Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Steinbach councillors stood up for their residents in a big way on Sept. 8, perhaps without even knowing how important a decision they made.
Councillors were listening to administration present a draft traffic bylaw at their Strategic Priorities Committee meeting. Part of the ongoing plan to look at and update old bylaws, it was clearly time to address the 26-year-old traffic bylaw.
For the most part the draft bylaw looks as one would expect. It includes some newer rules, and discards some older ones.
All in all, it doesn’t look like a controversial bylaw at all.
But there was one thing that caught councillors’ attention.
In drafting the bylaw, city administration added a part on how people could get a stop sign request reviewed.
Rather than the old way, of having people write a letter to council, which would then be considered, they came up with a more efficient way.
Rathepayers would simply make a request to the city manager designate, who would then assess if it meets the City Traffic Control Standard. It would need to meet that standard before being reviewed by city council.
Councillor Michael Zwaagstra rightly pointed out that it make things more complicated for applicants, and takes the decision making out of the hands of councillors.
Other councillors agreed, and said requests that don’t meet standards are few, it’s worth keeping that avenue open.
These councillors made a very important commitment by speaking up on this issue.
They know their job is to hear from their ratepayers.
Administration is there to consult with councillors.
When hearing a request city councillors must be able to hear arguments for and against, while also considering recommendations by city staff which would be based on current standards.
Not one councillor advocated giving up responsibility to allow administration to take on more. That shows a council that is eager to serve the public the best way possible. Whether you agree or disagree on the specific issues, it’s a good sign that councillors want to be involved in as much public consultation as possible.