August 2012 Newsletter
It's August! Soon we'll be sending the kids back to school, and I'm hoping that in the upcoming school year the Grade 6 students of Ward 14 will help me carry on what I want to become a tradition. On June 25, I presented Claire Mikuska of Willow Park School with the Ward 14 Wordsmith Award in front of Calgary City Council for her essay answering the question, "How Does Municipal Government Affect Me?" All the essays were exceptional, but Claire's stood out especially. Congratulations Claire! I can't wait to be impressed again next year.
There's another tradition that I'd like to carry on, but this time with a twist. Last summer my Community Pancake Breakfast was a big hit, even in the pouring rain. This year M&M Meat Shops will be serving up burgers and my fingers are crossed that Sept. 22 will be warm and sunny for my Ward 14 Communities BBQ. It will be in the southeast corner of the Southcentre Mall parking lot, near the CIBC, just like last year. Please come and help me raise awareness for Ward 14's Community Associations and make a donation to the Calgary Food Bank between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
You may have heard me advise you to call 3-1-1 for one reason or another. There's a reason for that. It's a great service! The 3-1-1 system receives requests from a population of over a million people and gets it right the vast majority of the time. But just because a juicy and delicious burger at my Ward 14 Communities BBQ will taste amazing, doesn't mean I won't have some condiments to add a little extra flavor. By that I mean that 3-1-1 is a great service, but it can be better. Here's an example. The names have been changed to protect the innocent (well, actually it's sort of hypothetical, but it describes my concerns about 3-1-1 very accurately). A man called 3-1-1 about 3 weeks ago to report a pothole. It hasn't been fixed! So he calls 3-1-1 again and gives the operator his Service Request number. The operator tells him that his Service Request has been closed, to which he replies "how could that be? I'm standing in the pothole right now."
I am serious! This happens from time to time. The reason is that once 3-1-1 has directed the request to the appropriate department, it is up to the department to close the request based on the criteria they have defined for closing a request. In the June 25 meeting of Calgary City Council, I proposed that a plan of action be developed to optimize and define how Service Requests are handled in the departments. My hope was that 3-1-1 will be able to work efficiently and seamlessly with all of the departments to ensure that a Service Request is closed only when the problem is resolved. The motion was carried and I am looking forward to seeing what improvements arise as a result.
With all this talk about 3-1-1, I want to make it clear that if you ever have any issue with the 3-1-1 system or anything else with regards to The City of Calgary's operation I am here to listen to your concerns. In fact, interacting with the people of Ward 14 is my favorite part of my job. So feel free to contact me anytime at 403-268-1653 or contact my office.
Goodbye for now!