Council was just on summer break, and these breaks are a good time to recharge and reconnect with personal (aka chores) and other work priorities. As this Council is coming up to three years now, it is a good time to reflect.
I keep thinking that it was just seven years ago when municipal terms of office changed from three years to four years. Even though I brought a certain experiential bench strength with me when I was elected, there was so much more to learn. I feel like as we move into the 4th year of the term I have hit my stride and am now getting things accomplished for this community and for Rocky View.
We recently had another breakthrough for recreation in Springbank. Not only did I receive confirmation of the approval of about $1 million dollars from MSI funds (Provincial dollars) to do some much needed, and long overdue, capital work on the Park for All Seasons, and about $80,000 for a small dog park off of Township Road 245, we are applying for, and have every reason to believe we’ll be successful in receiving, an additional $300,000 for a new front entrance, with proper accessibility at the front and in the washrooms. The SPFAS is for everyone, I’m looking forward to a facility that fits all levels of mobility in our community. We still have another approx. $900,000 of available funds for more recreational projects in Springbank. I have been having conversations with both the Trails and Pathway folks as well as the Community Association on their ideas and I’m hopeful we’ll see some additional projects moving forward soon.
Council also passed first reading on the Springbank ASP’s. Right now, Council has given direction to move forward with two plans. This is just the first official step though, and there will be a public hearing in the Fall. I know some of you think that Springbank should be one big plan. Cohesiveness makes sense and because we are called Springbank that could make sense. A single plan would be over 25,000 acres – a massive plan indeed, and to try to keep that amount of land in perspective, that would be just about 19,000 football fields. Having two plans doesn’t weaken anyone’s voice.
We currently have three plans and anyone from any part of the County can have their say in something. No circulation policies are changing. No rules about “only those in the south can speak to things in the south,” etc. Communities can still have uniqueness and still be part of a larger plan(s). There are benefits to one plan, there are benefits to two plans, and truthfully there are weaknesses in either of those as well. Elbow Valley and Harmony, for example, are part of Springbank, but neither fall within the ASP – so it is absolutely possible to have separateness and togetherness all at the same time. All that said, this is the first step. Council will hear from our municipal neighbours, from you and from other stakeholders to ensure Council has all the right information to make the best decision for Rocky View.
Council voted 7-2 to direct Administration to appeal the decision on the sanctioned Councillors. Last week, I was accused of many things, but to those that took the time to call me, to hear my perspective, I thank you. I can’t say that everyone agreed with my perspective, which I’m fine with, but I’m always grateful for those that take that extra time to gain a little more understanding. This vote doesn’t mean an appeal is automatic, but because of the summer break Council wouldn’t meet again until September, and the date to ensure Council had this option would have passed. Ultimately, there is a path forward and it is now in the hands of lawyers to sort out. Because this may still be a matter for the courts, I will limit my comments but I’m hoping it doesn’t go to appeal. But if it does, then it does. I know that is a disappointment for many, even for me. I will keep you updated via my Facebook page once I know where this is heading. I am not going to get into the battle of the interpretation of the decision. There are facts, these facts are not untrue facts, they are just facts. It was those facts that ultimately convinced me that an appeal may be necessary.
One of main reasons I ran for Council in 2017 was I was personally very tired of the negativity out there. My slogan was “positively Springbank”. I promised that I wouldn’t mudsling and I wouldn’t have others mudsling on my behalf. I wouldn’t focus on the crap that weighs everyone down and realistically is only ever a part of the story. I have been called many things recently. A bully, on the take by developers, a liar, and a few other choice words – they say it is part of the job, I say, does it really need to be? Everyone on Council is trying to do the best job they can, I believe that. We don’t always agree, while some choose to air that disagreement to & through media; through other blogs – I choose to talk from my heart and my mind every month to you. I choose to continue to bring forward the things I know are important to you (ie recreation, high speed internet).
I was “reminded” by a resident that every politician is one election away from losing their job. Yup, that is true. I hope that, as you would do in your job, or with your kids, or maybe your husband – that you make your mind up based on the whole package, not one item that you didn’t agree with (I’d be divorced 100 times over if that was case), I have done a good job for Springbank and for Rocky View – that I can say with certainty.
Stay well, enjoy the rest of your summer. Have fun. Stay positive. Our lives are good and we are truly blessed to live in such an awesome municipality.
Councillor, Division 2