In recent weeks, several City administrative decisions have left many of us scratching our heads.
First, there was the whole fiasco around the memorial benches. Deciding to charge past purchasers for ongoing maintenance was insensitive and made no sense … further to that, removing the plaques off the benches was just ridiculous. Second was the seemingly sudden eviction of the Heritage Day Festival organization from a much-needed storage facility in Hawrelak Park. Heritage Days is one of the largest and most anticipated summer festivals in Edmonton, so creating stress and undue hardship for this organization is unacceptable.
These are just two examples of hasty decisions made from Administration and it makes me wonder how they plan to deal with issues in the future. In particular, my concern is how they plan to deal with the upcoming bus network re-design, which in my opinion is going to provide inadequate service to many areas throughout our city.
Unfortunately, these types of administrative/public disconnects are not uncommon. Our office deals with them on a weekly, if not daily, basis. In theory, Council’s job is to make sure these do not occur and we struggle with why they happen in the first place. We need administration to slow down and explain their reasoning. This way they get a fair shot at defending their actions and if their reasoning had merit or not, and if not – we can try and fix it.
So what is new here?
First, the scope and scale of these missteps has dramatically increased in the last five years – from the execution of the Metro Line to the most recent issues mentioned above. I have spoken many times about problems we are having “under the deck” with our civic administration; asking why we are in a perpetual state of re-organization, why we can’t seem to keep our recent hires in key senior administrative positions or why I still can’t get an organizational chart of our administration?
In the end, these questions are not just about administrative management, but are about the political management of that very same administration. I have always landed on the practical day to day side and worked on fixing those very same administrative systems your tax dollars are paying for.
In saying that, perhaps it’s time to pass on the Gondola?