Ward 6 is impacted by everything that happens at City Hall. This is why citizens in the ward deserve a strong representative — not just on ward issues, but on all issues. Here are a few of the areas that will make up my workplan as your Councillor:
A working regional model – one that balances the costs and benefits of growth and ensures that provincial investment into our region is balanced and fair. Province grants for housing, for policing and for infrastructure currently ignore Edmonton’s burden in the region. This must change.
A Big City Charter must be put in place to ensure Edmonton has a tool kit that reflects our economic role in the province. This isn’t necessarily about new taxes. It starts with streamlining processes — building inspections and assessments, for example — to reduce duplication, bureaucracy and city costs.
It must also mean that Edmonton is finally provided provincial grants on a formula that recognizes Edmonton’s role as the major provider of roadways, social services, culture and recreation for an entire region.
Green initiatives make both fiscal and environmental sense. Investment in more energy efficient design, emphasis on public transit, making it easier to work, live and shop in well designed communities. These things not only lessen our impact on the environment, but on our collective wallet as well.
Arts and Culture
Edmonton distinguishes itself with Western Canada’s best arts and culture scene. We need to maintain investment levels in the Edmonton Arts Council. We must also consider the recommendations of the Mayor’s Arts Visioning Committee, something I was an active participant in. It calls for more partnerships involving the arts and business communities.
The city can act as a facilitator and advocate in this regard. Arts and culture are critical to a vibrant city and economy.
I am a fan and supporter of Edmonton’s arts scene. My commitment is to work with leaders in the arts and business sectors to ensure our artists, musicians, actors and writers can thrive in a growing and dynamic local scene.
The city currently funds an Office of Public Engagement. My concern is that the civic service needs a culture shift to recognize the citizenry as more than a customer base.
Serving the citizens is just that — a public service and a calling. Engaging the public constantly, politely and as partners must be the goal of every civil servant and City Councillor.
As your Councillor, I want to raise the bar high on consultation. I was a communicator for 30 years. I believe strongly in two-way conversations as a way to build relationships and great ideas.
I will build an email list of citizens in Ward 6 and send regular news from City Hall. My goal will be to inform people of the rationale for decisions.
But long before decisions are made it will be my goal to give residents a heads up about coming issues, as well as a chance to speak their voice and their ideas.
I commit to staying engaged. I will host monthly coffee meetings in the Ward and often bring an “expert” with me, be it a city planner or private developer. Meetings with community league boards are a given, but I’d like to reach beyond them and into the residents of those communities. Therefore, I plan to continue door knocking, to meet you in your homes so you can get to know me and I can get to know you.
Together, we will build this into the Ward of choice in Edmonton — a dynamic, yet safe and friendly neighbourhood of neighbourhoods.