Calgary’s city council has raised the hackles of the mayor by voting to add two more elected officials to the board of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.
For the past seven years, Mayor Naheed Nenshi has been the sole council representative on the board of the city agency overseeing the redevelopment of East Village and Victoria Park.
But some on council, including Coun. Evan Woolley, say with plans for developing an entertainment district in the works — which could include a new arena — along with expanding the BMO Centre, it’s too much for just the mayor to handle.
Woolley says the move is just ensuring good governance.
“Having only one member of council, and the mayor is a powerful voice as a member of council, but having just one voice doesn’t give us the breadth of perspective and opinion, both on that board and again, back to council in terms of the work that we’re undertaking,” he said.
Nenshi says the matter was not well communicated to the CMLC board and will likely concern its members.
“The danger here is that overloading this board with council members runs the risk of the perception of CMLC being a slush fund for people’s pet projects,” he said.
“The board won’t allow that to happen and the shareholder, which is council, won’t allow that to happen — but I can’t understand why we would put ourselves in that position anyway. That, and the whole thing was very badly mishandled.”
Who the two new councillors will be hasn’t been decided yet.
“The CMLC is working on a lot of incredible projects and a lot of really important projects, and I think there will be interest from many of my colleagues,” said Woolley.
“These are big, important decisions for council and I think it’s incumbent on us to have a diversity of perspective there.”
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