Well, I have absolutely no idea why all my past posts are suddenly sprinkled with upper-case "A"s.  Strangest darn thing!  If anyone knows a quick way to fix that, please let me know!


Tomorrow's council meeting has only a few items on the agenda, but it took a lot of preparation, because one of those items is the second-quarter results and forecast to year-end.  You can see the report here:


Just scroll down to page 23 , or use the handy bookmarks to jump to item 8.3.

As you'll see, the town is forecasting a $10K positive variance at year-end -- meaning that town administration feels that we're pretty much on budget.  Some expense items, such as the travel/conference/training line, continue to go up (and I will once again be expressing concern about that), but they have been off-set by increased revenues from some of the town's programs and a surprising increase in fines collected by the RCMP.

Why am I expressing concern about the travel/conference/training costs?  Well, because we are now forecasting $25,000 over budget for a year-end total of $278,000.  This compares to a total of $192,000 in 2007 and $178,000 in 2006.  While I think it's important to train people and to attend necessary meetings in other places, I find it hard to take a 56% increase in 2 years.

I go through the forecast line-by-line and compare figures across the years in all areas, then try to ask the best questions I can in order to understand areas where expenses had to go up vs. areas where we have made a choice to allow them to go up.  I'm trying to understand the town's spending in detail, so that I can be more persuasive (I hope) at budget time this fall.

Bsides the financials, Council will be looking at:

Information from the Banff Community Foundation:  executive director Lorraine Widmer-Carson will be coming to council to describe the work of the Foundation, and propose some ideas for working together with the Town.  Because I'm presently doing a small consulting contract for the Foundation, I intend to declare a conflict of interest.  If you're not familiar with the work of the Community Foundation, you might want to take a look at their website:


Banff Refreshing:  we'll be getting a verbal update.  You already know that the final crosswalks will be completed after the Labour Day weekend.  However, this will probably involve re-routing of traffic on Banff Avenue, rather than any more complete closures.  By the way, people have been telling me that they think the new signage on the mid-block crosswalks is making them much more functional and safer.  What do you think?

Recreation Centre feasibility update:  the recreation department has been working with various consultants to determine what parts of the existing building can continue to be serviceable.  The preliminary conclusion is that the arena could be kept and incorporated into a new building.  The department has also applied for a $10 million grant toward the project.  You can read all the latest about this by clicking on


and scrolling down to page 21, or using the bookmark for report 8.2

Commercial space allotment question:  Council is being asked to allow some of the unused commercial space allotment to be allocated to the building of a car wash in the compound.  At the same time, we are being told that a different applicant has applied for a business licence to run a car wash in an existing building.  So Banff may have a car wash operating again, possibly as early as this fall.


Quite a few people have been talking to me lately about the plans for Banff Live, the concert on Banff Avenue on August 21.  This is a good opportunity for me to remind you how to provide feedback directly to Council.  If you tell me your opinion about something, I certainly tell other councillors what I've heard, and I take it into account in my decision-making.  I love to hear from you, and I hope you will always give me your feedback and ideas.  But I'm sure you can understand that my saying "Mr. X told me such-and-such" doesn't have nearly as much impact as if Mr. X tells council directly.  So here's a link to Cheryl Hyde's excellent web page on how to connect with Council:


As you'll see, there are many ways to do it -- a simple email is probably the easiest.  So when you're pleased about something, or when you're not, please take a moment to let Council know.