A challenge to find good things to say about council’s policies, programs

Mayor Samson should go lightly on comments about Sylvan Lake’s glass “definitely being half full”.

Dear Editor,

Mayor Samson should go lightly on comments about Sylvan Lake’s glass “definitely being half full”. (Mayor encourages crowd to embrace change; SLN, Nov 1).

If the mayor says the glass is half full she also declares it half empty. There’s not much to brag about in being in the middle of a continuum. If Sylvan Lake is neither a generally wonderful nor generally deplorable place then words like ‘tepid’ and ‘blah’ capture its spirit. To think the mayor delivered a motivational speech extolling ‘blah!’

As for glasses half full, the mayor has presided over the town’s descent from being a once vibrant, attractive, glass-mostly-full place to live and play, to the current dispirited town confused about its current identity and direction.

The implied flip side of the mayor’s glass-half-full analogy is that people who disagree with her and council’s ideas are members of the glass-half-empty crowd; ornery, sour sorts who see only negatives in life. That may be the mayor’s distorted thinking but it’s not reality. Safe to say most residents of Sylvan Lake are desperate to find good things to say about many of council’s policies and programs. It’s a challenge. In fairness public angst spills beyond town limits to areas of provincial jurisdiction that nevertheless impact the citizens of Sylvan Lake; things relevant to the discussion because of council’s complicity in provincial decisions. The Hwy. 11-781 and Memorial Trail fiascos are cases in point.

Determining who is most accountable for the hare-brained decision to implement right in -right out design at the Hwy. 11-781 intersection is maddening. Two things are clear however: Alberta Transportation authorized and constructed it, and town council either actively requested the design, or tacitly accepted it. The multi-million dollar Memorial Trail and associated intersections are costly new infrastructure requirements flowing from the intersection ‘solution’. Public anger at both Alberta Transportation and town council is understandable and justified, and much, much too polite!

Back within town limits, successive councils sacrificed having a dynamic town business core for the seductive lure of inviting box stores and their bulging tax revenues. As a result the downtown business core is nearly dead with little immediate relief in sight. The soulless box stores sit either in soulless isolation or soulless clusters on the east side of town, siphoning local money into national and multinational company coffers.

Beach access from 34 St. to 44 St. along Lakeshore Drive — about half of the total — has been all but eliminated due to removal of parking and installation of retaining walls. Bad enough that council installed grotesquely inappropriate speed bumps on Lakeshore Drive; it now fails to make the road contractor correct excessive slopes on some bumps. What a negative message irregular road construction must make on visitors ‘ambushed’ by unexpected variations.

Citizens read of building and development regulations tortuously bent to either accommodate or thwart one developer or another. The current condominium and marina project seems to be an example, among others, of heroic accommodation.

Mayor Samson may be satisfied with a cup-half-full but citizens are left wanting.

Everett Gratrix,

Sylvan Lake

Just Posted

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

PHOTO: NexSource Power Inc. donates to Sylvan Lake Food Bank

NexSource Power Inc. donated $1,536 to the Food Bank

Sylvan Lake’s residential tax to increase 2.74 per cent in 2019

The Town presented the proposed 2019 Budget at an open house on Dec. 11 at Good Earth Coffeehouse

Sylvan Lake Pirates hockey team add tally to win column

The Pirates won versus the Westlock Warriors on Dec. 9

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Sex-assault squad investigated eight incidents at Toronto all-boys’ school

The interim president of a Roman Catholic all-boys school rocked by student-on-student abuse allegations said the football program was cancelled for next year.

Coal power in Canada must disappear by the end of 2029, new regulations say

Canada has significantly cut its dependence on coal largely due to the closure of all coal plants in Ontario.

‘Naive approach’ to China at fault in Meng mess: Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on the Trudeau government to “unequivocally denounce any type of repercussions to Canadians on foreign soil.”

Omar Khadr ‘a model of compliance,’ wants changes to bail conditions: lawyer

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr is back in court today to seek changes to bail conditions.

Most Read