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Wednesday, 01 October 2014 14:40

There will always be debates such as Elmwood

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Debate on the Elmwood Golf Course and whether it was money that should have been spent by the City of Swift Current rages on.


There is no doubt there is anger out there (a minority?) about the golf course, as critics of the project believe putting the money could be put in better places such as affordable housing for those on low or fixed incomes, the never-ending assurances of a safe and adequate water supply and infrastructure improvements such as much needed but still money-sapping things such as upgrading or adding roads.
It’s critical everyone is taken care of the best way possible. Do those who are disadvantaged have someplace to go, food to eat, etc.?
One has to trust these are the financial experts and they will do right  by the city. The mayor is a financial advisor, another councillor runs a business consulting firm, others are business owners, and another is a lawyer by trade. There is a good mix who obviously have a good relationship with the provincial government.
Some people may not necessarily agree with every step taken as there have been some interesting battles with the City and the R.M. of Swift Current. For example, the City’s recreation user fee for those not from Swift Current; annexation; firefighters’ jurisdiction etc. Of course there are always lingering complaints of various city projects, the new joint-use school has detractors right from the get-go in regards to location and now there are questions about the Elmwood Golf Course.
The point is: you’re not going to please everybody. That’s just the nature of being involved in any level of government. Critics can complain all they want, but there is no denying the fact that Premier Brad Wall, Mayor Jerrod Schafer and the current group of southwest political friends have been good for the progress of the southwest’s largest centre.
Facts are facts. Let’s take inventory:  a new hospital; a spectacular new education facility; new stores; two completely different, but exceptional entertainment centres; a great museum and tourist centre; the Sask. Hockey Hall of Fame; a great curling rink; a fundraising arm for the health community; great schools including a high school which is capable of holding outdoor night time events;  a solid post-secondary institution which branches out to Maple Creek and Shaunavon; a highly-active and progressive library; an excellent baseball facility with a competitive, high-caliber senior team; and a highly upgraded arena with an enviable major junior hockey team, both of which puts Swift Current on the map and attracts more business and visitors as well as helping the local economy; great park and family areas; a recently-announced construction of a senior care facility; a well-trained and solid medical and education-staffs and a really good business community.
There is some good social infrastructure too with excellent services club, special interest groups and a wide array of churches and religious facilities, not to mention a thriving and wide variety in the arts and entertainment community.
Swift Current residents are lucky. It’s hard to think of a lot of communities similar in population size on the prairies that have the facilities those in Speedy Creek do. Anyone complaining there’s nothing to do in the city just isn’t paying attention.
Part of the theory it is argued in having first-class facilities is it will attract more people who are influential which makes the city stronger.
With that being said, those who are willing to serve in governmental capacity also have to realize they have to be accountable to those they are serving.
For those in government or in an area of power or influence, not everyone has a political agenda, there are just some legitimate questions and people want some straightforward answers in regards to reasons behind the decision-making process.  For example, “Are my taxes going to be through the roof with all of this spending?”; “Is the City in heavy debt?”; and “What about those who can’t afford to pay increased prices for all of this progress?”
Hopefully, those in various levels of government, health, education or even sports don’t forget the ordinary citizen. They have been good up to this point, but it isn’t perfect.
People may not always agree with the decisions which are being made, but government and high-profile organizations must ensure the public is given every opportunity to know all the facts and let the chips fall where they may.
A lot of ordinary citizens don’t want to or care to know all the details as they have their own battles, but it’s always better to explain, justify and discuss in detail issues rather than not talking about it and leaving people with doubt.
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with  the Prairie Post. Contact him with your comments about this opinion piece at rdahlman@ prairiepost.com.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor