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February 19, 2009

Del Mastro to survey residents about interest in Little Lake resort plan: Peterborough Examiner - Ontario, CA

Survey being taken on Little Lake resort plan - Peterborough Examiner - Ontario, CA.

It wasn't that long ago that MP Dean Del Mastro stated that he was going to leave the Little Lake resort plan proposal in Peterborough City Council's hands so that local officials could consult the citizens of Peterborough to determine how much interest there might be in such a proposal.

Apparently, Del Mastro has had a change of heart. The Peterborough Examiner is reporting this evening that Del Mastro "will be sending out ballot-type letters within the next few weeks as part of a process to gather comments, questions, and observations on the Little Lake redevelopment proposal."

This raises two concerns for me:

1. Why isn't Del Mastro allowing City Hall to do its job by following up on a proposal which, Peterborough residents will recall, was prepared by a local developer? The identity of that developer was not revealed to the public until an investigation was conducted by The Peterborough Examiner. It would be much more appropriate for Del Mastro to take a hands-off approach to the issue.

2. How can the public have faith in a survey that is conducted in-house by Del Mastro and members of his staff? Given that this project has been Del Mastro's baby right from the start (along with the developer in question), Del Mastro lacks the objectivity to be put in charge of this particular task. If a survey is going to be conducted (and doing a survey on this issue is probably the best idea Del Mastro has had in a long time), it should be conducted in accordance with standard surveying procedures and it should be overseen by a group of objective third parties who have no vested interest in the outcome of the survey. Anything less will only further erode the public's trust in politicians. (And as that infamous survey that had Del Mastro spitting car parts at Garth Turner a few years back pointed out, the public views politicians as less trustworthy than used-car salesmen.)

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