Edmonton Minute: Crime Problem, Final Meetings, and Bike Lane Chaos
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
Edmonton City Council will meet on Monday from 9:30 am until 6:30 pm to discuss, amongst other things, an amendment to the City face covering bylaw, as well as candidate interviews for the Edmonton Police Commission. The amendment to the face covering bylaw will force Council to review (but not necessarily rescind) the bylaw, if COVID-19 cases are less than 100 in 100,000 and the provincial government has repealed their mandate.
Fall budget adjustment deliberations are scheduled to continue on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 am with no adjournment time given. These will be the last City Council meetings of the year.
- In one of the many Christmas-related events around Edmonton, the Muttart Conservatory will be hosting cellist Christine Hanson and harpist Keri-Lynn Zwicker to play seasonal music under the pyramids this coming Sunday. If you attend, you can also participate in planting activities where you'll get to take a plant home with you!
Last Week In Edmonton:
Police Chief Dale McFee said that Edmonton "has a crime problem" and said any further cuts to the police budget would directly impact frontline services. A $5.5 million reduction in funding is planned for 2022. The Chief said that an increase in crime severity in and around downtown and transit centres has Edmontonians calling for more police presence in those areas.
- Speaking of budgets, Lorne Gunter noted the increasing paradox at City Hall where departments where demand has crashed (such as Transit), receive increased budgets, while departments where demand has increased (such as the Police, thanks to increased crime) see budget cuts. It should also be noted that the number of middle managers at the City of Edmonton has risen by 23% in 4 years and the value of contracts paid to consultants has increased by 32% in 4 years. As Gunter says, the City has gotten side-tracked and forgotten about its core priorities. Frankly, we agree. In fact, that’s why we started Common Sense Edmonton!
- In a comedy of errors, the City, reacting to complaints that drivers were parking across a bike lane on 110 Street near University Avenue, placed small, concrete barriers across the entire lane, preventing not only cars, but also bikes from using the bike lane. The next day the City apologized and removed the barriers. No word on how much this waste of time and effort cost taxpayers, but it's good to have another reminder of the competence of some of the decision-makers at City Hall!
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