Hello everyone:

Thank you so much for your emails on various issues -- they really give me good advice and ideas!  As always, a quick reminder that this email is a reflection of my own point of view, and is not an official communication from the Town of Banff or its Council.  If you'd like to unsubscribe from this list, please send me an email and let me know.

 Here are a few  important things that are going on right now:


During several lengthy meetings since I last wrote, we've been through the entire operating budget and asked all our questions.  Tomorrow, different councillors will propose items to change or delete in the budget, and we'll decide on each of those by vote.  Then, we'll look at the new initiatives that were proposed by the administration, and vote on each of those as well. 

If you want to get a sense of the Town's financial situation, I recommend that you go to this web page:


and scroll down til you see a link for Administrative Overview.  This brief and very clear summary will show you where the Town's taxes have gone relative to inflation, how our taxes compare to other communities, how the town has occupied the taxing room left by a decrease in provincial education taxes, and also -- very compellingly -- what happens when we don't keep contributing to the capital reserves, the Town's "savings account" for replacement of major infrastructure as it wears out.

As you know, I'm very concerned about capital reserves and about minimizing tax-supported debt.  In terms of this budget, that means that I'm not opposed to a modest tax increase (in line with inflation), as long as the vast majority of it goes towards capital reserves.  I'm also very conscious of the fact that every one of our tax dollars comes from someone who probably had other ways they'd rather spend that money, so I'm trying hard to find ways to minimize our operational costs.  I can tell you that it's a scary learning curve, trying to become familiar with all aspects of a $24 million budget in a little over 6 weeks -- I've been scribbling notes on budget documents late into the night.


Also tomorrow, Council will be deciding whether to go on to detailed design of the proposed parkade in the 200 block of Beaver.  As you know, I will be stating that we should explore every other alternative (wayfinding improvements, for example) first.  We all have a vision of a future Banff with frequent and convenient in-town and regional transit -- let's work on that instead of building a parking structure.

To see the parkade report, go to this link


and flip through to page 24.


Also at Council tomorrow, we'll be looking at the proposed Community Standards Bylaw.  This relates to everything that might cause a nuisance or a hazard, everything from rusty old cars on the lawn to noisy parties to piles of building materials to badly located firepits.  You can take a look at it by going to this link:


and flipping though to page 33.  Although it is presented for three readings, I'm going to suggest to Council that we give the community a chance to mull it over before giving it third reading.  I certainly get cranky at neighbourhood nuisances, but I personally think that a few clauses in this bylaw are a bit too heavy-handed, and I'll be proposing some changes.  The majority of it looks really good  -- see what you think, and let me know.

All the best til next time -- Leslie

Just a note to apologize for the strange italics, font size changes etc in my posts.  When I copy a post in from another document (which I've been doing to try to save time), strange formatting suddenly appears, and stubbornly refuses to be edited back out.  I'm not sure why, but I'm trying to fix it.  In the meantime, sorry for the eccentric-looking posts!