Let’s not leave Chelsea frozen in time


by admin on June 10, 2009

The Editor,

My wife Donna and I bought our first house in Chelsea in 1983. The interest rates were 14.5% and we had a huge mortgage. A recession had just ended, money was tight, Donna was pregnant and I had a modest “term” job in the government with no security. There were many risks (financial and otherwise) but we were optimistic about our future. We soon became members of the Chelsea community.

Life’s like that, full of promise, happiness, risks and even some bumps in the road. We sort of knew things would work out and they did. Chelsea is like that too – new people, like we were, will arrive as we did, as we all have.

It disturbs me that some say “move to Kanata”, “let’s stop everything” or “let’s not welcome others to share our community and facilities”. These notions do not value that a vibrant, progressive community needs newcomers, needs interaction, needs exciting ways of bringing people together, and, most of all, needs to adapt, change and grow. Our community cannot be firewalled or frozen it in time.

A multi-faceted community centre can provide space and time for people of many interests to interact, enjoy life and create great things – large and small – things we cannot even imagine today – life long learning opportunities, development of children’s talents, athletic events, music, dances, festivals, a place for our teens and seniors, on and on; the list is endless. We have the opportunity; we just have to work at it – for the betterment of all, now and into the future.

There are those in the community who think such a community centre is not necessary. It is probably not essential for me either, much as I don’t need schools any more or even the library.

People complain about taxes and frankly, I’d rather pay less too, we all would. Currently Chelseaites enjoy a very enviable lifestyle with good services and progressive administration with taxes that have risen approximately 3.5 per cent per year over the last few years – less that many other places. By comparison, we certainly pay much less than Ottawa (where zero never meant zero), Gatineau, or our surrounding municipalities. I find it ironic that we are being offered an amazing deal from the province and the feds (where we send most of our taxes) and people want to walk away – yet they complain about taxes? Duh? This is an investment in our future, not a debt.

 Cynical comments made at council, in some of the local media and in widely circulated e-mails and mail outs are unfair, unfortunate and unproductive. I believe fair and reasonable-minded people in Chelsea will support a valuable visionary project that moves us into the future rather than leaving us standing still or worse, moving backwards.

David Maitland