A successful City is based on the progress of its management, responsible spending, and the constituents who make it a home. While we are living through a global pandemic, we are being asked to stay home in efforts to stay safe and healthy and not overwhelm the healthcare system. During this time where mental health might be especially fragile, going out for a walk to get some fresh air is encouraged. However, you must remain 6 feet away from the next person to practice social distancing. As Councillors, we are getting mixed reviews. Some people say it’s just too hard to do, and others have no issue. So, Council “fixed” the problem. Now we have pedestrian walkways on the roads.
These are not free.
This is your money that could have been put towards something more predominant. I question the sheer amount of money spent on this “project”. How much money is wasted so we can take 20-30 minutes (I am probably underestimating here) of twelve Councillors’, one Mayor, two clerks, several Administration employees time just to discuss this topic rather than something more pressing like supply chains, or economic revitalization? Then, we add the money spent on people to lay out the pylons, check on them, and remove when the time comes. We spent money on this instead of potholes, or cracked sidewalks, or much-needed winter clean up. This project was a want, not a need.
The majority of Edmonton is staying home; there have been many lay-offs and businesses closing their doors – likely permanently. Now is the time to review our finances and allocate our resources wisely. Now is the time for us to stick together to fix what is broken. We must focus on this City’s needs – not the wants. The wants can wait. We are in a time where people are wondering whether they will have a job to go to in the morning, or whether they will be able to feed their families next week. Every dime we can save right now is not only putting more money in your pockets in the long run, but could be used to restart our local economy. Our financial management processes are broken. There is no excuse for any more wasteful spending. I think it is an insult to those we laid off to tell them, they no longer have a job because we have no money, but, will allocate resources to lay out pylons to add more temporary bike and pedestrian lanes. Our citizens are intelligent. We could have come up with a different solution. We cannot remain silent any longer.
A successful future can be built on the transformation of the mess, but not the elimination of that same mess. This is my twist on a quote by Craig D. Lounsbrough, that in this present moment seems very fitting. We cannot build a great City by fixing the miniscule problems. The wants can wait. We can do better.