School site debacle caused hard feelings
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 06:00 am
The manner in which the Greater North Central Francophone was selected created some hard feelings and disrupted many families in the Eldorado Park area. Hopefully, our next council can learn some lessons from this issue which suffered greatly not only through the questionable process but also because of the lack of communications and public consultation.
In the first instance, a previous council dispensed with the MPC (Municipal Planning Commission) which was an excellent public consultation vehicle for just such matters as school site selection.
A new council should seriously consider bringing back this committee which would have required that a traffic impact assessment be conducted prior to the selection of the site for the francophone school and the impact of buses on the narrow and already congested Erin Ridge Drive, instead of after the fact, as was clear from the report of city manager Patrick Draper in his printed report last week.
Secondly, a new council should terminate the agreement which handed off the final and not appealable decision of school site selection to the “School Site Allocation Committee.”
Fine to have a committee make recommendations but the final decision should rest with city council because that’s where the issue will be taken with unhappy residents if there is a failure to do traffic studies and have proper public consultation.
Bob Russell, St. Albert