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City decision-making won’t set us up for future success

In response to David Plumtree’s letter on Monday, Jan. 20:

After having read Mr. Plumtree’s letter, I felt compelled to reiterate the disturbing accuracy of his comments. Our “trusted” decision-makers are, quite simply, in over their heads at this point in Red Deer’s development.

Red Deer is in a very challenging position in that it is straddling the line between small urban community and large urban community (within the context of Canadian cities) and seems woefully under-prepared for its growth. Red Deer isn’t handling its design, its restoration, its crime, its traffic, its snow, or its future planning with much alacrity. From fluoride to bike lanes to windrows in the alley for garbage trucks now instructed to use the front streets, Red Deer has shown an ability to fumble decisions rashly and without much responsibility.

There are few citizens who I’ve spoken to who haven’t rolled their eyes at decision-making here for the past four years and our response as voters was to re-elect every incumbent to continue fumbling the issues that will shape this city for the next decade or more.

Like it or not, Red Deer is growing quickly. How long before Gaetz is so overwhelmed with traffic that your drive from Chiles to Bower takes an hour? I timed one trip this year at 40 minutes from point to point.

How many more days will the north end wait for the comically inefficient snow removal to tackle its streets? Better hope it doesn’t snow again before hand.

Thinking of moving to Red Deer? Better think twice before buying property north of the river because its routes aren’t as important as the bustling corridors of College Park or neophyte Garden Heights (with its vital traffic artery of Garrison Circle, a circle that if you haven’t driven it yet secretly connects 67th Street to Sirius and thus becomes mankind’s greatest single achievement in stellar navigation ... apparently).

We have a tax hike this year, by the way. Has Red Deer earned that money this term? Or is it asking you to pay for the mistakes it is doomed to repeat — mistakes that one re-elected councilor said to me this fall (at an overcrowded traffic disaster farmers market) were “clear mistakes of judgment and lessons learned as we went along. It is, after all, a learning curve.”

I know I feel reassured that Alberta’s third largest city is in professional and reliable hands.

David Gibbons

Red Deer

 
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