Six months ago we had a city election where the candidates put forth their positions. Many listed deplorable roads and the need to address our broken infrastructure. A number were concerned with wildlife roaming city streets. Wesly Graham wanted to look at the possibility of an overpass (Townsman, Aug. 29, 2014). Lee Pratt said, “I’ve seen a lot of frivolous spending on unnecessary projects when our infrastructure, our roads, are just crumbling.” (Townsman, Oct. 2, 2014)
Now the City sees potential opportunities to enhance and redevelop Idlewild Park. (Townsman, May 8, 2015). The public input deadline is May 25 — a whopping 17 days. What’s behind the rush?
The City “sees opportunities to enhance and redevelop Idlewild Lake.” Where did these spending opportunities come from? Is this a round-about way to more frivolous spending by City Hall?
Idlewild Lake was not an issue for any candidate during the recent city election, and I haven’t heard of people in the streets marching for “enhancement and redevelopment” of Idlewild. The City’s suggestion that we turn Idlewild into an off-leash dog park or that we add a beach area — requiring endless truckloads of sand — is unwarranted. Idlewild is a gem the way it is; and if we need more frivolous spending, do it elsewhere — and not on other Cranbrook jewels, Elizabeth Lake and the Community Forest.
The Conservative government is scattering $150 million all across Canada for park enhancement and development. The deadline for applications is June 27, so announcement and photo ops can occur on the eve of the October federal election.
The City Council needs to realize that chasing federal grants skews the mission and goals of the City, and it ties the City to future maintenance costs forever.