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Municipal Politics

I am concerned that the City Manager is pushing these balanced people out so he can replace them with his own ideologically motivated people.
 
Another very senior and impactful position will soon be open with Adam's departure. While I might have not always been overly supportive of the department's delivery models and performance, Adam was one of the most thoughtful and kind people at the CEO.
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  • Adam Laughlin, the deputy city manager for Integrated Infrastructure Services at the City of Edmonton is set to leave his position on Feb. 2, Postmedia reported. His departure marks the fifth high-ranking official to leave the city’s executive leadership team in the past year, following a series of departures that began in March 2023. Laughlin has been with the city since 2005 and played a key role in Edmonton’s infrastructure projects and pandemic response.-Taproot
Agreed, Adam was an excellent leader.
 
Did anybody really think that OP12 wouldn’t be painful even if it could be successfully implemented?

It was nothing but a game of kick the can that allowed Council and Administration to avoid hard decisions at the time.

The fact that these assumed savings were then incorporated in future budgets with no assurance that they would be achievable and no commitment from Council to achieve/enforce them was always an exercise doomed to fail.
 
Did anybody really think that OP12 wouldn’t be painful even if it could be successfully implemented?

It was nothing but a game of kick the can that allowed Council and Administration to avoid hard decisions at the time.

The fact that these assumed savings were then incorporated in future budgets with no assurance that they would be achievable and no commitment from Council to achieve/enforce them was always an exercise doomed to fail.

I feel like that can was kicked down the road from many previous councils and the people who live here by the way our city was designed and evolved.
We have one of the lowest population densities in Canada and that is expensive. We spend more per capita for roads, maintenance and also things like police. And as a result, we have OP12 where we have to try and save $60,000 here and cut $100,000 somewhere else etc to try and makeup shortfall.

We have a density of 1320 people per sq km versus:

Screenshot_20240129-144915_Samsung Internet.jpg
 
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The area of parkland and green spaces whether undevelopable like our river valley or held for future development within existing city limits in cities like Vancouver and New Westminster etc. are nowhere near those areas within Edmonton city limits.

The area of industrial land and land used for major transportation and utility corridors within existing city limits in cities like Vancouver and New Westminster etc. are also nowhere near those areas within Edmonton city limits,

If you want to compare the overall density of actual residential areas within those cities to the density of actual residential areas within Edmonton, feel free to start the conversation. As it stands, these are pretty meaningless numbers from which to try and draw any conclusions.
 
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Regardless of the population density numbers, Edmonton has a big footprint that we have to maintain - roads, transit, park land, services, utilities etc.
I wonder how our costs in all the key cost centre areas rate per capita vs. other big cities. Edmonton does rate highest in Canada in CO2 emissions per person (and among highest in the world) and I wonder if that also correlates with costs of operating this city. For example, high vehicle emissions per person likely means a lot of roads and a lot of driving. We all play a part in those emissions and subsequent costs in the choices we make.

A lot of tough choices in OP12 for the council we elected 2 years ago and it will be challenging - and some of these tough choices and the financial situation we are in currently are the result of decades of decisions made by councils of the past and Edmontonians.
 
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While I agree completely with your last paragraph, in regard to higher operating costs, when it comes to emissions and other operating costs where Edmonton may not compare well, in addition to density you would need to adjust for climate before comparing to Vancouver and New Westminster etc.
 
Also just to argue in the let's not beat up on ourselves too hard card. Some of Edmonton's current policies are quite supportive of density with zoning initiatives, new build densities, parking requirements. There's a lot of work to get past the much less dense post-war neighborhoods but infill is happening and will be hard to ever compare ourselves to communities with physical limitations on their borders (Mountains, Lakes, Oceans, etc...)
 
Also just to argue in the let's not beat up on ourselves too hard card. Some of Edmonton's current policies are quite supportive of density with zoning initiatives, new build densities, parking requirements. There's a lot of work to get past the much less dense post-war neighborhoods but infill is happening and will be hard to ever compare ourselves to communities with physical limitations on their borders (Mountains, Lakes, Oceans, etc...)

Yup, but in the meantime the city and its citizens need to make some tough choices in terms of our financial sustainability. How and where do we reduce costs and what can we do without or scale back on in terms of our spending.

One of the 400ish options was to sell off some of the city owned street parking space. Don't know if anyone saw Climate Town and the Chicago example, but selling off that space was a disaster for the city and prices went waaaaaay up and city lost control.

 
Also just to argue in the let's not beat up on ourselves too hard card. Some of Edmonton's current policies are quite supportive of density with zoning initiatives, new build densities, parking requirements. There's a lot of work to get past the much less dense post-war neighborhoods but infill is happening and will be hard to ever compare ourselves to communities with physical limitations on their borders (Mountains, Lakes, Oceans, etc...)
It is also rather hard and quite expensive to say blast through rock and vertically challenging areas to build roads and other transportation infrastructure, so that is a limitation too.
 

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