Ladysmith’s outgrown its city hall

Nobody likes to agree when their municipal council is jockeying to spend a whole lot of money on new digs.

Nobody likes to agree when their municipal council is jockeying to spend a whole lot of money on new digs. Sewer upgrades? Okay. Water? Alright. Sidewalks, parks, rec. centres, vehicles? Maybe…

But a fancy new palace for your big desks and comfy chairs? Hmm. We better think carefully about that. I mean, isn’t there a closet that can be converted for civic use? What about the basement? You can zone just about anything as office space, can’t you?

Well, no. And if anyone needed convincing that the Town of Ladysmith has outgrown its hall at the Esplanade and Roberts Street, Monday’s council meeting would surely have been a clincher.

The house was packed, mainly due to a contentious development permit application and the annual grants-in-aid debate. Rather than break the fire regulations about how many citizen-sardines could be packed into the joint, council knocked three items off the agenda and invited the people who had come to see the debate, to please go home.

Not a very good advertisement for public participation in the civic decision-making process.

If this was an isolated example, it would be bad enough. But the cramped, stuffy conditions in council chambers at many meetings are not condusive to quality debate – the brain needs oxygen to function properly, after all.

The situation will be helped when video streaming and archiving of council meetings begins – council has already approved that service. Then, those whose idea of a good time is not a middle seat on a packed, skinny airplane, will at least be able to avoid the congestion, while watching others endure it from the comfort of home.

But the real solution is a new municipal hall. Council has bought property on Buller Street and First Avenue that is intended for that purpose. Acquiring the land is only the first step, though; mustering the capital and developing a plan will take time. We just want to say that council and Ladysmith citizens deserve something better than the hall they’ve got.

 

 

Just Posted

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Former junior Cowichan Piggy Doug Fraser joins professional ranks

Fraser grew up in Ladysmith and played junior and senior rugby with Cowichan

Ladysmith Camera Club and Ladysmith and District Credit Union combine forces for calendar

Not one, but two versions produced featuring local photographers and local scenes

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

UPDATE: Gofundme campaign started for wife of victim in double fatal head-on crash

Clifford Bishop, 54, a resident of Cassidy, had been a truck driver since he was 18

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Prolific offender arrested in “dynamic takedown” in Crofton

A 30-year-old Vancouver-area man faces at least six charges after what police… Continue reading

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read