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Editorial: Toboggan debacle avoids crash

opinion editorial stock

You can move mountains with some co-operation and understanding.

Okotoks resident Nevin Jones and the Town of Okotoks came to a resolution after town workers removed a large toboggan hill in the Sheep River Cove area earlier this month which was built by Jones after the massive Christmas snow dump.

It looked like the Town did a Grinch-like move – knocking down a toboggan hill for children and families to enjoy during these self-isolating days of COVID-19.

Complicating the issue was some damage was done to the Jones’ lawn.

What was expected was the typical government response for the removal of the hill – liability issues, concerns about encroachment on Town right-of ways – all realistic reasons.

Then a strange thing happened— the Town owned up to its mistake.

Town CAO Elaine Vincent said the Town had overstepped its boundaries, literally, by going beyond the three-foot right of way in the Jones’ property. She added greater communication in the future is needed.

Regrettably – and predictably – social media went bonkers. Fair comment went by the wayside as visceral and hateful comments were made towards the Town for what was a mistake.

As well, the Town's actions — and some of the social media fallout — received national attention. 

Not exactly putting the community in a positive light. 

Fortunately, the victims in this story – the Jones – kept a much cooler head.

The Town has agreed to pay for the damages. The Jones and the Town are working on an agreement in which some funds will go to a project to help the community.

In fact, Jones praised the Town for its handling of the situation. 

Thanks to communication and the Town owning a problem a positive solution was found to a situation that was going downhill quickly.