Four years, four priorities

By Alderman Wayne Rothe

Recently on Facebook someone asked candidates for their priorities for the next council term. I no longer have that post but here are my priorities. (If someone can point me to that request I’d love to post this there, too.)

Photo radar – I don’t support dumping the program but I want a serious review and revamp. When the trucks are continually hiding behind bushes and utility boxes along Highway 16A then it’s more about revenue than it is about safety. Get them into residential areas, school and construction zones and in locations where the complaint totals are high (Century Road, Longview Drive and Grove Drive, for example) and then we have a program worth keeping.

A community for all – We say we’re the Community of Choice and we’ve built a great small city, as evidenced by one of the strongest citizen satisfaction surveys in Alberta. However, in the pursuit of sports opportunities sometimes things are left behind. There is a dearth of arts and culture. Stony Plain, with half our population, is planning a new library that’s proposed to be almost as large as ours. I don’t know if a new cultural venue similar to Horizon Stage is affordable given our priority of having minimal tax increases but we need to consider new cultural opportunities. I’ve promised a friend who is into culture that we’ll talk about what that means to her. Building a community for diverse interests will engender business development.

Citizen engagement and open government – Spruce Grove is reasonably open now but I’d like us to be better. Engagement should not just happen at election time. I’ve heard ideas such as live broadcasting of council meetings, email newsletters and town-hall meetings. We’ve tried some engagement strategies with little success but that doesn’t mean that we should stop trying. We can be creative. My blog will continue after the election, assuming that I’m re-elected. See my blog post on this topic: http://waynerothe.ca/2017/10/15/who-wants-closed-government-anyway/

Sport and event centre – It’s my hope that the city will initiate a true engagement campaign on this project so we know what residents are thinking. In my door knocking these last four weeks I don’t recall even one person telling me that the SEC is a good idea. However, when someone says, “Wayne, I have a question for you” almost always it’s to slam the SEC – a proposal that I oppose. Let’s take this to the community so that we know what Spruce Grove thinks and wants. See my blog post on this topic: http://waynerothe.ca/2017/10/11/sec-fortune-or-folly/

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