(By the way Councillor Arjun Singh sounds way too stuffy for me. Just call me Arjun.)
I am still congratulated by people every day. And I am very thankful. It is fitting that my sense of responsibility to our community grows with every handshake, thumbs up and pat on the back. I am also starting to be approached. sometimes even confronted, by folks who have issue with some of the positions I stated in the election campaign and/or who have issues with positions of the current Council. I want to honour these concerns as well, by trying to calmly engage in productive and respectful discussions.
The new Council gets sworn in next week. But, I have already been working as much as I can.
I have got a small handful of open "files" where I have been contacted by people with different concerns and issues - the new solid waste (garbage) utility, rules for home based businesses. and the S.H.O.P. program for sex trade workers on the North Shore.
I was honoured to be invited to a presentation on "Seeing Our City Through the Eyes of A Child" . The speaker, Suzanne Crowhurst Lennard, spoke a lot about the general principles of making a city more liveable for everyone. Her suggestions centred a lot around shared public spaces, like public squares, that are friendly to all in a community.
And today was a relatively full day of Council related meetings. Typically, on Tuesday morning, members of Council are invited to a morning meeting of Senior City Staff where they review the Council meeting agenda and prepare themselves for questions and issues that may arise. I attended today and found it very informative. Because this is not a public meeting, members of Council are advised that we should ask substantive questions at the regular Council meeting.
At 1:30pm, I sat in the public gallery for the last time at the regular Council meeting. The issues included approval of the development that will turn Thompson Park Mall into Lansdowne Village (more on this to follow) and interim rates for the new solid waste utility for the first half of 2006.
This evening, at 7pm, the public hearing convened on the new City Centre Plan. A lot of people who spoke at the public hearing were happy and in support of the plan. And this speaks volumes to the great work of the the City planning department and of the consultants on this project, Urban Systems.