On Tuesday, April 29th Leduc County hosted their final open house for residents seeking information about Edmonton’s proposed annexation of 38,000 acres of the County. The meeting was held at the Rolly View Community Center and began at 7pm. Nearly 200 people packed the center to ask questions and gain information how the annexation would affect their lives.
Mayor John Whaley welcomed everyone and gave a response to an item that had been aired on Leduc One radio station Tuesday morning in regards to Edmonton City’s assertion that the County was responsible for a delay in negotiations because the County was more interested in dealing with Beaumont’s annexation plan. Mayor Whaley used some colorful farm language to describe Edmonton’s inability to sit down with the County to work on a collaborative solution to Edmonton’s annexation proposal. He went on to point out that even six months after the municipal elections, Edmonton has yet to name members to their negotiation committee. Something the County has done months ago!
Mayor Whaley then introduce Phil Newman, the County’s Director of Planning & Development, who walked the audience through the annexation process and the effect on the County and residents, should the annexation be approved as proposed.
After Mr. Newman’s presentation, members of the audience were provided opportunities to ask questions. Many residents took the opportunity to express their concerns and to thank the County for being a strong voice on their behalf.
MLA George Rogers also took the opportunity to speak to the audience and vowed to continue to represent their interest in the Legislature. He was dismayed about the lack of negotiations and that it is estimated Edmonton has spent 10 million dollars to date and the County 2 million on annexation with no progress. Money that could have been spent on improving roads and other services. MLA Roger’s full speech can be seen and heard on line.
Mr. Clarence Shields of the Leduc County Coalition provided additional information regarding the effects the annexation would have on ratepayers and the County. He encouraged individuals to sign the petition to the Alberta Municipal Government Board to not approve the City of Edmonton’s proposed annexation.
One of the more humorous comments came about when referring to Edmonton’s failure to provide timely services as a ratepayer indicated that Edmonton’s potholes were deep enough to plant flowers.
Mayor Whaley concluded the meeting stating the County is prepared to collaborate with Edmonton and work on a proposal that was fair to both municipalities. Edmonton’s current proposal was not fair and only benefits Edmonton.