Mike Smith wants Delta council and school board to work better together.
As part of his “common sense” platform, the independent candidate for council candidate said that, if elected, he would get council “out of its adversarial mindset to strengthen its relationship with the Delta board of education.”
In a press release issued last week, Smith said the two sides need to work more collaboratively on many issues that benefit kids and residents in general. For example, though Delta parents were successful in convincing the city to participate in the adult crossing guard program, the city and the district have a haphazard agreement on school field use.
He said that rather than attacking the school board as some council candidates appear to be doing in response to the board’s public efforts to get a new multimillion-dollar track at North Delta Secondary School, both sides need to take a different approach and consider school district- and city-owned lands as one, paid for by the same taxpayer.
“There’s a lot of things that intersect but this city council, as usual, is bogged down in politics, rhetoric and posturing, and that has to go. We have to start looking at the Delta school board and the City of Delta’s properties as community assets and community amenities,” Smith said in a press release.
“There’s lots of innovative, outside-the-box ways the two sides can better collaborate rather than each side having a ‘this is my property and that is your land’ approach. And no, it doesn’t mean the city paying for everything. We need new thinking rather than the same, tired lack of leadership and spin.”
Smith said despite statements to the contrary, the Delta council/Delta board of education liaison committee has resulted in very few useful new benefits for the community, even though it meets and communicates regularly.
Smith also said that both sides should also be focusing — as one — on a series of neglected safety issues, including the loss of the school district’s bus service and more consistent traffic and speed enforcement around schools.
“Some schools in North and South Delta are like war zones in the morning. Homeowners living in these areas aren’t too happy either,” he said.
Smith added it would be a good idea to broadcast Delta council committee meetings online, including the council/school board liaison committee.
Smith said he will be speaking about other much-needed changes in the way the City of Delta conducts its business later in the campaign, including having staff and councillors get back in touch with residents by having conversations with neighbourhoods throughout Delta.
“It’s amazing how many issues you can solve and work out by giving residents their voices back and including them in the discussion,” he said.