The headline in the local paper read “Centennial Park Not For Sale”; it appears that the City’s Business Mix Analysis presented this idea to the Committee-of-the Whole. Now as a resident who lives near Centennial Park I have no idea who these people are and why we the taxpayers are paying their salaries.
These people decided that selling Centennial Park would be necessary to provide for the economic development of Wetaskiwin. So without any preamble this little strip of green space became very important to the economic development in this City. Now this has got to be one of the most absurd pieces of communication to come out of City Hall.
Just think about all the pieces of land available in and around Wetaskiwin. For instance when I am driving into the City along Highway 13, I see a piece of real estate that has been up for sale for years, that seems like a great spot for “economic development”; and that is just one of many.
The people who live near and around Centennial Park made a decision that they would like to live in a residential area that consisted of single-family dwellings, far removed from strip malls and other types of multi-family dwellings. Their taxes reflect the fact that they made this choice.
Now on a flimsy whim the non-elected bureaucrats at City Hall decide that they would introduce to this area all the attending problems that would come with replacing Centennial Park with non-residential development – traffic congestion, crime, vagrants, etc. What I learned from this exercise is that I cannot trust the people who are running this City. All it takes is for some slick developer to come along make them an offer and all of a sudden it becomes imperative that a piece of property be declared “surplus property to be rezoned and put up for sale”.
Keep in mind that the article in the paper did not say the sale of Centennial Park is off the table it said “no further action will be taken at this time” so obviously those Committee-of-the-Whole people intend to take another swipe to implement their proposal, never mind that the people who pay their salaries emphatically told them that they did not support this action.
We are going to be having a Municipal Election later on this year. According to the article in the paper the people on City Council who were opposed to the motion to take no further action at this time were: Mayor Tyler Gandam, Councillors Gabriele Blatz and Kevin Lonsdale, keep these people in mind and vote accordingly in the upcoming election.
— Marcia Stymiest, Wetaskiwin