This Week At City Hall Update: TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK!

As I explained to a very helpful anonymous commenter to my earlier TWACH post, I’ve been prematurely operating under the assumption that it is already March. So, when I sat down yesterday to write my TWACH, I didn’t bother to check the February list of meetings. “February is so last month,” I was thinking and thus completely missed the fact that there’s a city council meeting tonight. February 28. I mean, I had an inkling that there should be a meeting right about now and when I didn’t see one on the schedule — the March schedule — I thought it was a little weird. But I let it slide because…. well… in my defense, I was a little… erm… hungover yesterday.

There. Now you know the whole, sordid truth.

But, clearheaded this afternoon, I submit for your approval, the lowdown on tonight’s council meeting….

Monday, February 28
CITY COUNCIL MEETING (5 pm): Clearly the Coronation Park Community Group, their friends and associates, didn’t read my previous blog post about their submission to the December 8 meeting of the RPC. My recommendations from back then in short: Indiscriminate use of bold, all-caps, underlining and variable font sizes make you look like a raving, paranoid loon.

Sorry. Please don’t shoot the messenger. It’s just true.

A corollary: when making a submission to city council, you might want to keep your page count in mind. Council reports are distributed to the public and to city councillors on the Friday before the Monday meeting. So, when you and your associates drop 189 pages on the clerk’s office, you’re expecting your audience — which includes lazy reporters like yours truly — to digest all of that in about three days. And, they’ll also have to read all the other stuff on the agenda.

So, in the case of tonight’s council meeting, that adds up to a grand total of 332 pages. That’s worse than forcing someone to read the first third of a Pynchon novel over the weekend — it has all of the tedium and technical language but none of the lyrical genius.

I haven’t had a reading assignment like that since grad school.

And while you may think that by providing nearly 200 pages of argumentation that you will impress people with your thoroughness and convince them that you are Very Serious Indeed, they will only be more convinced that you are a raving, paranoid loon. And that will not win you any friends.

In other words, concision is your friend. And with a friend like concision, you can make more friends. (Again, don’t shoot the messenger.)

I should note, I am not saying that anyone presenting before council tonight is a raving, paranoid loon — not in this post — I am merely trying to be helpful. (And hopefully, stave off having to read this much in future.)

Anyway, tonight, council will be considering the case of an application to build seniors housing and some affordable housing in the Coronation Park neighbourhood. The surrounding community is not amused and is coming out tonight in force to express their displeasure.

Oh, there’s other stuff on the agenda, but the media will be coming out to see the fireworks over this item. It should be a very interesting meeting.

Also up for consideration: Skyview Subdivision Phase II, appointments to the Regina Airport Authority, ratification of the transit union collective agreement, recommendations for the 2011 Regina Municipal Heritage Awards, changes to the discharge of firearms bylaw and changes to the public spaces bylaw to deal with encroachments.

There are also motions! Motions aplenty!

Councillor O’Donnell is taking several pages from the National Infrastructure Summit and asking admin look at ways to use waste water creatively (think, as an energy source and as a source of gray water for industrial uses); to look at emerging paving technologies; and, to look at changing the budget time frame so that we don’t have to go through a budget process every year. (Personally, these were some of the best suggestions to come out of the NIS, I hope admin takes them seriously and we see some movement on them.)

Councillors Clipsham and O’Donnell are also asking admin to look into the feasibility of running transit service out to the Global Transportation Hub.

And that’s it. You can read the entire, monster-sized agenda on the city’s website. And I think I can guarantee that tonight’s council wrap-up will be worth coming back for.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5’10” tall and he was born in a place. He’s not there now. He’s sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It’s “Girl From Ipanema”, thanks for asking.

You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

10 thoughts on “This Week At City Hall Update: TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK!”

  1. Ooh, now I want to read all 189 pages and see how raving and paranoid they may or may not be. (I’m masochistic that way.)

  2. Wow, the city of Regina site is much better than the city of Saskatoon one. Anyways, their (Coronation Park group) summary of last meeting is particularly interesting. There is also a list of names at the end, so it’s less than 120 pages of why they are not racists and NIMBYs. (their words)

    I’m not a fan of segregation and sympathise somewhat with their position. It’s hard to state that you don’t want low-income housing in your area without sounding like a jerk. However, you can’t rail against poverty and crime rates and then turn around and deny people affordable housing, who may be trying to get a leg up (and god knows we could all use a leg up in this housing market.) There’s also a lack of proof (as far as I can see) that turning the area into a green space would reduce crime.

    There are also some blacked-out spots – is this common with submissions? Anyways, TWACH should be pretty interesting!! Nerd out.

  3. OK, I read what the developer submitted…I’d like the good people of Coronation Park to explain why, exactly, families with an income between 40k and 52k per year are going to increase the crime level. Am I missing something here?

  4. You might be Kate, but it seems more like the group is. If this is considered affordable housing than I guess the apartment I pay the same rent every month would be too. As would most of the rental housing in the city.

  5. Well it’s always reassuring to know if our household income drops by a couple thousand, I’ll be in the right bracket for a crime spree.

  6. Hmmm… the next step for the mixed-use development on 15th and Broad street is also up for consideration tonight: http://www.regina.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=5942

    I’m surprised to see they’ve returned to the raised entry design – they submitted a different design about a month ago that created a much more connected pedestrian realm and seemed to be welcomed by city staff. Any news on what happened there? Me = confused and frustrated.

    http://reginaurbanecology.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/centre-square-plaza/

  7. I think you’re remembering that building from when it came before council on Jan 24. (http://www.regina.ca/Page5236.aspx?DateTime=634314870000000000&PageMode=View)

    There was a supplemental report (CM11-1) presented at that meeting in which the developer — after consultation with the Planning and Sustainability Dept — lowered the main floor to grade.

    The building was approved with the pedestrian-friendly improvement. So I think it’s safe to feel unfrustrated…. with this development.

    Of course, I wasn’t there and can’t comment on how things went over because I had to miss that council meeting due to car troubles. Our car is a developing story, by the way, that I will be reporting on in a few days.

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