View Royal councilors butt heads over AAP ads

Councillors at odds over ads the town is running about an anti-loan pamphlet containing misinformation over the cost for new fire hall.

View Royal’s controversial plan for a new fire hall sparked two councillors to engage in a spirited email debate last weekend.

The councillors were at odds over ads the town is running about an anti-loan pamphlet containing misinformation over the cost to taxpayers of the proposed loan for a new fire hall.

In an email forwarded to media July 7, Coun. Ron Mattson criticized the publication of the ad, which ran in last Wednesday’s as well as in today’s Gazette.

Mattson called it “hypocritical” to run such an ad. In an email, he accused council of choosing the Alternative Approval Process – which he voted against – because they believed only a small group of people who opposed to the loan would vote against it in a referendum.

“By copy of this note I will be publicly expressing my regret that the town is going to such lengths to push an initiative that so many of our residents are opposed to,” wrote Mattson, who submitted his own AAP form opposing the loan.

Coun. David Screech responded to Mattson, explaining that it was a staff decision to run the ad and that the ad is appropriate given that, by the group’s own admission, there was misinformation contained in the pamphlet.

“You might want to check out some facts before you fly off the handle,” Screech wrote. “I’ll await your apology.”

In an interview with the Gazette, Mattson said he would not be responding to Screech. He feels the decision to run that ad is a political decision and should have been officially approved by council.

“They’re so desperate to try and defend their indefensible AAP process that they’re trying to use this as justification for why people are submitting forms,” Mattson said. “The people who have done this aren’t doing it because they are stupid. They’re doing it because they’re really upset with the process and they don’t want to spend that sort of money on a fire hall that some of them don’t believe we need.”

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com