This is episode 5 of my hopefully-regular pre-council list of what I think are going to be the most important three items on our Council agenda on Monday* in no particular order, so you can decide if you want to tune in.
#1: Public Engagement Strategy Update
As I recently mentioned over on that other website, I am keenly interested in how the City improves it Public Engagement. The implementation of the Public Engagement Strategy has already seen some great results, but the medium- and long-term action items are yet to come, and this report will outline what staff will be working on to inform, consult, and include the citizens of New Westminster in our decision making.
#2: Q to Q Pilot Ferry Service – Update and Extension of Pilot
This report provides three things: an update on ridership and operation of this summer’s Pilot project, a proposal to extend to a modified winter schedule to determine how amenable people are to using this service for commuting, and the development of a longer-term business case for the service. The report looks like good news on all fronts, and we are getting a lot of feedback from the Port Royal neighbourhood about the desire for us to continue the pilot. However, we do need to assure the service we are providing is tailored for the needs of this community, not just a tourist attraction.
#3: Recognition of Retiring Council Members Bill Harper and Lorrie Williams
There is likely to be laughter and tears at this meeting, as two Councillors with a combined 29 years of service to this City are taking their last council bow. I have enjoyed sharing the table with Lorrie and Bill. I have often agreed and sometimes disagreed with each of them on some pretty substantial policy directions in the City, but have always respected that they had their hearts in the right place, and had real visions for the direction of the City. I have learned a tonne about the job, and about the City from each of them. Regardless of what happens on October 20th, it will be a very different council without them there.
*footnote: The funny thing about Council: it is almost impossible to predict what three items will rise to the top and get the most debate/ public feedback / media coverage, so these are only my guesses. For a full prediction of the entire Council agenda, go to the agenda!