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Municipal Politics

“No one has stepped in, no one has intervened, no one is doing an audit, no one is taking any extraordinary measures, but if they need our help then we are ready and on standby to help," Smith said...

That should give Council and Administration a tremendous amount of comfort coming from someone who didn't campaing on a Provincial Police Force or a Provincial Pension Plan or Gutting AHS or cutting the renewable energy industry off at the knees...
 
^Thanks for clarification, I agree with that and something many stakeholders Downtown have asked the province to reverse.

A city official shared that the total for 2023 alone was more than $12 million, equivalent to a 0.7% tax increase in Edmonton. But as noted, this started in 2019.
 
The Staples column was weird because it kept mentioning insolvency. Like surely the City would just go harder into cutting spending on projects etc. before that was even an issue. Calgary's tax increase was higher than ours this year too.
 
The Staples column was weird because it kept mentioning insolvency. Like surely the City would just go harder into cutting spending on projects etc. before that was even an issue. Calgary's tax increase was higher than ours this year too.
As far as I know he is the only one mentioning that. In my opinion if finances are not be well managed, that is up to the local voters to deal with in a municipal election coming up soon.

The only time it would make sense for the province to intervene would be if it were a real crisis, such as insolvency and I don't think it is anywhere near that. I get the feeling some are trying to manufacture a crisis as a pretext.

Good point about the Calgary tax increase too, as it shows there actually is room to increase in Edmonton if necessary. However, I doubt council wants to go there and I feel Edmonton citizens sure don't either.
 
Absolutely no doubt that Sohi is on the mark. The city continues to be shortchanged by the province not just on the items that are listed in the letter but nevermind the continuous never ending funding that Calgary is getting for their BMO center, the new arena, and the most recently announce $100M arts common and Olympic plaza.

That being said, Sohi's hands must be getting tired from his never ending letter writing campaigns blaming every level of government except his own.

Sohi and council have been in power coming up 3 years and I have yet to hear him take a stand with a vision and a plan of how the city could raise revenues without the one and only lever he seems to know which is tax rate increases. Some ideas that involve increasing revenues without raising tax rates and blaming other levels include:

1. Working with companies that are flooding the Alberta/Calgary market to consider locating to Edmonton instead
2A. Selling off excess city land - Edmonton owns more undeveloped land in its inner city between Northlands, Blatchford, Quarters, and Rossdale than any other large Canadian city
2B. Form a municipal development corporation that could activate lands for a profit - Edmonton owns more undeveloped land in its inner city between Northlands, Blatchford, Quarters, and Rossdale than any other large Canadian city
2C. Form partnerships and/or work with developers to accelerate development of developer owned land (this isnt necessarily tax breaks, this could be anything from vending in land equity, reducing red tape and accelerating permitting, etc.)
3. Minor, but start enforcing and collecting fines rather than fuss about how enforcing bylaws isnt worth the City's time

The above are some select revenue generating ideas, none of which I have heard pitched by Sohi, who continues to place all his political capital in finger pointing at other levels of government
 
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Well Smith said she wanted to look at ways to support Edmonton, so now the City of Edmonton has helpfully replied and provided her with a number of ideas.

So I suppose now there will be an opportunity to see if what she said before is very sincere or not.
 
I’ve become a lot less enthusiastic as of late about cities being this entity that’s at the whim of the province is a good thing. Downloading costs and responsibilities without giving powers to generate revenue or even offsetting them is an awful way to treat municipalities, say nothing of the favouritism Calgary has.

American cities tend to favour a bottom up approach to this problem and use the legal system to grant powers to itself, which i think might be a better way of doing things.
 
City Council names Eddie Robar as Interim City Manager​

April 3, 2024

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi announced that City Council has named Eddie Robar as Interim City Manager, effective immediately. As the most senior official in City Administration, he will be responsible for leading more than 11,000 employees in delivering hundreds of City programs and services across more than 70 lines of business, and is the connection between Administration and City Council.

“Council relies on City Administration to provide the information and advice for us to make the best decisions for Edmontonians,” said Mayor Sohi. “We appreciate that Eddie will provide a steady hand during this transition period. He has already earned the confidence of Council through leadership in delivering key City programs, and we appreciate his commitment to public service in taking on this new assignment.”

Prior to this assignment, Mr. Robar was the Deputy City Manager of City Operations, the department responsible for parks, roads, transit, waste, fleet and facility programs. In that role, he has overseen redesign of the City’s bus network, introduced adjustments to snow and ice programs, and advanced the organics waste program. Prior to that, he led transit systems in both Edmonton and Halifax.

Edmonton’s City Manager is a contracted employee of City Council, and contract terms are being finalized. Mr. Robar will act as Interim City Manager until the completion of a recruitment conducted by a committee of City Council.​

Media contact:
Lisa Holmes
Chief of Staff
Office of the Mayor​
 

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