Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Here's a letter to our newsroom from Sherry Franklin, widow of long-time Nepean mayor Ben Franklin. She's now married to another former Nepean mayor, Andy Haydon. Franklin remains a proud Nepeanite, and she has some pretty strong opinions about one candidate's record on the riding.
In Defense of Nepean: Provincial Candidates should Show Pride in their Ridings
By Sherry Franklin
For almost twenty years, as wife of Nepean's Mayor, Ben Franklin, I had a front row seat for the debates, community arguments and exciting developments that saw the west end of Ottawa and the former City of Nepean blossom into a dynamic community that we currently thrive in and call home.
I'm a proud supporter of Ottawa West Nepean, so it painfully bothers and upsets me that someone who has never contributed to building this community, has spent so much time abusing the west-end and its residents, would attempt to seek public office for a constituency he publicly condemns.
Denley has, for years, consistently stated his opinions and perspectives as an Ottawa Citizen writer (journalist) repeatedly running down Ottawa West Nepean. It is unbecoming, and indeed improper for any prospective Member of Provincial Parliament to have expressed such a visceral dislike for the community that he proposes to represent.
Denley has called Nepean a "town without history" and "stunted". He's blasted our neighbourhoods as an "unfocused, sprawling suburban wasteland" and a "suburban horror". He says that the west-end of Ottawa is the "smugness centre of the universe." These are just a few of his comments.
Denley failed to recognize the incredible accomplishment of the former City of Nepean's distinction of becoming the first municipality to be debt-free using the "Pay as you go" philosophy. It attracted international business and Nepean entered amalgamation with a large surplus of money and a record of tax restraint all the while contributing their fair and equitable share of taxes to the Regional Government for major services..
After years of offering his views, as an employee, in the Ottawa Citizen that violate the very essence of community, Denley is now presenting himself for elected office. But while most candidates who present themselves for elected office have some history of local community building, Denley has a history of community bashing.
Perhaps it is an old fashioned view, but candidates should show pride, commitment and caring for their ridings.