Mediator recommends Katz and City of Edmonton think long term

By Ryan Tumilty
Metro Edmonton
Published: December 17, 2012

When the City of Edmonton and the Katz Group get together with a mediator to try and resolve the Edmonton arena issue, they should focus on their needs - not their bargaining positions.

That is the recommendation of Edmonton lawyer and professional mediator Marla Miller with the Miller Boileau Family Law Group.

"Rather than trying to figure out what people's positions are you try to figure out what their needs and interests are so you get them working towards solutions," said Miller.

Miller, whose works focuses on family law mediation, said she wouldn't want the job, but there are some similarities in the arena negotiations.

"In the end it's just like a family; they want to be able to show up at the same dinner table for many years," she said.

Miller said people have to be willing to find a way to get what they need in different ways that can make everyone happy.

"It can't be a zero sum game, which means it can't be one person wins and one person loses, because then you can't have a sustaining relationship."

After breaking off negotiations, the city and the Katz Group resumed talks last week. The next update is scheduled to come to city council on Jan. 23.