With the 99-year lease for Pither’s Point Park due to expire May 1, concerned citizen Andrew George wants to get a conversation going as to what area residents think about the issue?
George has scheduled a public forum for Wednesday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the East End Hall in order to inform, educate, and give a voice to community members on the issues surrounding Agency #1 land and Pither’s Point Park.
George will give a short presentation outlining the history behind the park and Agency #1 land based on previous studies commissioned by various agencies, as well as his own observations over the past year.
His presentation will be unbiased and based on legal and historical fact.
“In my opinion, there has been little public input on the issue to the Town of Fort Frances,” George noted in an e-mail to the Times.
“Many of the actions taken by the Town of Fort Frances have been absent of public input, and there has been very little education regarding the actions of various government agencies regarding Pither’s Point Park.
“This issue could possibly divide the Town of Fort Frances, [which] has many taxpayers who also have band membership with the four bands governing Agency #1 land,” he noted.
“Education and information is the cure for ignorance. Understanding the situation rather than coming to conclusions based off of ‘loose’ information will ultimately keep the peace in our community,” he added.
“In other communities, situations similar to ours has led to violence and other negative demonstration,” George warned. “It is my hope that this forum will be a positive step through a challenging and complicated time.”
George admitted he’s curious to see what kind of response he gets.
“I am interested to see if it does concern people. Maybe it doesn’t, maybe nobody’s going to show up,” he said in an interview Monday.
“But if this is something people are seriously concerned about, they can come out, and maybe out of it we can say to the town or the chiefs, ‘Hey, these are our concerns.’
“I am not affiliated with anybody,” George stressed. “I am just doing it because nobody else is doing it.”
Comments will be recorded in hopes of possibly presenting this information to local representatives of various councils and government agencies.
George said the meeting is informal, and that town residents and band members alike are encouraged to attend and speak their minds.
George—a filmmaker who has videos concerning the history of Pither’s Point posted online at www.fortfrances.tv—said he also will tape the forum, and may or may not end up using some of the footage for a future project.