Medicine Hat Minute: Budget Blues, School Masks, and a Bus Driver Shortage
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
There are three meetings scheduled this week, starting with a Public Services Committee meeting today at 8:00 am. The meeting will begin with the Managing Director providing a service area update which will cover a pandemic update, public art, and other areas of interest. Aside from this, there’s nothing else to report back to Hatters, as the rest of the meeting will, unfortunately, occur in-camera.
- On Wednesday, there will be a meeting of the Municipal Planning Commission at 2:30 pm. At this meeting, Council will decide whether or not to approve Bylaw 4692, the Northwest Industrial Area Structure Plan. If approved, the bylaw will allow future development in portions of Airport Commercial, Brier Run Commercial & Industrial, and NW Industrial.
- On Thursday, there will be a meeting of the Corporate Services Committee at 11:00 am. No agenda was posted at the time of writing.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
- At last Monday’s Council meeting, plans for the proposed Towne Square once again took center stage and were the focus of a series of tense exchanges between Council and City Administration. Although Administration defended both the budget and the project’s execution, Mayor Linnsie Clark asked City Manager Bob Nicolay if a project can be considered successful if it’s 55% over budget and inferior to what was originally proposed. A pretty fair question, if you ask us. Maybe Council should apply this test to everything the City does?
- It’s been more than a week since masks and testing kits began arriving at schools across the province, and local officials are reporting the distribution of these vital items requires "continued coordination". We're not quite sure what that means, but apparently, there's some difficulty sending masks to homes? If you have children, would you let us know how this has been working (or hasn't) at their school?
- Southland Transportation is reporting a shortage of school bus drivers. Vacant positions are posing a threat to service, a problem only further exacerbated by absenteeism due to COVID-19. There’s no word on which schools, or how many, might be affected if drivers are not found. The company says they are in the process of hiring new drivers.
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