Last night at Council we had a motion to endorse a downtown revitalization plan. If you’re having a case of déjà vu you’re not alone. As residents who have participated in the many public outreach and consultation events we have had for Library Square and the Cultural Precinct know – we already have a plan. The Promenade Plan. Developed in the 2006-2010 term, endorsed in principle in the 2010-2014 term, and endorsed and actioned by this Council in 2014. The motion before us last evening was redundant at best.
Over the past 14 months, we’ve held numerous outreach and public consultation meetings about the Cultural Precinct plan to revitalize the downtown core. We held an open consultation meeting just this past December – attended by almost all members of Council and over 60 residents – to hear directly from residents, their thoughts on the Cultural Precinct plan thus far and how we could move from concept to reality for revitalizing Library Square and the downtown core.
Since the beginning of this term, Council as a team has been working together on the revitalization of the downtown core. We have taken action on an issue that has been discussed for over 20 years. With the support of Council as a whole, we have started down a path to invigorate and renew our downtown by incorporating the ideas and vision from the public as well as the Promenade plan; from that we have developed the Cultural Precinct plan. It is the beginning of what is bold action towards moving forward with the vision for our Downtown core.
Thus, I am not sure why council had before it a motion to endorse a plan we have already endorsed – and have spent literally over a year of public consultation, staff reports and other work to move the plan forward. I don’t understand the need to endorse an endorsement. I am also not sure why were asked to endorse a motion that doesn’t ask us to do anything aside from endorse a plan that we have already endorsed. No call to action. No request for a staff report. No request for public meetings etc. Just endorse a plan we have already endorsed.
Personally, I am not in support of just talking for the sake of talking or rehashing business that has already been addressed. I believe in taking action. I believe this Council should continue to work together building on the work done to date by our residents, our staff and Councils before, to continue to move forward with the development of Library Square. There are lots of things happening in the downtown core that will bring the vision the Town already has to fruition….