Dear Councillor Brown,
I wanted to take this opportunity as a constituent in your ward – in advance of the vote later today – to provide one final, strong voice of advocacy in favour of approving the additional funds requested by Fanshawe College to build out the Kingsmill’s site as a phase II campus.
I read in the London Free Press this morning that you have spoken with constituents that have expressed that they don’t want you to vote ‘yes’, but I also know a large number of your constituents who do.
If I may – this is not about the popularity of the project, rather the stewardship of our city. Moreover, with all of this said and done, if we say ‘no’ to Fanshawe, what will Fanshawe say to themselves the next time they have a project that could be of benefit and value to London? What will Western say to themselves when they wonder where to expand next? What will the critically important 21st Century advanced manufacturing, digital media, and biotech firms say when they consider London but need the support of the City for servicing and infrastructure? Will they say “London’s the City that will make sure we get what we need” or will they say “London’s the place that will throw roadblocks, speedbumps, and refusals in our way”?
If London is to be known as a “can do” town for industry, healthcare, and education, we must walk that talk and live by those principles.
The vote today will have an impact long beyond the close of this council, and I believe a ‘no’ for Fanshawe – even if it’s so that the matter can be left to ‘the next council’ or cushioned by an alternative plan such as the one suggested by Councillor Swan – will dramatically and profoundly hurt London’s opportunities with a broad array of other partners in both the long and short-term future.
I have copied the City Clerk on this email and it will be posted as an open letter on my blog at urbanfossil.com
Thank you again for your time and consideration,