Letter: Leave downtown to private sector

Dear Sir,

At the risk of being tarred and feathered then run out of town on a rail, I would like to offer the suggestion that maybe it is time to re-evaluate our focus on developing downtown Red Deer.

My question, reinforced by recent Advocate headline “Crime up by 20%” coming on the heels of the administration telling council they need another $150,000 for more policing downtown, leads me to believe we are fighting a losing battle.

A couple of weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon I drove through downtown along the taxpayer funded Ross St. patio, and it was absolutely deserted, not one person in sight. A lot of the store fronts are covered with for sale or for lease signs and to be honest it looks terrible.

Council in their infinite wisdom have allocated many thousands of dollars on extra policing to make people feel safe in the area and now the unelected administrators want more. When will this end?

All one has to do is to look at the Capstone debacle, more taxpayers dollars spent by a council directed by an administration no doubt with some high priced consultants input. What do we have to show for it other than a landscape that looks like a bomb hit it?

Let’s start the discussion on downtown, maybe we should leave it to the private sector to create a viable area, the idea of just filling all the buildings with “government” funded, be they social agencies, police patrol offices, or other non-private sector spaces, just isn’t viable.

George Croome,

Red Deer

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