Winnipeg has a new mayor for the first time in a decade, and Brian Bowman wants to cut the salaries of councillors. There have also been moves to cut support staff for councillors, but more thought is needed on this …
Now that municipal election season is over in Manitoba and Ontario, city councillors are transitioning into the ordinary business of governing. One of the first tasks will be hiring office staff. Some councillors will be tempted to hire as little …
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi recently accused the provincial government of treating the City of Calgary like a ‘farm team.’ I’m not sure that was the best analogy, as a pro-sports team can call up prospects from a farm team at any time. A better sports analogy to illustrate the relationship would be between a micromanaging general manager, and a subservient coaching staff.
Councillors have also spent time debating and voting on matters they have no power to actually address, whether it be banning shark-fin soup, opposing the Iraq War, or ending the NHL lockout — just this week, a Vancouver city councillor put forward a motion to write a letter to the NHL and the players’ association urging them to end the standoff (it passed).
Those of you who follow municipal politics may recall hearing of Adam Giambrone. Giambrone is a former chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, and former mayoral candidate. While his campaign was derailed by some relatively minor personal issues, he is still seen as a young, up and comer in Toronto’s political community. But Giambrone has penned a recent article that should remind us all that people who are derided as “pinko commies” sometimes have good ideas about economic policies.
Today I had an article in the Huffington Post on how the City of Phoenix bars municipal politicians from getting directly involved in city operations to reduce the prospects for shading dealings with developers. I mentioned recent cases in Winnipeg and Toronto that may or may not have involved wrong doing. Sure enough, today’s National Post has an article about a Montreal corruption inquiry, in which a powerful Montreal politician has been accused of taking $300,000 in bribes.
Regina city council has voted to allow one lane (westbound) of traffic to flow through City Square Plaza at 20km/h. While this is an improvement over leaving it closed to vehicular traffic, it is insufficient. City Square Plaza was renovated with the understanding that it would be re-opened to two way traffic. That is why local businesses were willing to support the project.
City hall is contemplating a major overhaul of late-night cab and public transit service in Calgary, as holiday revellers com-plain they are being squeezed by a “perfect storm” of travel hindrances.
Winnipeg should adopt a new stand-alone model for managing public utilities; that will enable it to escape political interference and solve the problem of ignored infrastructure.