Oak Harbor officials were both praised and criticized in last week’s city council meeting.
The criticism, hostile in nature, came from a group of citizens who had a sewer system extension imposed on them without even being notified it was coming. City officials say they followed the letter of the law in the matter, but they didn’t bother notifying the people affected. They only worked with the developer. As a result, the homeowners are stuck with an expensive sewer system which won’t work in a power outage. They would have loved some input in the design process, and hint darkly of possible legal action.
However, the critics were followed by a man who heaped praise upon the same city officials. This man, a developer, said the city couldn’t have been more helpful in assisting with his project on Pioneer Way. Even the zoning on Bayshore Drive was changed to accommodate his wishes. Every desire, every need, was carefully attended to, and no regulatory surprises were sprung on him, as happened to the regular citizens involved in the sewer dispute.
The meeting drove home the point that the city spends too much time catering to developers, and not nearly enough time tending to the needs of its own citizens. Fortunately, this is an election year with a number of candidates running for mayor and city council. Hopefully, some of them got the message.