Calgary Minute: Ridiculous Recycling, Thankless Thespians, and Laudable Letters
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics.
This Week In Calgary:
- Council doesn't reconvene until September, which means there are no upcoming council or committee meetings until a September 4th meeting of the SPC on Planning and Urban Development.
The Nature Centre at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary will be closed to the public as of Saturday, August 31st until Fall of 2020 for renovations. The renovations are part of a new regional park called Bend In The Bow that will include the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, the Inglewood Wildlands, Pierce Estate Park, the River Passage Park, and more.
- Council claims they want your feedback! The City is still accepting applications for volunteers to sit on 18 different Boards, Commissions and Committees and accepting feedback on new public art installations on International Avenue. Bear-in-mind that you're only allowed to rank 3 locations from a predetermined list for the Arts feedback, and joining one of the City's BCC's will likely also be a futile exercise in ranking forgone-conclusions. Not exactly the increase in meaningful public consultation Calgarian's were promised in the last election.
Last Week In Calgary:
- The City of Calgary may have finally hit peak-dysfunctional-bureaucracy. Unbeknownst to diligent recyclers across our fair City, Calgary has spent the last two years and $330,000 of taxpayer money storing 2,000 tonnes of plastic clamshell containers in the hopes of finding a new market for the product. Those clamshell containers are now set to hit the landfill in August, at an additional cost of $130,000. Those figures don't include the cost of any staff time or administrative costs, but knowing City Hall, that could easily have been another half a million dollars.
While most industries have had to make serious adjustments to their budgets since the recession five years ago, arts funding levels have largely been maintained or, in the case of Calgary, actually increased by $5 million this year. But that isn't enough for groups like Lunchbox Theatre, who complained this week that they will now receive their taxpayer money quarterly rather than annually, while other groups complain that despite the increase in funding, they haven't actually received their cheques yet. We support the arts, but some of these groups need to get some perspective - most Calgarians would be thrilled if a small delay receiving their increased income was their biggest concern right now.
Finally, Council's month-long break doesn't seem to have dampened frustration with City Hall with Letters to the Editor sections continuing to be flooded with discontent Calgarians. This letter, in particular, seems to sum it up well: "City council virtually ignored the financial consequences of the oil and gas industry tax base collapse for years during budget deliberations. Then they were publicly embarrassed when the small-business faction in this city stood up to them and said, ‘no more.’ So what did they do? They cut the most needed services first."
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