Stormy season for council

City council has been going through a rough season lately.

Between the outpouring of criticisms over the bike lanes, which they were forced to partly backtrack on, to dealing with residents of Clearview North who are upset about the proposed rezoning of land that could lead to the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre Society’s affordable housing and cultural centre in their neighbourhood.

Feelings of discontent have been surfacing, and much of the blame has been directed at council.

First, the Bike Lane Pilot Project had hundreds of citizens frustrated this fall as they tried to adjust to narrower routes, newly-designated areas for cyclists and slower moving traffic.

Although there were supporters, it became clear that council would have to do something to satisfy angry motorists who wouldn’t accept the changes.

Eventually, council supported a recommendation that bike lanes on 55th St. and 40th Ave north of 52nd St. revert to the original configuration.

Council also opted to remove the lanes on 59th Ave. north of 70th St.

Ultimately, many citizens felt that they weren’t kept in the loop as to the extent of the project. And many blamed the City for not better communicating the entire plan.

This was also the case with the Clearview North Area Structure Plan, which proposes to change the zoning of a four-acre site to allow for affordable housing.

The Red Deer Native Friendship Society is looking to build a cultural centre and affordable housing units on this site. Citizens voiced their concerns earlier this week about the proposal at a public hearing. Many said they were not informed about the plan.

Council heard concerns over declining property values, crime and safety and increased traffic to the area. A classic case of ‘not in my backyard.’ Council will make a decision regarding the issue Oct. 15.

So was there a breakdown in getting the word out on either issue?

Perhaps both sides should shoulder the blame. With many claiming ignorance about City projects and the impact they would have, the City is to some degree coming up short about getting the word out about some projects.

Or at least they aren’t communicating the message about how far-reaching or impactful a certain project will be.

As for the public, many just don’t bother keeping up with City development and projects until they basically trip over it.

Then they are completely taken by surprise, when if they had kept an ear open – even to some degree – on municipal politics, they would have an idea of the project in question.

The time to act is during the conceptual stages when the City is inviting the input. Both parties apparently have to step up in the communication field.

Just Posted

Rebels lose 13th straight against Kamloops

Red Deer hasn’t won on home ice since Oct. 28th, 2017

Kings and Queens sweep Briercrest

RDC basketball is begining to gear up for the ACAC playoffs

WATCH: Setters Place officially opens in advance of the 2019 Canada Games

Red Deer is one step closer to the 2019 Canada Winter Games the opening of Setters Place

City council approves operating budget to a tune of $364 million

The 2.02% hike includes 1% for capital investment and 0.11% for the carbon tax

Province not providing aid to Red Deer for its June storm

Cause of storm wasn’t ‘extraordinary’ according to province

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates present visions to Red Deerians

Party members will vote for their new leader on Feb. 7th

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Most Read