Edmonton Minute: Budget Adjustments, Edmonton Ecommerce, and a Potential Tax Freeze
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
There's a huge schedule this week at City Hall with City Council meeting all day Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to get through 30+ items. Highlights include an update on Policing covering street checks, body cameras, school resource officers, and responding to social disorder and mental health calls. There will also be Capital and Operating budget adjustments, followed by a number of items Council didn't finish dealing with last week.
- On Tuesday at 9:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Audit Committee. The committee will be considering an Audit of the Social Development branch as well as Part 2 of the City Performance and Productivity audit. There is also a report on the City's overall financial condition, the first page of which reads, "The City's financial condition is not as healthy as it was 20 years ago." Ouch!
- On Thursday at 9:30 am, the Emergency Advisory Committee will receive a verbal report on COVID 19. No other details of this meeting have been provided yet.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- A group of Ritchie residents filed an appeal to the City's Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB), citing lack of consultation and safety concerns regarding a permit granted to the Mustard Seed for a temporary 24-7 homeless shelter operating out of a former warehouse at 99th Street and 75th Avenue. The appeal will be heard on November 26th.
- The City's Business Improvement Areas asked the City to help them create a new e-commerce portal where customers can buy from local businesses online - "Some sort of Edmonton Amazon" they described it as. We're extremely sympathetic to the struggles of small businesses in Edmonton at the moment. However, we also have enough experience of government to think the chances of the City successfully building a new Amazon before Christmas are *ahem*, slim. Plenty of opportunities to flush millions down the drain though!
- Friday the 13th brought some good news for beleaguered Edmonton taxpayers. The City announced that they would be aiming for a zero-percent property tax increase in 2021 for both commercial and residential properties. To freeze taxes, Council will have to find $64 million in savings. We hope they deliver, but we'll believe it when we see it - Council considered and ultimately rejected a zero-percent tax increase last year too...
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