One year in office: We passed the 1-year mark since the 2017 election - It’s been a whirlwind!
Fire & Flower grand opening: Whenever possible, Council welcomes new businesses at grand opening events. Councillor McKay and I were the only members of Council available for this one - And it is only one I’ve attended as Deputy Mayor that included extensive media coverage and the attendance of a long lineup of residents.
Kindness Flash Mob: One of our residents shared a horrific letter that frightened her daughter so badly that they decided to move to a different St. Albert neighbourhood. As stated by Premier Notley, “The attack on this family is beyond upsetting…. there’s no place for racism in Alberta. I’m glad the RCMP is reviewing it & so happy to hear other members of the community are coming together to show they don’t stand with this bigotry.” I was available to attend the “Kindness Flash Mob” organized by neighbouring families in response to the letter and was able to chat with the family to thank them for sharing their story so that the community had an opportunity to rally around them and shine a spotlight on how racism is unwelcome here.
“Understanding Politics”: I was a guest speaker for an adult education class offered through St. Albert Further Education and taught by former-MP and current Edmonton Integrity Commissioner Brent Rathgeber. (This class was sold-out, but I’d keep an eye for the next one - I listened for a while and it was fascinating!)
Annual Organizational Meeting (5:30pm)
Every year, Council is required to set our meeting and Deputy Mayor schedule for the next year. This year, it’s proposed that our Council meetings (3X/month) continue to start at 3pm, but that our Governance, Priorities and Finance Committee (GPFC) meetings (1X/month) start at 1pm. We’re also proposing to start back about a week earlier in August to accommodate an extra GPFC meeting.
Committee representative will also be appointed for the following year - I’ll continue with the Emergency Management Advisory Committee, Homeland Housing Board, Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework – Recreation Committee with Sturgeon County, Internal Auditor & Internal Audit Steering Committee, IAC Task Force (St. Albert-Sturgeon County), and I’ll take over from Counsellor Hansen on the Environmental Advisory Committee.
This is a continuation of the discussion from our meeting earlier in the month - We are updating out Engineering Standards Design Principles. Related: There is an open house on Tuesday, October 30 where Admin will share the Complete Streets principles and will ask for feedback about plans for St. Albert Trail north, from Boudreau Road/Giroux Road to the northern City limits.
Public Art Policy
Last spring, we agreed to re-jig the funding for public art to reduce administration workload, and we also agreed that the policy should have a mechanism to increase the $220,000 funding cap so we don’t have to manually change the policy as needed. Admin has recommended “a combined calculation of 80% of the Hanscomb Escalation Watch, and 20% of the Municipal Price Index as the method to escalate the public art cap on an annual basis.” (This doesn’t mean that the maximum will be available - the funding is 1% of budgeted municipal capital projects, so it would be lower in slower construction years.)
CMO Presentation of the 2019-21 Business Plan and Budget
Welcome to budget season! In addition to this presentation, we’re hosting a public open house for residents on October 24.
“Administration is proposing a Municipal Operating Budget of $104.4 million, which results in no tax increase in 2019. This is a result of Administration investigating and realizing cost efficiencies resulting in a tax requirement of 1.4%, lower than typical historical tax requirements, which is offset by the implementation of electrical franchise fees in 2018.”
Expressions of Interest for Recreation Facilities
We asked Administration to reach out to builders with potential plans for a new recreation facility, including ice & aquatics. This is confirmation that we’ll see the proposals at our GPFC meeting on November 14.
This is a brief high-level overview of highlights from our meeting agenda, with my personal comments sprinkled in - In no way are my opinions representative of the official direction of council or the City of St. Albert. Please let me know of any typos or errors. As always, I also encourage everyone who is able to tune in the the live-stream of the meeting (3pm here) or attend in-person (3rd floor of St. Albert Place, hang a right getting out of the elevator). You can also register to speak if you have information to present to council. Full agenda packages can be found on the stalbert.ca website.