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Couns. Woolley, Farkas push for delay on Calgary arena vote

Two Calgary councillors are now hoping to push a potential vote on the new Rivers District Event Centre to the end of September.

In a letter to the City Manager, Glenda Cole, Coun. Evan Woolley thanked city administration for all the work they’d put into the new calgary event centre proposal, but suggested the extension would be best for public consultation.

“There are many good components in the terms and conditions. The process in which the terms and conditions were brought to Council and the limited time for review is disappointing,” the letter reads.  

Event Centre Letter to City Manager July 25, 2019 by Darren Krause on Scribd

“I believe that a short and meaningful engagement period is fair and appropriate and will allow citizens and Council the adequate time to review and consider the terms and conditions.”

Council did direct administration back in March 2019 to develop a proper public engagement plan on any potential Calgary event centre deal.

When the proposal was delivered to city council Monday, they were informed that there would be a seven-day window to receive public comments.

A vote on the current proposal is now expected on Tuesday.

Woolley wants the negotiating team to make the formal request to Calgary Sports and Entertainment and provide a response to council on July 30. He’d also like to see a “Council directed engagement plan” brought to the Sept. 5 Event Centre Assessment Committee and that final consideration be taken to council by Sept. 30.

Ward 11 councillor Jeromy Farkas added his name to the list of councillors hoping for a delay in the vote. He also sent a letter to the city manager Thursday.

Farkas, who is councillor for the Victoria Park area, reiterated many of the same concerns as Woolley.

“I am duty bound to bring to your attention my reasonable concern that a final and rushed decision on the proposed terms and ditions – without complying with the engagement policies or fulfilling the aforementioned commitment to engage Calgarians – may expose City Council and Administration to reputational, financial or legal risks,” Farkas wrote.