I want to begin this month's column on a somber note with my statement on the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
I, along with many others, have never known another head of state. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, has been a steady and constant presence in our lives and last week, after a reign of more than 70 years, we mourn her passing.
Her unwavering commitment to public service has truly been something to behold and the level of her devotion to duty likely won't be seen again. To most, she was a public figurehead but to those who loved her, she was also a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
On behalf of Lethbridge City Council, I extend my sincere condolences to those who knew and loved her. Flags at all City facilities will be lowered as a mark of respect and in accordance with Provincial protocols.
On a more positive note, last week also marked the return of school from elementary to post-secondary. Welcome back, students! For those University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College students who may be new to our city, I want to thank you for selecting those wonderful institutions and our amazing city. You've made a great choice.
When you are in need of anything City of Lethbridge related, please visit our website at Lethbridge.ca or call 311.
The Lethbridge 311 contact centre is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information is also available online 24/7 by visiting the Lethbridge 311 portal at 311.lethbridge.ca. Matters to be addressed regarding City Operations or services (for example, bylaw enforcement, waste and recycling, transit, utilities, roads, facilities, taxes, parks, etc.) are best directed to our City Administration via Lethbridge 311. The role of Mayor and Council is to set policies for the City of Lethbridge. Following that direction, the City Manager and Administrative staff are tasked with the implementation and management of the City and to address any concerns regarding the operations and services.
I will be among the attendees next week as the Alberta Municipalities Convention and Trade show takes place at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary. My colleagues and I will have meetings with several ministers, will go through what other communities are talking about and speak with Administration on what Council can do to help them. Alberta Municipalities are a very strong advocate to the provincial government and it's important for our Council to support other communities and help with different resolutions being presented.
We have confirmed that next Team Lethbridge delegation will take place in November. Organized by Trevor Lewington, CEO of Economic Development Lethbridge, the mission will be the seventh to the provincial capital by a contingent from various local organizations to meet with government officials to discuss matters of importance to the city.
The Advocacy Advisory Committee of Lethbridge City Council met last week to discuss several principles moving forward, including:
Leading, guiding and ensuring advocacy efforts are focused and aligned based on clear priorities set by City Council
Relationship-building with local, regional, provincial and federal partners
Showcasing and promoting our city and region where opportunities arise
We have already created a strong roadmap to identify our top issues, such as housing, family physician recruitment and airport grants, in order to provide direction to Administration to move forward.
On Tuesday, Lethbridge City Council voted to approve the re-naming of the southeast section of roadway Parkside Drive South to Exhibition Way South, with Exhibition Park and Bully's in support of the change.
The curved roadway configuration for part of Parkside Drive South had resulted in an ad hoc approach to the addressing of City assets in Henderson Park and on the Exhibition site for many years. The re-naming of this street, which only affect addresses on that stretch, presents the opportunity to highlight the significance of the Exhibition and will coincide with the Exhibition's branding for their new facility. It will also help clarify locations for EMS calls. Read more here: https://www.lethbridge.ca/NewsCentre/Pages/Council-approves-Exhibition-Way-as-new-road-name.aspx
The deadline for several vacancies on a Board, Commission, or Committee has been extended until Sunday, September 18, at 11:59 p.m. They include the Combative Sports Commission, Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee, Aggressive Dog Appeal Board and the Historic Places Advisory Committee. Apply here.
Our BCCs provide City Council with information, advice and recommendations regarding important community issues and topics. Whether advisory, decision-making, quasi-judicial or governing, all provide members of the community an opportunity to participate and bring out the best in our City.
Thank you to those who provided their "two cents" in the online survey on how they would like to see the City budget spent and to see how their spending priorities would impact property taxes. This information will be gathered and reported back to council prior to budget deliberations later this fall. Community feedback is one of the most important pieces of information Council uses in budget decisions.
This week, the United Way of Lethbridge and South Western Alberta began their 2022 community fundraising campaign. The United Way and the City of Lethbridge have been partners for 81 years, so I can encourage our residents to help out in any way they can to help reach their goal of raising $280,000 to increase capacity to support partner organizations and local programs.
Congratulations this month to:
The Coulee Classic Dragons, a 21-person team consisting of boaters from Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Taber, Coaldale, Airdrie, and Calgary who had a podium finish in the Women's Senior C-60+ category at Dragon Boat Canada's national championships in Montreal last month
To Lethbridge's Kacie Bosch and Paige Crozen, U of L Women's Basketball Lead Assistant Coach, who were part of Canada's women's 3x3 basketball team who won a recent FIBA series stop in Montreal. They also won series titles this year in Bucharest and Edmonton
To the award recipients from the Mayor's Luncheon for Business and the Arts, hosted by the Allied Arts Council this week: Dale Ketcheson, Lorraine Lee, Claire Moore, Mya Duncan and the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee
Please be safe and kind to one another.