Edmonton Minute: Business Fees, Golf Courses, and Freezing Edmonton Police Funding
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
Happy Easter! We hope you had a good weekend, whether you were able to visit with family or not. Given the long weekend, and today being a holiday for many, City Hall only kicks off on Tuesday with an Agenda Review Committee meeting at 8:30 am, followed by a City Council meeting at 9:30 am which includes a massive 54-item agenda. Finally, at 12:15 pm there will be a meeting of the City Manager and City Auditor Performance Evaluation Committee, which will be held In Camera.
- On Wednesday at 9:30 am, there will be an Emergency Advisory Committee meeting, with a verbal report on, you guessed it, COVID-19, followed at 12:15 pm by a City Auditor Recruitment Committee meeting, which has a confidential "update from consultants", and a City Council Public Hearing at 1:30 pm to discuss various zoning amendments.
- Finally, on Friday, in the very likely event that Council doesn't complete the entire 54-item agenda in one day, Tuesday's City Council meeting will continue from 9:30 am. One of the items on the agenda, to be debated on either Tuesday or Friday, is a Business License Fee Waiver the City is proposing for 2021. We'll have more details on this issue for you in a separate email tomorrow.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- The City Auditor proposed 16 ways for the City to find cost savings and generate additional revenues. One of the ideas includes contracting out the operations of three City-owned golf courses. One of our main objectives at Common Sense Edmonton is to have the City focus on "core priorities" and, while there will always be some debate about exactly what those priorities should be, we're pretty sure golf isn't one of them.
- Cleanit Greenit, a composting facility in West Edmonton that we've mentioned before, has been given one year to clean up its act (smell?) by Alberta Environment and Parks. Complaints about the facility, related to groundwater contamination and bad odours, date back about 10 years, with almost 300 complaints being received by the City just last year. For their part, Cleanit Greenit says they've already fixed the issues and the complaints will be proven false.
- The City's Community Safety and Well Being Task Force released a report on Edmonton policing. One recommendation, amongst 14 others, recommends diverting $260 million in police funding towards mental health and other service organizations. Technically, the proposal isn't to cut any police funding, however, simply to freeze funding and divert existing planned increases in the Police budget, but this didn't stop Edmonton Police from opposing the suggestion.
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