Author Archives: patlorje
Hello- Welcome to the Spring-time edition of my newsletter. I had hoped to get this posted a little earlier, but things were very hectic after the city decided to suspend back alley garbage collection, so my best-laid plans went awry. In any case, I hope you will still find it relevant to hear about some of the decisions City Council made on your behalf this past month.
And now on to my March report:
Welcome to the February edition of my newsletter, City Council Matters. Due to the annual SUMA convention, Council only met once in February. SUMA stands for Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association, and their convention is an opportunity for elected municipal representatives to get together with colleagues from other cites to share experiences, problems and solutions. This year, the councils of Regina and Saskatoon tried something different and actually got together separately as well. This was an interesting experience. It really convinced all of us that while our cities may be different, our challenges are the same. Both Regina and Saskatoon are facing numerous complaints about snow removal, both worry about how to pay for and fix the roads, and both are facing pressures due to unprecedented growth. So much for the Saskatoon/Regina rivalry!
Welcome to the first edition of my newsletter for 2013. This is my choice of the most interesting items from the previous month’s Council decisions. I try to write these newsletters so that you can pick and choose which items you might find interesting by just checking out the topic summary of each point. However, it takes about 5 or 6 hours for me to wade through the 500 plus pages of Council minutes and write a summary for my pick of the top-ten decisions. So I apologize in advance for the length of my newsletters.
Welcome to the August 2012 edition of my e-newsletter. Since it’s summertime, City Council only met once this month. It was a relatively short meeting (only 2 ½ hours!), so there’s not a lot to report this time around. However, I’ve tried to pick out a few items that might have relatively wide-spread interest, and if you have any questions, comments, or want further follow-up on any items, please let me know.
Hello and welcome to the July edition of my semi-regular newsletter, called Council Matters.
Remember that old saying “time flies when you’re having fun”? Well, it seems time flies even more quickly when I’m super busy. I’ve been preoccupied these past few weeks with a lot of civic projects, guests from out-of-town, and of course, citizen complaints. Every rain fall brings fresh concerns about the state of our alleys. Every bit of sunshine, scarce though it is this summer, brings more complaints about dandelions or unmowed grass. And the rain means we can’t seem to get ahead of the potholes, and on and on.
With the obvious exception of potentially major controversial items such as a curb-side recycling program, most of the decisions City Council makes on a routine basis are pretty hum-drum and boring. While they are very important to the people most directly affected by the decision (for instance, subdivision applications), they don’t have a lot of appeal for most people. And that’s been especially true the last two Council meetings. I was hard-pressed to find ten general-interest decision items from the April 16th meeting, and the April 30th meeting was even more routine and uninspiring (again, with a couple obvious exceptions). So that’s why I’m rolling two reports into one, and posting a summary of the Top Ten Decision Items for both meetings in April. And I will post just one Council Matters report in May as well- I’ve heard from some of you that one newsletter a month is enough to keep you interested in the decisions of City Council.
Hello everyone: In my posting, I asked for feed-back about the possibility of holding a plebiscite vote this fall regarding the replacement Art Gallery. The results are very clear. By a vote of almost 90%, people told me there is no need to hold a plebiscite vote. I am not sure if this means overwhelming endorsement for the need to build a new art gallery to fit the needs of a growing metropolitan city, or if it’s a recognition that the plebiscite process is cumbersome, unwieldy and unnecessary in this situation. Regardless, as they say, the people have spoken and I thank you very much for your input.
Spoiler Alert: If you only want to read upbeat, positive content, please skip my first point below. The decision to allow hundreds of apartments to be built in Montgomery put me in a bad mood, and I’m not going to sugar coat it. I know some people believe politicians should always take the high road and accept decisions they disagree with. Well, not on this one. But hey, if you like to read my newsletters to find a reason to growl at me, this is the one for you!
Our latest City Council meeting (February 27th) was full of a lot of weighty decisions, but not much “street appeal”. If you love numbers, and care passionately about the state of our city’s finances, this was the meeting for you. However, if you’re looking for light reading, or news about quirky decision items, you might want to skip this report! Some of it will be repetitive since I’ve reported on many of these decisions in earlier postings. However, since they effect the bottom line (that is, they have an impact on your property tax dollars) I figured they were worth repeating.
Welcome to my second e-newsletter for 2012. As usual, I am providing my choice of the Top Ten decision items from the last City Council meeting, which was held on February 6th. What is a bit unusual is that I am re-naming these e-newsletters to better reflect what I hope to share with you. I always felt that calling them “Council Reports” sounded a bit stiff and formal. I have decided to re-name my musings “Council Matters”.