Pit politics: MLA and councillor get into dust up over gravel quarry
The West Springs north gravel pit hasn't just caused a stir of noise and dirt for residents whose properties back directly on the site but is now a political turf war
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Residents angry about a lingering gravel pit in the city's southwest say their provincial and municipal leaders should stick to action, instead of throwing (metaphorical) stones online.
On Tuesday, an online political spat flared up between MLA Deborah Drever and newly-elected Coun. Jeff Davison, both of whom represent the area around the gravel pit. Both have recently taken credit for action on the controversial quarry—while disparaging the other.
The fight culminated with Drever accusing Davison of "bullying" in a tweet.
"I expect better from a city councillor, if you would like to know all the work that is being done with the gravel operations, all you have to do is pick up a phone and call my office. You haven't reached out once," Drever tweeted Tuesday.
Residents have been airing concerns about noise and dust levels at the West Springs north gravel pit for more than eight months. The gravel is needed for Southwest Ring Road construction.
Last week, Davison tweeted that measures were being taken by Alberta Transportation to address residents' concerns, and he'd hold the provincial department to their promise.
Then, on Tuesday, Drever took to Twitter, stating that the fixes were a year in the making, thanks to her own office.
Area resident Mack Kay, who said he's become quite familiar with gravel pits since one became his neighbour, and says he wishes his political representatives would focus on fixes.
His wife, Lenore Kay, said she was also "disappointed" by the online sparring. "What it appears like is they're trying to take credit but our problems are not solved."
Drever told Metro that after officials visited the gravel pit, a fourth air quality and noise monitor was put up Tuesday.
"Our office has done a number of things to make sure things are running smoothly," said Drever. "Today I went down to the gravel pit, and we talked about noise monitoring ... we actually moved the three noise air quality monitors."
Drever added trees were also planted along the berm to help with the dust, which was a suggestion from constituents. She wants residents to feel they are getting an accurate reading.
"For Councillor Jeff Davison to put out that he's done all this work with one meeting is disingenuous, and that's why I said something about it," she said.
Davison said it's annoying that Drever is throwing him under the bus when she could be out on the ground advocating for her residents.
"Frankly, it's not my job to drive the solution, I'm happy to do it, but it's hers," Davison said. "The back and forth, no, it's absolutely not helpful. To be clear, there are solutions that aren't reached yet...that might take a little while to get to the right solution, but she's nowhere to be found."
Davison said his office isn't getting communication on what Drever is doing to help, while Drever said she hasn't heard responses from Davison's office.