Edmonton Minute: Rebranded Agency, Budget Planning, and More Bike Lanes
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- There will be a City Council meeting this morning at 9:30 am. On the agenda are a number of public reports, including a strategic plan update for End Poverty Edmonton. The organization was recently subject to controversy when it was revealed that it had not accomplished much, could not show what impact it was making on poverty reduction, didn't have a way to measure success, and lacked transparent reporting and governance. Actually, that sounds like most of the City government. Administration will also report back on their jurisdictional scan of police funding that assessed funding models of police forces in comparable jurisdictions.
On Tuesday , there will be an Agenda Review Committee meeting at 9:00 am, followed by a Council Services Committee meeting at 9:30 am. On the agenda for the latter meeting are two items closed to the public - a Labour Relations update as well as a discussion of the attendance of Councillors' staff during in-camera items. Also on Tuesday, at 1:30 pm, there will be a City Council Public Hearing to deal with some land use amendments as well as the single-use items bylaw that was postponed from the last meeting. If you haven’t yet signed our "Stop the Plastic Ban" petition opposing Council’s meddling in your everyday life, you can do so here. You can also attend the meeting and make your opinion known.
- On Friday, there will be a Non-Regular City Council Meeting at 9:30 am to discuss budget planning for the upcoming four-year budget cycle. Most of the meeting will be held in-camera. We’re certainly concerned about the amount of money being spent by Council and will be keeping a close eye on the budget.
Last Week In Edmonton:
The Urban Planning Committee voted to add 100 kilometres of bike lanes - and $170 million in spending to pay for it. Currently, there are only 15 kilometres of bike lanes in the city, but Councillor Janz said voters made it clear in the last election that more were wanted. Final approval of the expenditure will occur this fall during budget debates.
- Businesses in the downtown centre raised concerns about safety and cleanliness in the area. The Downtown Recovery Coalition - a 25-person steering committee - is calling for downtown to be a priority for all levels of government, with a short-term focus on increased police presence, sidewalk washing, general cleanliness, and garbage pickup.
- The City rebranded one of its agencies. Edmonton Unlimited is the new name of Innovate Edmonton, an agency set up almost two years ago to operate at arms-length from Council with $5 million a year in funding. Edmonton Unlimited is developing a new headquarters at Jasper Avenue and 101 Street and absorbing other organizations including Startup Edmonton. Hopefully the new organization's budget won't be unlimited...?
Common Sense Edmonton doesn't accept any government funding and never will. We think you should be free to choose, for yourself, which organizations to support. If you're in a position to contribute financially, you can make a donation here.
If you're not in a position to donate, we understand, but if you appreciate our work, you can help by spreading our message. Please email this post to your friends, share it on Facebook or Twitter, and help make sure every Edmontonian knows what's really going on at City Hall.