LETHBRIDGE: A lengthy debate Monday at city hall means the public may soon have a chance to give more input on council's future project bucket list. A new study about a proposed performing arts centre in the city's downtown sparked the discussion and the proceeding recommendation to review its overall public feedback process for projects like that.
Ald. Jeff Coffman questioned council's recommendation to put the performing arts centre project onto the Capital Improvement Program plan (CIP), a “bucket list” of future projects that's budgeted and planned for by city staff until an official vote in future budget cycles. He said council should get more public feedback on the performing arts centre before council takes it to that next level.
“There are vocal policy communities in every city. We have people who will push for renovations of the Enmax Centre, we have people who will push for a performing arts centre, we have people who will push for skate parks,” he said. “Every project needs to be evaluated on its own merit, but against everything else. It's based on community need, but it's also based on what can we manage in our community with fixed resources.”
Most of his fellow aldermen said that while they thought the performing arts centre project had progressed too far to change the way they dealt with it, they agreed they'd like to see the process for getting projects onto the CIP reviewed. “Many of us are guilty of following and dealing with special interest groups and giving in to pressure. We are all guilty, at one time or another, of saying – fill council chambers and we'll do what you want,” said Ald. Joe Mauro. “All Coffman is saying is now that we have the facts, let's take this to the community.”
Coffman says he'll ask for an official vote on the issue at the next council meeting. In addition to Mauro, Ald. Tom Wickersham, Ald. Faron Ellis, Ald. Bridget Mearns and Ald. Jeff Carlson said they would support his idea. Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 4/23/2014 3:33:59 PM
Source: Marion Warnica, Country 95 News - photo by Country 95 News