Re: Letter to the Editor – Water Levels & Aerial Fire Trucks
I have been reading with a great deal of interest the Letters to the Editor as we enter “silly season” better known as “civic election time”.
Two letters from the August 22 edition really caught my attention and so I felt it was time to respond.
The first letter was from David Spencer in reply to a letter written by Lyle Dressler the week previous regarding an aerial truck for Sylvan Lake Fire Department. It seems that Mr. Dressler prefers to search the internet for what he feels are bargains rather than researching some good solid information and determining the client’s needs, in this case Sylvan Lake Fire Department. Thank goodness for the well thought out and very factual letter from David Spencer. I would hope that that when tenders are called for new fire equipment, Mr. Spencer and his company are invited to submit tenders and that before any tenders are awarded town administration do a solid apples-to-apples comparison or even better invite Mr. Spencer to help write the specifications.
My second comments are directed toward the letter written by Al Hallgren regarding lake levels. His reference first of all to “Lady Mayor” was demeaning and totally uncalled for. Our mayor is Susan Samson and her gender should never be an issue. Mr. Hallgren might also want to do a little research. The mayor on council has only one vote, the same as any other councillor, and can’t determine the direction of council or any vote held at council meetings. They are council and mayor decisions with equal votes by all! The mayor and all council members should be working towards consensus on all issues.
Case in point is Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi — while very popular on his own he has never been able to build consensus with Calgary council members.
Secondly ALL water in Canada falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government and then the provincial government with civic governments at the bottom of this list. Now add in that there are at least five summer villages around Sylvan Lake, plus Lacombe and Red Deer counties. Any vote on what actions might be taken for Sylvan need a positive vote by all and Sylvan Lake has only ONE vote.
Further to all this is of course cost and what everyone might have to pay. There was an exhaustive study done on Sylvan Lake water levels. It showed that the outflow is working as it should be. Secondly was the idea of a weir with a cost somewhere north of $2 million dollars and no guarantee it would be effective. And finally Cygnet Lake landowners have put all levels of government on notice that any increase to that body of water that would take away agricultural lands would be met with objection and/or compensation needs.
The lake level is a very complicated issue without any apparent solutions at this time.
I remember the wide sandy beaches of the past and would like them back the same as everyone but know that the best solution is time. Lake levels were almost this high in the ’50s and were also quite high in the ’80s. Let’s hope that with time and hot weather with little precipitation we see a return to the sand beaches of yesterday.
I must also add that this seems to be more an adult issue than a children’s issue. When I am at the lake and watch all the children playing in the water or on the grass, they all seem quite happy. When I ask parents what they think, everyone seems happy just to spend family time at Sylvan Lake.
One more point in Mr. Hallgren’s letter was a comment that said the lake was dirty. Some research would have shown him that Sylvan is today and has always been one of the cleanest lakes in Alberta. It’s been crystal clear every time I have been down there. Best of all NONE of the blue green algae of Pigeon, Gull or Pine Lakes.
In the coming election I have looked at all the mayoralty candidates and will put my support solidly behind our current mayor, Susan Samson. Do I have issues with our current mayor? Yes! However I have learned that keeping all the people happy all the time ends up keeping nobody ever happy. It’s a reality! As for council members I haven’t seen all the candidates, but will be looking closely at everyone. A strong council is every bit as important as a strong mayor so choose wisely citizens of Sylvan Lake. The next four years are going to be critical in the growth and planning of Sylvan Lake.