June 14th, 2024

City Notebook: Everyone has an opinion but not a lot is being said

By COLLIN GALLANT on April 13, 2024.


The hullabaloo at city hall appears destined to sit in a holding pattern for a while.

After three weeks, both sides of a frayed relationship between council and mayor are sitting tight, and just wait until the issue arrives before the court.

But that’s not keeping those on the periphery out of the fray.

Ted Clugston jumped in this week with commentary about the situation, saying there’s “obviously” more going on here than is being said. He figures Mayor Linnsie Clark mishandled her issue with top administrators, which Hatters will or won’t take with a grain of salt.

The former mayor, who lost to Clark in 2021, always provides a good quote off the cuff, however his take probably resonates with Hatters looking for someone to give voice to frustrations or explain what might be going on for the record when no one else is.

But, he’s still controversial and some say sour grapes, and wonder what’s his angle.

It’s hard to say a former mayor can’t have an opinion about – get this – local politics.

In today’s hyper-active political scene everyone seems to have a strong opinion and isn’t afraid to let it loose.

Speaking of, it’s tabled now but council was prepared to consider opening up the official council complaint process to members of the public.

Clugston, who often complained about being the target of unfair criticism on the internet, said “it’s a good idea, but could become vexatious.”

Quick questions

-Does Medicine Hat have an opinion about the province requiring it be included in all funding discussions with the federal government? Everyone else does.

– The province is set to outline water sharing agreements next Friday ahead to this summer’s expected drought. So, at this point, what’s worth more, the City of Medicine Hat’s oil and gas rights, or its water rights?

– There’s a new quick sketch from Ottawa about defence spending priorities over the next decade that includes not much detail (it is a military plan, after all). What does it include for CFB Suffield? The News will endeavour to find out.

Spring cleaning

Buds are bursting. Air conditioners are humming back to life. Tino’s is awaiting your order.

Spring is here, though we take no responsibility for anymore snow.

Spring cleaners were likely heartened by recent reports in the News that the YMCA is planning to open a thrift store in the former Post location.

It’s unsaid by the YMCA, but said clearly here that such endeavours can suffer from people’s good intentions.

People hate waste, hate ditching seemingly useful or sentimental items, we can understand.

But when unsellable or poor-condition second-hand material is donated for re-sale the cost and effort of dumping is only then transferred to the social enterprise.

Sure, it’s nice to be thrifty and lend a hand, but be considerate when making a donation.

Similarly, the city solid waste department is now collecting food waste from a select number of households in five trash collection zones. It’s a study into cutting disposal costs by expanding composting operations.

As for the rest of us, for the time being only toss plants, vegetable matter and small branches in yard waste bins to avoid a real mess until then.

A look ahead

Council’s public services committee meets Monday for general updates, and a closed-session update on the “Facilities for the Future” plan to prioritize recreation capital projects. A full public update is now due in early 2025, about four years after the topic became a key issue in the last election.

100 years ago

The “longest meeting in city council history” concluded with the offer of a three-year contract to a new power plant superintendent, the News reported in April 1924. The agreement also included an avenue to resolve disputes between engineer A.B. Carr and council’s utility committee.

Aldermen Hole and Davidson had faced a public recall petition after the committee’s unilateral firing of the former staffer, leading to three full days of council session to resolve the matter.

“The superintendent shall have full control of the plant and the men under him,” the resolution concluded.

Arizona ordered that all vehicular traffic from California be halted to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease into the state.

Ontario’s former provincial treasurer was arrested after failing to answer questions from a committee regarding the deposit of seven $1,000 bills into his bank account.

The amount totalled one-half a commission paid to a law firm that handled a bond issue the previous year.

A French aviatrix was ticketed for jumping with “parachute” from a low-flying plane near the Eiffel Tower to prove a point about aircraft safety.

Still, “her method may not appeal to passengers,” a press report noted.

Collin Gallant covers city politics and a variety of topics for the News. Reach him at 403-528-5664 or via email at cgallant@medicinehatnews.com.

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