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LETTER: Majority of Summerland councillors supported solar project

Dissenting councillors need to respect outcome of votes

Dear Editor:

The solar/battery storage project in Summerland has been in progress since early in the 2014-2018 council.

The project had strong public support at a public meeting early in the process. A $100,000 grant was received for a feasibility study.

Council moved ahead, applied for and received a $6,000,000 federal grant. Final receipt of the grant was contingent on finding a suitable location for the facility.

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What made this project unique was the battery storage component of the application.

What is critical is that each stage of the process had to pass with a majority of council agreeing.

At each stage individual councilors had opportunities to present arguments either for or against. The majority rules and the process moves on. The decision on siting was left to the present council.

To be clear after leaving the office of mayor, I had objections to the site eventually chosen.

These objections were eventually cleared up as alternate routes for servicing Deer Ridge became clear. The brownfield site on municipally owned land at the foot of Cartwright (the base of Deer Ridge) was chosen by, I believe, a 4-3 vote of council.

I believe the site has been cleaned up and an engineering study will be completed, then the project will start to move ahead physically on the site and move to full completion in the next year and a half or so.

My overriding point here is that the project moved ahead with majority decisions, those dissenting councilors need to line up with the democratic process and support the majority decision. They may not like it, but that is the democratic process.

Ongoing objections over decisions that have been completed are frivolous, make a mockery of the democratic process and harm the ongoing efficiency of council’s work.

As I stated earlier, each stage in the decision process offers plenty of opportunity for argument, but once council has made the decision it is time to move on.

Peter Waterman


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