My Response to the Auditor's Report on City Productivity & Performance

On Friday September 18, City Council’s Audit Committee will discuss the City Productivity and Performance Audit (pages 49-126 found here).  This report includes many concerning findings. Of note, since 2017, the City’s workforce budget has increased by 232 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions, and personnel costs have increased by $63M.  There has been a shift to supervising smaller groups, towards more managers and fewer front line workers.

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City Council's Sanction Hearings & Code of Conduct: Change Is Needed

Some thoughts ahead of Wednesday’s Council meeting where we will discuss the Integrity Commissioner’s report on recent Code of Conduct complaints.

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July 2020: Covid-19, City Budget & Terwillegar Drive

On March 13, 2020, City Council declared a State of Local Emergency in Edmonton in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, and that is where a profoundly unprecedented time began in Edmonton.  

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LRT Investments are Coming: What Should City Council Do?

 

On Monday, June 1, City Council will determine what the next extension priority is for the LRT network.  

There are two options:  1) extend the Metro Line north, from Blatchford to northwest Edmonton; or 2) extend the Capital Line South, across Anthony Henday Drive to Ellerslie Road, and possibly to the new hospital site in Rutherford.

Why now? 

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Covid-19 & Edmonton's Road to Recovery

By now you have a new routine.  You’re working from home, your kids are home with you, you want to get back to work, to see your parents or your grandkids, to have a glass of wine on a patio or get back in the gym.  Maybe you’re a little anxious or a lot worried.  Chances are that you’re concerned about your job, your mortgage, your business, your finances, your bills, your taxes.  

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Covid-19 & Impacts to the City

Like me, you are probably overwhelmed with all of the Covid-19 information coming at you, the constant press conferences, advice to exercise physical distancing, to self-isolate, to watch for symptoms. 

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Residential Speed Limit Reductions Won't Actually Fix the Problem

On February 26, 2020, the Community & Public Services Community will have another conversation about roads with an emphasis on reduced speed limits. This proposal is to reduce all residential speed limits to 40 kph, or reduce limits in core neighbourhoods to 30 kph, or both.  Either approach would require millions of dollars to put up thousands of signs.

I don’t support either idea.

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Let’s Get Out of Our Own Way & Out of the Way of Business: What To Do With City Owned Land

On February 24, City Administration will present a report to Council recommending that the City continue to service and sell suburban land through our Land Enterprise Development Program.  I do not support this.

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2019 Budget Update & Year End

It has been a very busy year, particularly since the Government of Alberta released their budget in October. As I’ve mentioned in the past (found in blogs here, here and here), the provincial budget reductions were not a surprise, and I expect that there will likely be more cuts in the spring. 

 

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Edmonton Budget 2019: Where is the Money Going to Come From?

 

On Thursday Dec 5, Council held a Public Hearing ahead of the budget discussions Dec 11-13.  We heard from community serving agencies, the business community, and ordinary citizens. We heard from those with requests for financial support and those who insist that our spending decisions should be re-examined.

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