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Municipal Politics

An interesting - and pretty accurate - take on the responsibilties and relationship between the City Manager and City Council.

https://urbanaffairs.ca/frankly/thou-shalt-not-hire-a-city-manager-in-thine-own-image/

Not counting the current and previous interim holders of the office, whoever is hired will be the City's 5th General Manager in the last 15 years. That is not a recipe for stability or progress...

Hasn't it been three previous people hired as city manager since 2010?

Simon Farbrother was hired in 2010 and fired in 2015. Next was Linda Cochrane who announced retirement late in 2019. Next in 2020/21 was Andre Corbould until now. Since 2010 (14 years) the city has hired 3. Former deputy manager Adam Laughlin filled in twice during those hirings.
 
There has been criticism of this city council and mayor, and while that will always be the case and I certainly have my grievances, one thing I am most upset about is this provincial government.

It would be a different story with a Nenshi led government in terms of support for housing, downtown issues and more.

I really believe the UCP would like our progressive councils in both cities to not do well. In the recall Gondek campaign, there were ucp events in Calgary - official provincial riding events in Calgary - where announcements were made about signing the petition to recall the mayor and the petition was available. That is so offside.

Out of the three levels of government, many of the provinces including ours have been the biggest hurdle in joint initiatives from happening. Our province has on multiple occasions left federal money on the table related to health, daycare and more.

Ford in Ontario is being provided hundreds of millions in housing support but because he can't get past the idea of fourplexes, he is willing to not accept it and see things get worse. Several of the provinces in this country scare me the most and I say that knowing we have a federal government who has messed up multiple, multiple times.
 
Hasn't it been three previous people hired as city manager since 2010?

Simon Farbrother was hired in 2010 and fired in 2015. Next was Linda Cochrane who announced retirement late in 2019. Next in 2020/21 was Andre Corbould until now. Since 2010 (14 years) the city has hired 3. Former deputy manager Adam Laughlin filled in twice during those hirings.
I said the next city manager will be the 5th and I started with Al Maurer as the 1st.
 
I said the next city manager will be the 5th and I started with Al Maurer as the 1st.

Ah OK. Maurer started as city manager in 2000 so it's like we had 4 over 24 years, and now a 5th will be starting later this year. That sounds reasonable to me.

By most accounts, Mauer had a pretty high rating when he left in 2009. When Farbrother was hired in 2010 (under Mandel) our population was nearing 800,000 and he had never worked for a city with a population bigger than 100,000 - interesting choice in that regard. He turned out not to be one of Edmonton's best choices. He was also found to pile up personal expenses with his travels with no checks and balances.

Interesting story about him here following his firing.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.3538665
 
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Yes, first of all before we get too excited or start to panic, four over 24 years sounds reasonable to me. I feel it probably had become clear recently that the city manager and council were not in alignment on some important things, so there needed to be a change and the elected officials weren't going so that left one option. However that was instigated I don't know. In order to be effective, management and council do probably need to be in better alignment.

My biggest concern on this issue is the number of managers below the city manager that have left in recent years. However, it does make we wonder if the city manager was part of that problem too. If so, again his departure may be a good thing.
 
Nearly four years ago, in a report commissioned by the City, KPMG recommended that Edmonton get out of the municipal golf course business.


 
People seem to forget that golf is one of the few sports that you can literally play your entire life, can be quite accessible and is outdoors. I recognize that there are water, land use and perceptions that is an 'elitist sport', but one of the great things that I see when I golf at a city course is how diverse it is from an age, background and societal perspective. Should we endeavour to ensure this accessibility continues and that we use the lands more often for more events, opportunities and season, you bet, but the exclusive game of golf is certainly not found on these courses.
 
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People seem to forget that golf is one of the few sports that you can literally play your entire life, can be quite accessible and is outdoors. I recognize that there are water, land use and perceptions that is an 'elitist sport', but one of the great things that I see when I golf at a city course is how diverse it is from an age, background and societal perspective. Should we endeavour to ensure this accessibility continues and that we use the lands more often for more events, opportunities and season, you bet, but the exclusive game of golf is certainly not found on these courses.
It could probably also be argued that the city owned golf courses are the ones that are most affordable and accessible, so closing them would make golf less affordable and accessible, particularly to residents in more central areas of the city.
 

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