Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison's comments on historic legion property "a sad reflection on the quality of leadership"

"The legion property has nothing to do with the City of Saskatoon."
– Mayor Don Atchison
(March 9, 2007 StarPhoenix "No legion reprieve: Wrecking ball will swing on historic building")

City lacks kind of leadership that brought good reputation

The StarPhoenix

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The ongoing saga of the Legion building has prompted me to offer some thoughts on this issue as a former Saskatoon resident who has followed with great interest the changes to my beloved city.

In the past, I could point to many factors that evidenced Saskatoon's greatness: The tyndalstone construction of the University of Saskatchewan evidenced planning, characterized by pride; the laudable land banking policy, which sustained reasonable residential land prices and the opportunity for home ownership for people of modest means; the number of bridge lanes per capita -- far greater than any comparable Canadian river city.

Such positive characteristics were all achieved through one significant characteristic: leadership.

However, a review of Saskatoon city council's actions over the past two decades or so show leadership has been in incredibly short supply.

The Capitol Theatre was destroyed, with developers summoning the McKee wrecking ball on an early Sunday morning to escape scrutiny and protest. The Saskatoon Arena was destroyed, with its replacement constructed on Sedco "no man's land." If council had stood up to the province and insisted the new arena be constructed downtown, perhaps the economics of downtown hotel development might be dramatically different.

Which brings us to the issue of the legion.

The city should buy the building and renovate it as a monument to the greatest generation Canada has seen.

Mayor Don Atchison says, "The legion property has nothing to do with the City of Saskatoon." What a sad reflection on the quality of leadership in what once was a city that instilled pride in its current and former residents.

Ronald G. Holland
Ferintosh, Alta.

©The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2007

SP editorial ignores history of site development plans

The StarPhoenix

Friday, March 16, 2007

"It's impossible to bear the irony: This land, which went undeveloped for so long because of poor economic times, now lies fallow because the economy is too strong," concludes the March 10 SP editorial, Choice piece of city's land seems cursed.

I suggest it's ironic that The SP conveniently ignores that council passed a development plan in 2002 that kept this whole site public, with strong support from community members in council chambers. The SP must not have been in attendance then to write such an editorial.

With the change in council, the private, for-profit ideologues held sway. They said they knew what was good for the people and would get us a spa. Well, we got it in the ear.

If the current council, when trying to resolve this sorry situation, does not include the public in its planning and keep this land as a public space as was done in 2002, we will get it in the other ear.

Rusty Chartier

©The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2007


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