On Nov 15, 2019 the property owners facing Buy-outs, as a result of the 2018 flood, held a demonstration on the bridge from downtown to their area, Ruckle. After the demo at the bridge they proceeded down to city hall where the Mayor and Recovery Manager met with them.
The Mayor talked with some of the demonstrators and then the Recovery Manager, Graham Watt, took over. They talked outside in front of the cenotaph for a half hour and then adjourned to the indoors where they could sit and be warm.
One of the concerns they express is the way they have been cast as ‘victims’ in all of this.
It is felt that victim sends the wrong message – one of people with their hands out looking for help from the rest of us.
They do not see themselves that way, rather they are property owners engaged in a negotiation with the City about real estate transactions.
That they are NOT asking for a hand-out but only that they be dealt with fairly and responsibly under the laws that govern this situation. Laws that have legal considerations on estimating what they should be paid for what they are giving up. Because they are giving up a lot so the rest of the city can be safer. And the choice to do that is out of their hands.
They have many concerns about the process, how it has gone (or not) so far and how it will progress.
Their lives are in a sort of limbo while they wait for forces outside their control to decide what will happen to them. As any mental health professional will tell you that is a recipe for problems.
I’ve got video of the demo on the bridge and the conversation outside. It was felt that the inside conversation should be kept within the group – they’re beginning to experience some negative responses from citizens not in the group facing buyouts.