One of our City government’s basic responsibilities is delivering the core services every Edmontonian needs and expects. It’s not sexy, and so it’s often overlooked, but cutting the grass in your neighbourhood park, upgrading the roads and sidewalks on your street, and removing your garbage and recycling are all things that have an impact on how you experience your life in our city.
My discussions with Edmontonians over the last few months have helped me better understand which services you value most. There’s a lot of work left to do. And there’s no question: some tough choices will have to be made so we can stretch our dollars. It’s time for an innovative approach. It’s time to be bold and challenge the status quo, and to find a balanced and measured approach to get the very best for our residents.
Elected officials and public servants are here to serve you. We must empower our public sector workers to take calculated risks and make effective decisions using their first-hand knowledge from the front lines. We need to ensure the City is working for its residents, not the other way around.
We all love Edmonton the most when it’s easy to enjoy, not when it’s slowed by prolonged traffic disruptions and pylons blocking lanes across the city where no work appears to be happening. It is time we remove the silos between utilities, maintenance and construction providers, and modernize our construction strategy to improve your client experience.
The Edmonton Neighborhood Renewal Program is one of my proudest achievements as a Councillor. When I first arrived on Council, our roads, sidewalks and public spaces were falling apart. We needed a stable and sustainable approach to necessary upgrades. I worked with my City Council colleagues and City Administration to build this program, so the funding was in place when a neighbourhood was due for upgrades. The quality of our neighbourhoods help define the quality of our experience at home, each and every day. It’s this kind of smart planning and predictable funding that delivers the results you deserve right where you live.
There are opportunities to find efficiencies and improve results through innovative approaches and technology. It’s time to look at emerging technology, such as drones, that can assist with early fire detection and mapping; Internet of Things technology can be used in fleet management and waste collection to support monitoring and tracking.
But innovation isn’t just tech—it can be a simple change to a workflow process, or the development of a jurisdictional enforcement process like the Bar Safe initiative I helped activate when I was on City Council.
At the end of the day, it’s simple: when it comes to core services and maintenance, being open to new ways of doing things can help us reduce costs and improve the customer service experience for Edmontonians.