LETTER: Tourism does nothing to benefit most ratepayers

The closure of the Little Bluff parking area was just another slap in the face for residents. Our mayor recently posted he and council are doing everything possible, but to what end?

A recent post on facebook says The County is so much more than our beaches! Need ideas? So much more to travellers maybe, but in fact so much less to the residents. Stop promoting the County now!

Well, Mr Mayor recently proposed a communique which discouraged travel but council voted against publishing it.

Recently our ward councillor asked how retailers met the COVID-19 challenge. Well not very well it seems. Stores are overcrowded and the few retailers I have visited mostly meet the letter of the law but not the intent. Not all though, as my wife patronizes one business that has risen to the challenge. I have stopped shopping in Prince Edward County. Retailers should understand when habits change, customers will likely continue following their new habits even if circumstances go back to normal.

We have several lobby and pressure groups in the county which represent businesses but unfortunately the residents of the County seem to have lost the focus of council!

I keep hearing how visitors contribute to the economy. Sales taxes disappear into the provincial treasury, profits remain with business owners and municipal tax revenue from licenses and other municipal levies do not increase based on usage. Many workers in the county come from outside the county, and I suspect they shop elsewhere.

There is a synergy between residents and business. Neither can exist without the other. However when a significant increase in population is injected into the mix the delicate balance of this synergy is upset. Already we have a significant number of establishments that close in the fall.

Ratepayers have to fund in part or totally the infrastructure (road, police, fire, hospital, etc) used by residents and travellers but rate payers are increasingly excluded from benefiting from county life. I would not dare to predict when or even if we will get back to a normal but National Geographic just issued some coverage of epidemics and pandemics over the ages and the duration of these are quite startling.

To Mr Mayor and the councillors, you chose to represent the residents, you fought hard to gain your seat, now is the time to deliver on the commitment you made. I expect better than reactive management!

Eric De Pauw

South Bay