As it seemingly has since I took the role of Ward 14 Alderman, time has flown by this year. The only reason I can come up with for time having passed so rapidly, is a combination of having my schedule packed full and a passion for the work. 2013 is moving quickly, and that brings us to March...
In my travels as Alderman, I frequently find myself at Community Association Board meetings. It is important to me that the volunteers on these boards, who know their communities inside out, can turn and chat directly to me if they have any issues. This very thing happened in January. It seems that a number of people in the communities surrounding Bow Bottom Trail have been noticing a wafting sewage odour.
The waste water treatment plant is the likely culprit, but without detailed evidence the Water Services Department cannot be certain. As a Ward we all need to help in the investigation. I encourage anyone who notices the odour to contact 311 and request that someone be sent out to investigate. It is important that you be as descriptive as possible when you are speaking to the 311 staff, because as I'm sure we can all appreciate, finding the origin of an odour on a windy day can be a difficult task. Make sure that the operator records exactly when and where you smelled the odour, as well as where you think it is coming from.
Soon Calgarians will be able to send these details to 311 from their mobile phone with the 311 app. You may have seen this in the Metro newspaper in January, and as you may be aware from my 311 response to citizen service requests notice of motion, I am a huge believer in how valuable a tool the 311 system can be. The planned release date for the 311 mobile app is the end of March, so keep an eye on calgary.ca/mobileapps to get connected with 311 all the time. I am hopeful that this new app will enhance the citizens' experience in reporting city related issues as well as improve the efficiency of the city's response to requests.
February saw another great Aldertalk session. The debate was lively and our discussion ran the gamut from playground zones to property tax. The next session will be held at the Mid-Sun Community Centre (50 Midpark Rise S.E.) on March 23rd from Noon to 2 p.m. You can find a description of Aldertalk at calgary.ca/aldertalk along with a listing of upcoming Aldertalk sessions.
March 27th will be a big day in my office. Up until that day, I will be receiving a flood of essays from Grade Six students in Ward 14. Students will be submitting the essays in an effort to become the winner of the second edition of the Ward 14 Wordsmith Awards and a trip for their class to City Hall where the winner's essay will be read, by me, in front of City Council (and on TV)! This year students will be answering the question "Why should I care about Municipal Government?" It is one of my favourite projects that I have taken on as an Alderman, because it gives me the opportunity to increase awareness of two things that are very important to me - Democracy and Municipal Government.
Please don't ever hesitate to contact me if you have comments, concerns, ideas, or insights. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 403-268-1653. Happy March!
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.