Charlie Teljeur: A little bird told me
|By Charlie Teljeur - Contributing Writer | January 19,2017|
There is a character in the Game of Thrones by the name of Varys who takes great pride in listening to his “little birds”, which translates to spies, which means that Varys is very aware of all the things that are happening around him. His birds keep him well informed.
Well Varys isn't the only one with that kind of advantage. I, too, have my own little birds although they're not so much spies as they are people who keep me informed on what's going on in the world of Haliburton County. One group of birds in particular see me at least once every week and are quick to tell me what I need to know. These birds know this area well. Let's just say they've been around.
What amazes me the most about my collection of birds is how worldly they are. Given that they occupy an older demographic one would think they'd naturally gravitate towards conservative policies and shun newer ideas. Such is not the case with these ones. At least not for the most part.
The first issue they brought up was something you might consider typical of their ilk although completely and wholeheartedly justified given the examples. To put it bluntly they're very unhappy about the sad state of the roads, sidewalks and parking lots in the Haliburton area mainly due to the excessive buildup of ice that makes travel in these parts quite treacherous. Given the older demographic that lives in this community it's kind of inexcusable that things have gotten this bad.
The birds wholeheartedly agree that somebody isn't doing their job and, from their experience, things used to be a lot better.
The other issue they brought up was actually quite (pleasantly) surprising, again given the stereotype we tend to have with their demographic. It was regarding the recent concern about part time rental units in the area and how this has led to partying and (to some) excessive noise and commotion in their little piece of heaven. One bird in particular was especially outspoken about this subject. “If I pay my money and rent a place then it's up to me in what I do with it.” Frankly, I agree with him. Yes, they must respect local bylaws and their newfound neighbours but I think this issue hits at the core of what's wrong with Haliburton County in that the bevy of “concerned” citizens and special interests leaves little room for natural commerce that is so vital to a struggling area like ours. In other words the No Fun Police around here have such excessive powers and are wielding them so often we end up being often (rightfully) portrayed as a region not really open for business which the growing list of evidence tends to support.
For me to express this independently becomes a lone voice in the woods, but to hear this sort of support, nay protest, from the type of people you wouldn't naturally assume would speak out shows me that we need to to start listening. The birds might have something really important to say.
Charlie Teljeur is a contributing writer for The Highlander.