City Council Warp-Up: You Want Parking Lots? We Got Parking Lots! But No Buses For Our Precious Little School Children. Screw Them!

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a council meeting that ended with cries from the gallery of “Shame” and “Disgrace!” But – oh joy! — that’s how the month-long council-meeting marathon rounded out.

Why so cranky, gang? Well, that was because 12 delegations came out and sat through a four hour meeting so they could stand and express their support for a motion from Councillor Stevens calling for council to affirm the importance of provincial Crown Corporations, only to have council vote that motion down in a seven to three vote.

Saskatchewanians do love their Crowns. Do not cross them.

Of course, their anger had been primed by the fact that council had just before this voted down another motion by Councillor Stevens, this one requesting city administration look into the feasibility of Regina Transit offering free bus service to school & daycare kids on field trips. That motion, however, wasn’t completely defeated as Councillor Young referred the substance of the motion to a meeting of the School Board Liaison Committee. But, fury was rising in the gallery because throughout debate of this motion council demonstrated a stunning lack of knowledge about Regina Transit.

I mean, it was embarrassing. I’m betting almost no-one on council has ever ridden a bus.

So all that happened. Council also passed the neighbourhood plan for Coopertown, a greenfield development that Councillor O’Donnell described as like putting a city of Moosejaw on the city’s northwest. Hey! No worries now about hitting that 30 per cent infill development target that the city has never, ever hit!

Council also took time out to laud, in the most laudatory of terms, the massively oversizedness of a new Costco surface parking lot.

We are so very proud of our asphalt wastelands. Three cheers for us!

Here’s a minute-by-minute twitter blow-by-blow of the Monday April 24 meeting. It will thankfully be the last meeting for a month.

 

You can stay up-to-date on all my council live-tweeting by following my live tweet account @PDCityHall.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

3 thoughts on “City Council Warp-Up: You Want Parking Lots? We Got Parking Lots! But No Buses For Our Precious Little School Children. Screw Them!”

  1. Who doesn’t love free, expansive, surface parking in Regina? Um, maybe everyone who wants affordable transportation, cleaner air, a stable-survivable climate, and understands how free parking is making those important things unattainable.

    I almost walked out, pained by the stunning ignorance of Councillors during their breathtaking debate about Transit.

    1. Councillor Flegel didn’t know the cost of a bus fare, despite voting to raise them a couple years ago.
    2. Councillor Hawkins hates buses (and probably people who use them) and doesn’t hide that fact.
    3. Councillor Bryce thought that the province is downloading an expense onto the City if school kids use buses that are already there. She thought the U-Pass was a related topic (it is not), and was unaware of a partnership between the City and RBE that Councillor O’Donnel later raised as a bit of information.
    4. Councillor Young was disappointed about the “timing” of the motion, because it put the City in the driver’s seat, and she wanted the idea to be brought to Council later, instead of taking the lead.
    5. Mayor Fougere expressed a similar concern, after claiming he actually liked the idea, but would not support it because of “downloading” that doesn’t exist in this case.
    6. Councillor Findura claimed he wanted more information from the Administration, and that he understood what the motion would do, but would vote against the motion. The motion if passed would have the Admin provide the information he sought, so clearly he DIDN’T understand what his vote was doing.
    7. Councillor Murray seemed not to support the motion either.

  2. I’m getting very tired of the way council debates motions that are asking for information about a program as though they’re debating the merits of the program itself.

    That said, maybe I’ve built up too much of a tolerance for time-wasting and compromise, but I prefer council referring the motion to the school board liaison committee over them voting it down entirely.

  3. Sending it to egg-heads for further analysis is precisely what the motion intended to do, and they did that anyway after wasting an hour badmouthing transit and its users, while displaying utter ignorance of a city service some of them despise funding. Imagine if they talked about water, or police services the way they speak of Regina Transit and ParaTransit? O’Donnell, years after the province helped start a badly needed accessibility transportation service, still says it’s the province’s responsibility that people with mobility disabilities be able to move around his city. Yet so many of his colleagues complain about “downloading” of responsibility and expense.

    As I pointed out in my presentation, the provincially run hospitals had to start their own shuttle service to alleviate some of the harm from the City’s lack of parking meters, and sufficient bus service between hospitals and parking lots.

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