Cranbrook Mayor Q and A
Last Saturday was the first of a series of monthly “Coffee with the Mayor” sessions. One of my campaign promises was to open City Hall one Saturday afternoon per month so that citizens with concerns, ideas or compliments could visit with the Mayor on a weekend. I’ve decided to instead take City Hall out to the people in local coffee shops, and Sherry and Troy were kind enough to offer up Hot Shots as the first venue.
So what’s on people’s minds?
Q. What happens in an in-camera meeting of Council and why isn’t all of Council’s business conducted publicly? Why aren’t we told about law suits that the City may be involved in?
A. The Community Charter states that matters relating to labour relations, land, legal issues and items prohibited from disclosure under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act must be discussed via a closed meeting so that Council can consider confidential information. All other Council business should be conducted in an open meeting.
Q. Where has the drinking fountain originally erected by the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire in 1925 in Rotary Park gone and will it be resurrected like the Fink Fountain in front of Gerrick Sports?
A. The fountain is apparently in safe keeping and we will likely hear more on it in the future from some interested citizens.
Q. The two tiered system of charging non-residents of Cranbrook more for the swimming pool and other recreation services is wrong.
A. This is a long standing and complicated issue but it is on my list to review.
Q. Is it illegal to feed ducks in Cranbrook? If people continue to feed them we will have the same “problem” with an overabundance of Mallard ducks as we do with deer.
A. Our current bylaw only prohibits the feeding of deer. Provincial Wildlife Regulations only prohibit intentionally feeding or attracting dangerous wildlife. What do you think – should the bylaw be changed to include ducks?
Q. Is it still okay to hug the Mayor?
A. Absolutely, so long as my wife Audrey says it’s okay!
Q. The roads are “sinking” in a new subdivision in the eastern part of town – who is responsible to fix them? Doesn’t the city have someone to check and approve road and related infrastructure prior to them being paved over?
A. The developer is responsible to fix any deficiencies for a minimum of a one year period after the city agrees to accept the infrastructure and the city holds a security deposit to make sure that repairs happen. In the case of this subdivision the city doesn’t yet own the roads. Council just approved the hiring of a new position in our Engineering Department, whose primary responsibility is to check and approve all infrastructure, including road base, prior to paving.
Q. The city used to pick up yard and garden waste twice a year, spring and fall, but now they don’t do it at all. Since many seniors don’t own a truck and may not drive, what are they supposed to do particularly given Council has approved moving to a maximum 2 bag/week garbage pick-up?
A. A good question for Council to discuss as this service stopped when the city transfer station was built. Options include permitting more than two bags twice a year, encouraging volunteers to provide the service for seniors similar to the Snow Angels shovelling program in winter, or relying on the private sector that offer their truck and labour at an hourly rate.
The good news is that the next Coffee with the Mayor is Saturday, May 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. at McDonald’s restaurant. Bad news is that you do have to buy your own coffee!