To the Residents of Okotoks:

I consented to an interview on Thursday, August 1, 2019, regarding my thoughts on the petition against the Tiny Homes project, as I was one of the members of Council who has spoken in favour of the project. The resulting article has caused considerable outrage on Facebook and perhaps in the broader community.

I take my role as a Town Councillor very seriously and often become very passionate about certain issues that we are faced with. The Homestead Project and Eco-Village (Tiny Homes) is one of them!

I see my role of Councillor as one where I should be a calm, analytical, encouraging and motivating advocate of the issues that are important to the Town of Okotoks and my residents.

Some of my comments as reported appear to be less than the usual diplomatic response with which I pride myself and have unnecessarily inflamed an already heated issue.

While I don't like to admit to having 'human emotions', I've found myself to be somewhat more angry than usual recently. On the morning of the interview, I was preparing a post to Facebook outlining the final release of my daughter's murderer from prison; six years and eleven months after the murder, four years and nine months after being convicted and sentenced to an eight year prison term. In that mental and emotional state, I should have refused the interview, rather than comment on an issue of this gravity. I am not trying to hide behind this issue, but it is the reality that I must face.

I believe we are all entitled to our own freedom of speech; indeed it is a fundamental cornerstone of our western democracies! I believe in your rights to challenge Council, especially when you believe your own taxpayer money is being expended in a way you feel is unfair or inappropriate. This petition is an act of having your voice brought forward, along with the voice of many others - it is your right! And I can assure you that Council will carefully consider the petition when it comes before us.

I apologize for the frustration I may have caused you and would like to have an opportunity to review the interview in a fulsome context. Please click on this link to view my review.

In the interests of having a permanent location for my review of the context of the interview, I will also post it on my "Re-Elect Ed Sands for Okotoks Town Council" Facebook page and onto my website at www.edwardsands.ca , instead of it just being an ephemeral post on News and Views.

I would also like to emphasize that the comments and opinions are mine alone and not intended to represent those of the other members of Council.