City Councillor Buck Buchanan saw one of his recently introduced Notices of Motion tabled on Monday, while he withdrew the other one altogether.
Last month, Buchanan had introduced a Notice of Motion about clamping down on the proliferation of shopping carts around the City.
“Initially, it was to try and get people talking, which was a good thing,” Buchanan told reporters following the meeting. “But I had a couple of councillors come to me (Ken Johnston and Dianne Wyntjes) and say, ‘Buck, would you consider pulling this until we’ve had a chance to discuss this’, and I said, yes absolutely,” he said.
Buchanan had said his concern is that many shopping carts are found off-premises and have a tendency to be used as storage spaces for some of the City’s less fortunate citizens.
“There have been some other jurisdictions where they are having constitutional challenges,” he said. “Again, it’s a problem that needs to be dealt with. We are digging them out of the river – they are all over the place,” he said. “We are getting more and more frustrated with them.”
He recently found four carts strung together, he said.
Buchanan said the Motion had nothing to do with people who are disenfranchised or homeless. He said some people also use them for bottle collecting.
But concerns over how to ultimately deal with the overall needs of the homeless is a pressing issue in its own right, he acknowledged. Preventing carts from leaving the premises of the businesses they belong to could cause a problem in this regard. “That’s something that we would have to figure out,” he said, adding that providing more housing is ultimately the number one issue.
Buchanan said the motion itself needs more work, and could possibly be re-introduced at a later date.
“Ever since Barachah Place (downtown) closed, we’ve had a lot of folks who have ended up street-side. And we have a lot of new folks in town that ended up in Red Deer, and how do we accommodate those folks?”
Buchanan’s other Notice of Motion, which was to explore the feasibility of bicycle licensing and registration due to the rash of thefts over the past while, was ultimately tabled and will return to council in the first few months of 2019.
“The intent of it was to try and have some kind of mechanism in place,” he said, referring to a system of bike identification that would help get them back to their rightful owners.
According to council notes, more than 113 bikes in the City have been reported stolen so far this year, and last year, 117 were reported stolen. But there have also been 190 found bikes so far this year and there were 327 found bikes last year, which shows that most thefts are not reported to the police or bylaws.
As Buchanan said, bicycles are also not cheap items, with many being stolen costing upwards of $500 to $1,200.
“I’m hearing people say, ‘Well, my bike is $4,000’. So it’s not just a disposable piece of your property. But people are getting to the point where they are frustrated.”
“How can we come up with something to identify it?”
Council requested more time for administration to explore the motion and return to council with a report at a later date.