July 14th, 2024

Community Conversation great chance for feedback

By Lethbridge Herald on October 21, 2023.

Blaine Hyggen – Mayor of Lethbridge

Are you interested in free public skating? Maybe you would like to learn about more than 40 City projects?

This coming Monday, we at the City of Lethbridge will be hosting our latest in-person Community Conversation event at the ENMAX Centre from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. It is fully open to the public and is free to attend (as with all non-ticketed events at the ENMAX Centre, paid parking will not be enforced).

Do you have questions about any of the Transportation projects you have seen around the city this year? Are you curious on how the review of the City’s Land Use Bylaw could affect you or your property? Do you want to be informed on the next stages of snow and ice control, as well as the Clean Energy Improvement Program and Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services (LFES) fire prevention? Representatives from all of these departments and more will be there.

Community Conversations are a great way to bring together, in one convenient location, all City projects seeking community feedback.

 Residents can be informed, ask questions and connect with City staff and partners. Public participation helps build a strong and connected community, informs council decision making and helps enhance our city.

In addition to the free public skating and project information tables, some of the event highlights will include concession samples, kids’ activities, LFES’ Sparky the mascot, swag giveaways and prize draws. For a full list of projects and activities, please visit http://www.getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/communityconversation.

This month also marks the midway point – the hump day, if you will – of this 2021-2025 Lethbridge city council term. I want to express a deep appreciation and thank you to my fellow members of council. We all know it is not an easy position to hold. I want to let our residents know that we always have your best interests at the top of mind when making tough decisions and when allocating your tax dollars. I am proud of what this Council have accomplished thus far and I’m excited for the next two years of this term.

This week marks six months of our green cart program and we have seen about 85 per cent of our residents participate, which already has an immense benefit to our community. Almost 4,000 tonnes of organic waste have already been diverted from the landfill since May, which is about 120 kgs of waste per household in Lethbridge. These promising results aid in contributing to the work being done to meet the City’s waste diversion targets. Set in 2018, City Council created a waste diversion target that aims to divert 50 per cent of the waste generated in Lethbridge by 2030.

As part of the seasonal approach based on yard waste generation, green cart collection will move to every other week starting the week of Nov. 6. I’d encourage all residents to download the Lethbridge Loop app for cart collection reminders. It is free to download for both Apple and Android devices and offers residents the opportunity to receive alerts about planned services that may affect their home and neighbourhood.

 The app will send a reminder directly to your phone indicating which cart needs to be set out on collection day. The app can also advise when snow routes are activated, planned power outages are scheduled in addition to other planned City service reminders like spring street sweeping.

One of the core purposes of a municipality is to develop and maintain a safe and viable community. This past Tuesday during the most recent Lethbridge city council meeting, Acting Mayor John Middleton-Hope and I brought forth an Official Business Motion to look at a possible collaboration with the Downtown BRZ, who have formally expressed deep concerns and impacts regarding ongoing lawlessness.

As a result, city council has directed Administration to engage with Downtown BRZ representatives immediately to collaborate on the development of a cross-functional task force on lawlessness. 

We will aim to:

* Identify the symptoms and depth of lawless behaviours and their impacts in our city.

* Identify stakeholders to strategize on responses and resourcing requirements.

* Work collaboratively with stakeholders to identify solutions and assist in implementing strategies identified to create a sustainable impact.

* Develop a joint communication plan for this task force and its member stakeholders.

* Consider how any recommendations from the task force can support and/or integrate with existing encampment, shelter and housing strategies developed and being implemented by the City of Lethbridge.

Joint recommendations from the Downtown BRZ and Administration will be prepared and presented for council consideration at the December 12 meeting.

On Oct. 31, council will have its annual organizational meeting. At that time, we will have further details to share on the coming changes to the Standing Policy Committees (SPC).

 We will also confirm administration appointments to Boards, Commissions and Committees and adopt the 2024 council and SPC meeting calendar. This timing assists with planning and scheduling and ensures an efficient and transparent notification process for the public, which meets legislated requirements. 

With approval and posting on the website of the 2024 council and SPC meeting calendar, the public will have notice of regularly scheduled meetings for 2024.

The Economic SPC will gather three times next month for a check-in on the operating and capital budget cycles.

In advance of Remembrance Day on November 11 (as my next column will be after), I want to provide my most sincere thanks to all those who have served this country at home and abroad. I encourage residents to check out the local veterans’ banners placed around the city. Lest we forget your sacrifices.

Congratulations this month to:

Charles Weaselhead of the Blood Tribe for his honour of receiving the Official Order of the Red Cross.

 This prestigious achievement is considered the Canadian Red Cross’ highest award as it recognizes extraordinary people who have provided outstanding humanitarian service at home and abroad. I am proud to have Charles as a member of our Intergovernmental Health Table

All the nominees and winners at the 2023 Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Awards held Thursday night. For a full list, visit http://www.lethbridgechamber.com/

As always, please be safe and kind to one another.

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