February 2018 Newsletter
Hello Ward 14!
February is the month where I really find the rhythm of the new year. Schedules have been jumbled, there are new faces around the table, and then the chaos of the holidays. It is good to have things settling down and feeling normal again.
Counciltalk is back for another term!
Sometimes City Hall can be crazy, so getting back in the Counciltalk routine is something I am happy to do. Counciltalk keeps me grounded. It keeps me accountable. It keeps me in touch with the people in Ward 14, and I sincerely hope it shows that I AM listening.
For those of you in Douglasdale, McKenzie Lake, or who are just not familiar, Counciltalk began on January 14, 2012 at the Parkland Community Hall. I was just over a year into my first term on Council, and I was testing this new way to engage with my ward. We sat around a table where people told me their concerns. We had a thoughtful discussion about the future of Calgary.
Since then I have made a few minor tweaks, but the concept has remained the same. Residents of Ward 14 have been joining me regularly to engage in meaningful dialogue. The location rotates from month-to-month, but remains close to home for those who wish to attend. It has even been imitated by other Councillors!
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Please join me on Saturday, February 3 for what will be the first Counciltalk of 2018, AND the first Counciltalk in Douglasdale. We will be meeting at the Eaglequest Golf Course (7 Douglas Woods Drive S.E.). You can drop in at any time between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. It should be easy to find, just go in the main doors, and straight to the end of the hall. There will be coffee and donuts for you.
Useful Mobile Apps
I am the first to admit that I am not computer, tablet, or even smartphone savvy, but I do know just how useful they can be. The City has developed many time saving mobile apps, and I am certain there are more in store. But I want to focus on a few that have really improved the level of service we are able to provide the people of Calgary.
The first is one that was brought to my attention by my beautiful wife. It is the "Calgary Garbage Day" app, and it features your garbage, recycling, and compost collection schedules automatically retrieved for you. All you need to do is type in your address. You can set a reminder through the app, you can get a calendar, or even set up text message and email reminders by typing in your address at calgary.ca/collection.
The second is a favorite of one of my staff - one who uses transit more than I do. It is the "Calgary Transit" app, and it is a must for transit users. The days of calling the stop number on your local stop sign to find the pre-set schedule for your bus are now over. When you open the app it will automatically show you nearby buses and train stations, along with their next three departure times. You can set favorite routes, plan and compare trip routes, and view where your bus is. Most importantly though, all of this is now in REAL-TIME, so you can accurately schedule your day. It makes me very happy to see that we have made this simple step to enhance the massive investment we make in transit!
The third is one of my favourite projects. That is partly because it stems from my 311 Notice of Motion. It is the "Calgary 311" app, and those familiar with 311 should not be surprised by what it is - a tool to submit 311 requests. What it adds is location tagging that helps the City find the problem, uploaded photos that help diagnose the problem, and a list of recent submissions that helps users see if the problem has already been dealt with.
Not only do these apps help users, they have all had the benefit of making things work more efficiently at the City. You can find them, and a few others, at calgary.ca/mobileapps. I highly recommend you take a look.
Have Your Say About Parks and Pathways
The rules that govern parks and pathways in Calgary have not been updated for nearly 15 years. The Parks and Pathway Bylaw was last reviewed in 2003. With things like segways, and drones becoming popular, it is time to review those rules.
We want to understand your vision for parks in Calgary and capture all the opportunities and issues that affect park users. This input will help determine how the Parks Bylaw should change to make park experiences better for everyone. Is there anything you want to change in our parks? Do you have any ideas on how we can reduce user conflicts in parks?
From February 1st through 28th we will be collecting feedback from Calgarians. To share your thoughts please visit www.engage.calgary.ca/parksbylaw or call 311.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me about these, or any other City-related topics. Until next month.
- Councillor Peter Demong