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Olds council tables art policy decision to April

"Council is going to get either congratulated or beat up," said Olds Coun. Mary Anne Overwater

OLDS — After a lengthy discussion, council tabled a decision on the town’s public art policy until April. 

Meanwhile, a public hearing on a bylaw regarding the policy -- including how murals will be dealt with was held March 22. 

Councillors debated back and forth on whether council should give final approval to prospective public art projects (after the town’s Public Art Advisory Committee has examined it) or allow another authority such as the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) to make that determination.  

Several councillors agreed that in the end, whether the final decision is made by the MPC or by council itself, councillors will be the ones who will be blamed – or praised -- for it. 

“As councillor (Heather) Ryan indicated, at the end of the day, council is going to get either congratulated or beat up, so council might as well have the final authority to say one way or another and just leave it at that,” Coun. Mary Anne Overwater said.  

Coun. Mary Jane Harper suggested tabling the matter to April so that a final version of the policy can be approved after council received input during the March 22 public hearing. Ryan echoed that thought. 

Coun. Wanda Blatz indicated she would just like to see a decision made as efficiently as possible. 

"just don’t want to see this become a 45-day process (for) people who are applying for murals. Then it’s just long and drawn out,” Blatz said. 

“I think that we just need to be very clear what direction we want to go in. I’m good with either way – it's either MPC or it’s council.”