April 2012 Newsletter
Aldertalk - a low-cost, people friendly solution which is working well
As you may know, after consultation with many of you, I decided that the annual large open houses commonly held each year were costing a great deal of your money to host, and unfortunately sometimes had as many paid City staff attending as there were constituents. Besides that, I want to be able to meet with constituents informally more than once year. So, I came up with the idea of Aldertalk once a month instead. This consists of me holding a two to three hour face-to-face with you at a local community association each month, taking your questions and concerns and getting to know more of you personally, at virtually no cost to taxpayers. I have to say I'm pretty proud of the Aldertalk idea – it's off to a great start – and I'm really enjoying them! We've had great attendance and good discussions, questions and advice for me that covers a wide variety of issues - from burned out street lights and playground signs, to potholes, parks and pathways. The next session will be held at Deer Run Community 2127 146 Avenue S.E. on Saturday, April 28. Note the change in time - from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. See you there! And thank you to all the community associations for hosting our Aldertalks.
E-Learning video's on how City Hall works now available on YouTube
The many communication tools available in the new world of social media is helping make our city more open and accessible all the time. For computer-literates who want to really get into the nuts and bolts of how development happens in our city, I am pleased to report that The City has now created and posted e-Learning videos on YouTube explaining how our Municipal Development Plan (MDP) works. You can find them and 785 other City-related videos on The City of Calgary's YouTube channel.
Given the large tax increases and city expenses Council is being faced with, Alderman Shane Keating and I brought forward a request to look at some alternative ideas and opportunities for revenue generation, specifically selling naming rights to City owned facilities such as LRT stations. (Hey, if Shibuya, Japan can sell naming rights to public toilets for big bucks!)
Administration approved the idea of looking at some of these alternative ideas, so although we don't yet have many takers, if anyone wants to see an LRT station or other City asset named after them along the lines of Epcor Centre or Pengrowth Saddledome and you have a big chequebook to help keep taxes down for everyone else, The City may be interested in speaking with you!
Calgary ready to party in 2012
It's the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, recently named by CNN as the 5th best party spot in the world. Many events and displays are planned, so if you haven't been too involved with the Stampede for a while, this may be the year you want to think about booking things ahead of time. Along with that, the city is sharing the title of "Cultural Capital of Canada" this year, which comes with $1.6 million federal dollars to help sponsor exciting events and promote tourism. Beginning in April, I expect you will be hearing a lot about that as well. And that's still not all! Along with the Stampede's 100th birthday, we also have the Calgary Public Library, the Pumphouse Theatre, Calgary Recreation and Theatre Junction GRAND Calgary also celebrating their centennials as well. It's clear that 2012 is shaping up to be the great party year for Calgary and Calgarians. Yaahooo!
That's it for now folks. Aldertalk with you soon! In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns please call me at 403-268-1653 or contact my office.