Shortly after Committee of the Whole started Monday night at 4 p.m., noise from outside began to filter up to council chambers. Activists on the street were protesting the recent contentious decision by council to opt for parallel parking versus angle parking which has been one of Smiths Falls more visible characteristics over the past near-century.
Flanked by police cruisers, protestors waved signs and one hollered through a bull horn urging passing drivers to honk for angle parking.
Jewel Brady was there in the cold, darkening evening. “I like angle parking. There should have been a vote by the citizens. [Councillors] should listen to the public,” she said.
Kathy Abbass agreed. “I want angle parking kept. It’s part of the heritage of Smiths Falls. [Councillors] haven’t listened — their minds are made up.”
Norma Ford is from Montague. She does all her shopping in Smiths Falls and spends lots of money here. She also is handicapped. She calls this decision “a dirty trick of council.” She says if it had been brought up during election campaigning, people could have had their say when they voted. As that didn’t happen, she calls council as “dishonest as they come.”
Late January, in a recorded vote, a motion to rescind the motion regarding angle versus parallel parking made by the previous council in February 2018, was won 4 to 3. Those voting for were Councillors Alford, McKenna, Allen and Mayor Pankow. Those voting against were Councillors Brennan, McGuire and Dwyer.