In the early days of Alberta, Municipal Elected Officials were referred to a “Road Councillors”. At that time, all that could justify an elected body was the construction and maintenance or a decent transportation network. Today, municipalities have become bigger, more diverse, and much more complex such that we often forget our roots. Councils and Administrations become preoccupied with other often more grandiose projects.
I think it time to return to our roots, to get back to the basics, the reasons we are chosen to lead the municipality. Councils exist is to ensure basic, necessary services and facilities. Roads are top of the list. Without a decent road system, it doesn’t matter how many gymnasia, schools, sports, fields or clinics we have. The notion of growth or residential development becomes ludicrous.
Here are some photos of roads in a country residential subdivision not far south of Wye Road in Ward 6. This is not Afghanistan nor has it seen regular use by gravel trucks or armoured personnel carriers. Spalling on shoulders, potholes, patched and re-patched linear cracking, surely residents are entitled to better than this. Sherwood Park residents wouldn’t put up with this for a minute, why should we?
Some of the discussion on Council these days is about the cost of the road system such that some have suggested a “reclassification” of roads. Translated into English, this means possibly downgrading roads, making them worse than they are now. It is shocking that such a possibility even arises in casual conversation.