Events at the Aug. 19 City council meeting left us concerned that council is overlooking the need to assist local agencies that provide valuable services to the community in favour of higher-profile projects that offer a financial benefit to the municipality.
Airdrie and District Victim Assistance Society (ADVAS) presented to council the findings of a study, which found the organization had tripled its case load from 2013 to 2018. See story on page 2.
Though ADVAS was not there to ask for funding, council appeared unenthusiastic about that potential outcome – a sharp contrast to its response to a presentation from the Airdrie Turf Field Project Society (see story on page 1), which resulted in an unsolicited suggestion to increase City funding and a motion directing staff to attempt to usher the project along.
We aren’t questioning the value of the turf field project, but it seems councillors are playing favourites when it comes to doling out tax dollars.
The turf field is clearly an enticing project, with the potential to generate an economic boost to both local businesses and the City. The benefits from ADVAS, on the other hand, speak more to the health of citizens and are difficult to measure in dollars.
However, according to the province, victims of crime can suffer long-term physical or emotional effects as a result of that trauma. And RCMP states victim services play a critical role in reducing the harmful impacts of victimization and re-victimization.
The City does not have unlimited funds, but we implore council to assess the true value of a local organization asking for help.