Council update, 9 February 2013

Hello everyone:

First, let me say how great it was to see so many people out for the public hearing on the formula business quota bylaw.  I was so proud of our community as I saw everyone listening intently and politely to all speakers, clapping after all presentations (whether they agreed with them or not), and looking to build on areas of agreement.  It was so civil, so respectful, and so essentially Canadian.  If you weren’t able to be there, you can see the draft minutes from the meeting in this week’s council package.  Council members have to think about what we heard, and then the bylaw comes back for voting on second reading on February 25.


This past week, Council also held a joint meeting with Canmore council in their chambers.  It was an information meeting, not an official decision-making meeting, but it concentrated on the various ways we have worked together and could work together.  There were presentations on regional transit, on the work with the province to complete the Legacy trail between the park gates and the Travel Alberta info centre, and on Banff’s new N-Viro treatment for biosolids and organics, and how Canmore might be able to be involved in that in the future.  We also saw the plans for the aging-in-place development that is underway in Canmore.  It’s very encouraging to see work on new supported living spaces for seniors, as studies have shown us the gap between what we need in the future and what we have now.


Council’s meeting on Monday looks as if it will be brief.  You can see the whole package at this link:

Here are a few highlights:

Delegation regarding the obstetrics closure at Banff Mineral Springs

I see from the agenda that this will be related to transportation, but I can’t tell you more yet, as there is no written information in the agenda package.

Draft minutes from the quota bylaw public hearing

Council will be asked to review and approve these.  You can see them starting on page 10 of the package.

Council compensation committee

One of the toughest votes for any elected officials is on the matter of salaries for their positions.  Unfortunately, those votes have to be held from time to time.  It’s best to have good, clear recommendations from a process that is outside council, so that no one who might benefit from the recommendation is involved in making it.  At Monday’s meeting, council is being asked to set up a five-member public committee that will look at our compensation policy and make some recommendations that can be voted on before the next election.  If this passes, and we start recruiting members, I do hope that some of you will express an interest in serving on this committee!  You can see the whole report, starting on page 22 of the package.

WOW – a second community greenhouse!

Starting on page 30 of the package, you can read about a proposal to construct a second community greenhouse in a new and very central location – on top of Cascade Plaza’s parking.  Looks like the money is mostly in place, the private partners are willing, and there are just a few details to be sorted out.  This is great news, and I am in total support of the Town providing any in-kind assistance possible.  Hats off to everyone involved in bringing this second project into action so quickly!

Draft 2012 Banff Community Social Assessment

Every five years or so, our FCSS group works with people around the community to assess our social strengths and needs, and to suggest ideas that could help us with those needs.  Good things have come out of past reports, such as the Banff Affordability Guide, the first community greenhouse, low income transit initiatives, and many more.  You can read all about the social assessment process in a report that starts on page 34 of the package, but the real meat starts on page 59, where you’ll see the recommendations coming from this year’s assessment.  There are great community-building ideas, such as “Know your neighbour” night, or collective kitchen initiatives, or “affordable good food box” information.


Council will also meet on Monday as the BHC shareholder.  This is a simple agenda – we’ll just be reviewing for approval the Terms of Reference for how the shareholder and the BHC Board work together.  It’s a way of clarifying who does what and making that information accessible to the public.  You can see the whole package at this link:


On Monday morning, Council will be attending an educational session about tax policy.  Wednesday afternoon is the monthly meeting of the Bow Valley Transit Services Commission – I look forward to more good news about ridership on the new Banff-Canmore route.  Wednesday evening, the hospital is holding an information session about the obstetrics move, and I will try to attend, as I did the information session at St. Mary’s a couple of weeks ago.


As always, this email reflects my personal point of view.  This is not an official communication of the Town of Banff or its Council.  I welcome your comments and questions!

All the best until next time -- Leslie