Airdrie City council votes to form new Public School Liaison Committee
By: Christina Waldner
| Posted: Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 10:28 am
Airdrie City council unanimously voted to create a new Public School Liaison Committee at their regular meeting on Aug. 5. The committee will bring together representatives from the council and each of the three school boards in Airdrie.
City Manager Paul Schulze told council the impetus for creating the new committee was a meeting the City held with the three school boards on June 10. Topics discussed at that meeting included how to deal with the tremendous growth in Airdrie and how to improve communication between the City and the boards.
“The community’s growth effects the city and infrastructure. We’re only allowed to take 10 per cent of the developer’s land for school and park purposes,” said Schulze. “So when you grow fast and you have three public boards all having growth in their student populations, it becomes very challenging in how you allocate lands and dollars and plan for it in the appropriate locations in the city.”
The new committee will include two representatives from City council as well as two each from the Rocky View Schools Board, the Calgary Catholic School Board and the board that oversees École Francophone d’Airdrie.
Mayor Peter Brown and Alderman Kelly Hegg were elected to be the representatives from Airdrie City council.
Brown attended the June meeting and said, “I saw it as an opportunity for all of us to get together and figure out where we’re going together, because if we don’t, the infrastructure dollars aren’t there. We need to work sharper, we need to be smarter, we need to come up with some collaborative approaches to development.”
The first meeting of the new Public Schools Liaison Committee will take place on Sept. 17. Schulze said their first task will be to develop some guiding principles.
“The initial thought was, why don’t we all get together in a room and develop some high-level guiding principles and see where that takes us,” he explained.
“Hopefully, we can come up with some creative ways to deal with some of these issues.
Brown agreed and said he is looking forward to getting the committee together on Sept. 17.
“What we realized is we can work better together on a political basis as well as an administrative one. We really don’t share budgets,” he said.
“We need to be more creative with what we have.”
Colleen Munro, chair of the RVS Board of Trustees, said she was delighted by council’s decision.
“When municipal governments can work together to look after the needs of students both now and in the future, it’s a win for all parties involved,” she said.
“It’s great to see that the City of Airdrie has moved forward with it.”