“I hope you are all doing well and are keeping safe during this challenging time. Since requesting administration to bring forward more information for the Westerner Park recommendations on April 22, we have heard many questions and concerns surrounding Council’s rationale to table the matter for up to four weeks. The decision to table the issue was to request additional information to, given the magnitude of the financial request, ensure Council is making an informed decision that considers and benefits our community as a whole.
Council believes in Westerner Park and we are committed to protecting the 130 years of history Westerner Park has brought to our community. Given the significance of the recommendations before us, Council’s purpose is financial due diligence on behalf of our citizens prior to making a generational decision. We recognize the decision will have broad community impact through our capital investments; resulting in the need to delay or cancel projects in The City’s capital plan, which we have a responsibility to fully consider.
Council is acutely aware of the economic, social and cultural importance of Westerner Park to our city and region, and the recommendations will come back to Council within the next few weeks. Our priority is to ensure we consider all information possible, while taking the necessary time for a generational decision of this financial magnitude. It is clear in principal that our Council will provide financial support to protect the future of Westerner Park, however, what is left to be decided is how this will be structured to protect the financial future of our community as a whole.
Today, I meet with members of the Westerner Park Board, Westerner Foundation Committee and Westerner Park Past Presidents to share information, as well as address questions and concerns about the decision making process. As legacy builders and community builders, they have invested time, energy and financial commitments in Westerner Park, so it is imperative that they be involved in and aware of the next steps in what has been a multi-phased process, as we know this issue is a personal one for many in our community. We are committed to helping Westerner Park, because it is the right thing to do, but how that is structured will be the decision on the table in the coming weeks.”
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