Decisions made during a facilitated meeting between Sylvan Lake councillors and Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Kerry Towle “should provide for a stronger, more effective relationship with the two levels of government”, according to a news release jointly released by Mayor Susan Samson and Towle, Tuesday afternoon.
Discussion during the meeting, which was facilitated by Bob Clark (a former MLA, cabinet minister and Alberta Ethics Commissioner), communication and working together were identified as priorities. As a result, both council and Towle “committed to ensure that each were advised of efforts as it pertains to local issues”.
The right-in, right-out configuration at the intersection of Highway 11 and 50th Street garnered considerable discussion, according to the press release following the closed meeting held last Friday.
“Sylvan Lake council and MLA Towle all acknowledged that the Town of Sylvan Lake has an agreement with Alberta Transportation. Both parties recognized the need for the Town of Sylvan Lake to have a good working relationship with the Government of Alberta for the benefit of the community and its residents,” stated the release.
“Also recognized is that the MLA must respond to her constituents and that her position on issues is as a result of what the constituents have asked of her. This could mean that her lobbying style may sometimes differ substantially from that of council.”
Mayor Susan Samson is quoted as stating, “If MLA Towle is successful in her efforts to get lights at that intersection, and if that solution is deemed to be the safest and best answer for traffic circulation, then I will be the first to congratulate her, however, with our current understanding of the situation and our contractual agreement with Alberta Transportation, we cannot join her in that effort.”
There was more agreement on the second issue discussed, that of urgent care.
“MLA Towle stated emphatically that she would be an enthusiastic and persistent supporter at the provincial level for the Urgent Care Committee’s efforts to obtain improved health care in Sylvan Lake.”
“I will wait to see what Alberta Health Services and the government offer Sylvan Lake,” the release quotes Towle. “If it does not meet the needs of the community then we will hold their feet to the fire until services are proposed that will provide good local care to people in Sylvan Lake and the surrounding area,” she promised.
Both parties intend to meet quarterly to discuss council’s strategic goals and local issues of mutual concern, concluded the release.
Clark volunteered his time to facilitate the meeting and was thanked by all involved.