very bad idea. Locating it at the school is also a
residential area (where Mr. McCarthy lives) but on the main road fire vehicles would
be using anyway to respond to calls at the beach or anywhere on the west side of
the village - it does not change the disturbance or risk factors at all. However,
unless it was also used as a new location for the municipal offices, the cost to
purchase and renovate the school would not make economic sense.