Springfield Taxpayers Rights Corporation


Comments from Community Leaders, Residents and Representatives

Comments below are provided by Springfield’s past council members, representatives and elders who want to share their concerns about how this municipality is now being managed. Clearly, Mayor Fell and Council have thrown our honoured past principles of trust, fair play & representation for its ratepayers “out the window.”

“Our current council has changed Springfield’s time-honoured and time-tested ways of providing strong and consistent local governance by adopting a non-inclusive and non-transparent style of behind closed door decision making. Council decisions are often contrary to past practice and set policy and you can’t help but get the feeling that taxpayers’ rights have become less important to them than economic development. Such is the case with allowing an obvious industrial operation to develop in an agricultural and rural residential area without any public consultation or operating conditions. I would encourage all taxpayers to take more interest in this council’s conduct because the comfort in the community we’ve enjoyed is definitely eroding.”

Janet Nylen,

Former CAO of Springfield’s Municipal Council

As a former Councillor and as an industrial park developer I have been on both sides of planning issues and I always tried to listen to and respect the voice of the people who were most affected by proposed changes in land use. I am very concerned about this council allowing what is an obvious industrial business to locate in an agricultural zoned area without any regard to the local taxpayers or to other industries that were restricted by where they could develop. The message I read is land use by-laws are now discretionary.

Don Matheson

Former Councillor for Springfield

“I served on Springfield Council from 2002-2012. Initially roads and drainage were the main priorities. As time went on, residential subdivisions and service businesses became more the focus. Every decision had public input and the impact on current residents was considered. Today’s Council is less transparent and accountable only partially due to COVID. The Berger project on Hwy. 207 had little public input and is being pushed ahead like other current developments that do not serve Springfield well. Neighboring property owners are against it as well as other residents who view the handling of this issue as underhanded. Property taxes on this enterprise are being forgiven for 5 yrs. Citizens didn’t elect their representatives to rule unconditionally. Springfield should welcome business but it shouldn’t be at any cost.”

Karen Lalonde

Former councillor for Springfield

“Democracy is not so much a form of government as it is a set of guiding principles, one of which is transparency, and that is singularly the most important principal used to guide municipalities and its’ council members. Elected representatives have a duty to freely provide information about council’s decisions and actions to its ratepayers which are accurate, all-inclusive and in an open, and timely way. This is the first council in years that would not have consulted with the adjoining property owners and area neighbours either informally or through open public hearings prior to permitting the development of a significantly different type of operation on agricultural zoned land. Springfield’s Mayor Fell and Council ignore past practices and promoting good community relations seemingly in lieu of accommodating commercial enterprise. This is not what they promised in their election campaigns and they should be held to account. They all promised transparency, accountability and fairness. Ratepayers should demand that they adhere to their promises or request them to resign.”

Allan Akins

Past President, Springfield Conservative Association

“In the Spring of 2019, Council passed two resolutions, one to agree with the Province’s reclassification of peat by the Province as an agricultural product and the second to add peat moss as an agricultural activity in the Zoning By-law. Curious, I confirmed with the Province that peat is considered a mineral and mined. I provided this information to Council but the resolutions have not been rescinded to date. The processing of peat is an industrial/commercial use, not an agricultural one and land zoned agricultural should not be used for this activity without a rezoning process being followed.”

Heather Erickson

Former councillor for Springfield

“You have to have blinders on to not see what is going wrong with the way the municipality is operating. Springfield was promised an accountable, transparent and fair local government at the last election. This council personifies the opposite.”

Bob Bodnaruk

Former Reeve and councillor for Springfield

“This Council has bypassed all the legal things they should have done. When I was on council we never had to give incentives for industry to build in Springfield and they still came.”

Garry Brown

Former councillor for Springfield

“I can’t believe there were no public hearings for this development.”

Bob Anderson

Former councillor for Springfield and former MLA

“Mayor Fell is intolerant of those who do not align to her point of view. She directs Council with ‘sleight of hand manoeuvres, closed meetings and secret meetings with business interests which deprive us as ratepayers of our rights to open and fair governance. Council totally excluded the impacted property owners from the process of the Berger Peat Processing Plant being established adjacent to their long-standing residential development.”

Darryl Speer

Resident in the RM of Springfield, Manitoba

“It is very disturbing that we are still mining peatlands in the Boreal Forest, considering that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not destroy carbon sink that they act as. We can utilize waste products that we are currently land filling and burning in Manitoba, such as bio-solids, wood waste and compost from organic materials, to use as a growing medium for the horticultural industry in Manitoba and elsewhere. This is what the circular economy is all about.”

Glen Koroluk
Executive Director – Manitoba Eco-Network

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