Greetings and welcome to another episode of Division 1: Life in Rocky View County. It’s hard to believe that we’re staring winter in the face. But I guess that realization happened early last month so we can thank Mother Nature for the initial warning. No excuses for not having the hot toddies and shovels ready.
I want to thank everyone for all the emails regarding everything from flood mitigation questions, traffic circle inquiries, internet service or lack there of queries, development permit applications, traffic circle designs, too many squirrels in my trees, etc. Okay. The last one was mine but I have had some very interesting communications over the years as your councillor and as I’m in my final year, I expect nothing less.
I would like to send out a huge thank you to Staff and Administration for their diligent efforts to respond to the various resident requests in a timelymatter given we are working through a pandemic. From bylaw questions to planning advice, I wouldn’t be able to serve without you. I’m no expert when it comes to these matters so I applaud and thank you. And the same to the residents of this division for their understanding and patience.
Electoral boundary review
I wanted to get straight to the burning issue that’s going to be affecting us next election should approval be given to the recommendations of ISL Engineering and Land Services, who conducted a study to determine new electoral boundaries for Rocky View County (RVC). It has been over 20 years since council passed the last review policy. Back then RVC had a population of approximately 28,000 folks. Since then RVC has grown to over 42,000 residents. That amounts to an increase of roughly 43%. Population densities were the main criteria for the boundaries and a decrease in divisions, but future growth was also a key consideration among others.
The review policy started last July and consideration was given to a seven versus nine division model. Also included for consideration was using the nomenclature, Mayor and Deputy Mayor instead of Reeve and Deputy Reeve titles. This was to bring more understandable and current titles for the roles, but will still be selected amongst elected councillors appointed on an annual basis. Overwhelming support for this direction to change electoral boundaries and renaming titles came from public input and consultation. With fewer divisions and therefore fewer councillors, some present councillors may be going head to head to seek re-election. This should make for an interesting October 2021 election.
4-way Intersection update
I wanted to make a correction from my last report with regards to the set up of the temporary traffic lights that were supposed to be installed prior to 2021. RVC was informed just recently by Alberta Transportation that the traffic control measures will be put in place by May, just before the start of the tourist season. Stay tuned for more details.
Work to complete the berms will continue on for the foreseeable future as long as we have access to the river and weather doesn’t hamper construction. Many questions and concerns by residents were reported to not only myself but to RVC and the contractors. Thanks to both RVC and Wood/Wilco for trying to meet everyone’s expectations and concerns in amicable ways. And thanks to all those who have sent their support in putting these measures in place for not only our residents and business community but for all Albertans and visitors alike. Although there will be ups and downs, in the end, this will help build and establish our community long term.
As we continue to navigate the trials and tribulations of this pandemic, I want to say how proud I am of this community for continually rising above the task for their continued support of local businesses, making visitors feel welcomed and looking after one another. We still have a tough battle ahead of us but now’s not the time to be complacent. We need to stay strong as a community. And as a community, we’ll get past this. Until next month, stay safe, hug your loved ones and have a happy Thanksgiving.
– Gobble gobble, Mark