Last couple weeks + Regular Council Meeting February 4, 2019
Last couple weeks
It was strange this week not having a Council meeting on Monday - We’re too efficient, so there wasn’t enough on the agenda to make a meeting with all of Council and many from Administration worthwhile! We still kept busy, though:
“Read for 15” at the St. Albert Public Library
One of my favourite parts of this job is being invited to speak with students or read to groups of kids. Last week, Mayor Heron and I were invited to read to the bilingual storytime at the St. Albert Library (I read in French, she did not! ;) - we had a blast reading and singing with all the kids!
Environmental Advisory Committee
The EAC had its first meeting of the year, and we were honoured to host air quality experts from the province who explained the importance of air quality monitoring, St. Albert’s air quality monitoring, and measures that we can take to impact local air quality.
Edmonton Chamber of Commerce “Provincial Leadership Series - A Conversation with Hon. Rachel Notley”
A few of us were able to make it out to this Chamber event featuring Premier Notley. It was a great opportunity to connect with the provincial, municipal, and business leaders that we work with regularly.
Servus Credit Union Place Fund Development Policy
Since we already have a policy related to fund development for the whole city, not just Servus Place, Administration is recommending that we rescind a Servus-specific policy. This applies to donations, naming facilities, etc. My only concern is that the Servus-specific policy includes guidelines for facility naming, which don’t seem to be present anywhere else (our “Naming” policy explicitly excludes purchased naming rights) - I don’t want us to sell facility naming rights in perpetuity, for example, so I’ve ask Administration to clarify how we would handle this kind of situation without the current policy.
Council Remuneration Policy Amendment
Our remuneration policy is being updated to reflect federal changes to taxation for municipal elected officials. Up until 2019, 1/3 of Council’s salary was tax-free, but this is no longer the case, so this item will clean up the policy.
Backyard Hens - Land Use Bylaw (Public Hearing) - 2nd/3rd reading
We passed the Bayard Hen bylaw unanimously on January 7; These are the housekeeping updates to the Land Use Bylaw that make everything official.
Highlights of the Hen/Land Use bylaws:
No roosters allowed!
Maximum of 4 hens/household
No home slaughtering!
Coops/runs have to be kept tidy
No selling eggs!
Coops only allowed in rear yards
Licences are required ($40/year/household)
Collaboration on Extended Producer Responsibility
“EPR stands for Extended Producer Responsibility. Simply put, EPR shifts the costs of managing recyclable materials from municipalities to producers. This starts with a mandate to producers through provincial legislation. Full EPR moves financial AND operational responsibility to producers. (City of Calgary, 2019)”
Across the province, municipalities are struggling with changes to the recycling market, so this motion - That we collaborate with other Alberta municipalities, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, producers and recyclers of packaging and paper products, and the Province of Alberta to develop a baseline for an Extended Producer Responsibility plan - is to start addressing the cost of waste. This fits in with the Council direction from earlier in the month directing Administration to come up with a waste reduction strategy, so my questions to Admin will revolve around how this could be combined with the related report they are already preparing.
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.