An art gallery, a community hall, a daycare, a safe injection site or even a new Tim Hortons: these were all suggestions, some genuine, some sarcastic, made aloud during last week’s open house. The public event was held to discuss the future of the partially completed observatory building.
Other suggestions were to tear it down completely or keep it as an observatory.
And while council will now wait for a report from parks, recreation and culture staff, summarizing the public’s opinions on the matter, it’s clear that whatever decision is made will be met with opposition from one faction or another.
One thing is clear: It won’t be an observatory. Mayor and council have consistently indicated that the idea of an observatory would not be pursued – at least not at that location.
The idea has been criticized to such an extent that any hope of reviving the observatory is, for lack of a better word, futile.
The real question is what will the building become? And how much criticism will council get for whatever decision it makes.
The public is watching and waiting. Whatever happens, the result better be something good, practical and useful to the community.
This is a key decision for this council. There have been several issues of late – changing animal control services, ending the contract of the Mission Heritage Association, bi-weekly garbage pickup – that have angered certain sectors of the public.
Council has stood by their decisions, saying they are in the best interest of the public. Time may prove them right, but what they decide to do with the building could go a long way in winning back the public’s trust.