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LETTER: Impact of street name change will 'ripple out in all directions'

'Council is not just wasting your time, as city staff will be tasked with changing street signs, directional signage, maps, and all of the databases that contain your street address.'
letter-sta

Re: "Council votes for public engagement over city names," The Gazette, Dec. 8.

You are now facing the dreaded task of notifying parties that must be made aware of an address change. You have listed all the parties that should be notified: post office, federal agencies, provincial agencies, utilities, financial institutions, credit card companies, streaming services, reward programs, magazine subscriptions, employer, professional associations, friends, relatives, and many more.

Your mind drifts as you search the Internet for the addresses of the notification recipients. You ask yourself what you did to deserve this onerous task. And then you realize you did nothing. It was your municipal council that decided to change your address and you are now a victim of that decision.

You realize this affliction extends beyond wasting your time and energy as you will soon be out of pocket. You as a taxpayer will be saddled with paying for the consultant who proposed the renaming of your street. Yes, taxpayers will shell out $325,000 to the consultant who led to your street being selected for a change of name.

Council is not just wasting your time, as city staff will be tasked with changing street signs, directional signage, maps, and all of the databases that contain your street address. The city, too, will have a list of parties it must notify of this change.

You were hoping the dead tree on your boulevard or the burned-out street lamp on the corner would be replaced by the city. But really, what is more important?

The parties you are notifying will also have their staff update their databases and records. They, too, will have parties they must notify. Some will even ask you to compensate them for the onerous administrative task you have set upon them. After all, you can’t expect the post office to redirect your mail for free.

You see, just like dropping a stone in a pond, the impact of your street name change will ripple out in all directions.

What imperative led to this necessity? Well, the name on your street was deemed to be offensive. One of your councillors was so offended by your street’s name it just had to be changed. The councillor also believed there could be more offensive street names out there, so they needed a consultant to review every city street name so the offensive names could be rid from our community. No expense or effort is too great when you are trying to root out offensive street names.

We will forever be grateful to the councillor who initiated this review and for spending our time, energy, and resources on this unnecessary and onerous task.

Tom Cooper, St. Albert