Monday, October 6, 2008

Brunch with Ben Henderson

On October 5th, I attended the brunch with Ben Henderson (City Councilor, Ward 4). The room was packed with Ben's constituents-- all happy to hear his report on his first year in office.

I learned about the City's strategic plan, its vision for the future...and I was impressed. The ideas are:
--making public transit THE way to move people around the city (buses and LRT), while encouraging more walkability and bicycle routes.
--densification of the urban core AND reducing urban sprawl
--making a liveable, vibrant city (Winter Festival, arts support, noise reduction)
--continued focus on the environment (nature spaces, reducing greenhouse gas emissions)

Ben also cautioned that to implement these ideas will require courageous decisions on the part of Council. None of these are cheap ideas, but it is Ben's belief, they will create the kind of city that attracts people, that is sustainable and ultimately a great city to live in.

Now, as a trustee, I will be thinking about ways that EPSB can contribute to this vision and complement its focus. We are a big part of Edmonton. We need to consider our footprint and our impact.

To that end: Mark November 25 on your calendar. That's when an overview of EPSB's environmental work to date and dreams for the future will be presented to public board. If you have an opinion, you can, of course, voice it at public board* or send me an email.

* To speak at Public Board, contact Anne Sherwood (anne.sherwood@epsb.ca) one day before the meeting to register as a speaker. You will have 2 minutes to speak. (Time your speech ahead of time, 2 minutes goes by very quickly!)

1 comment:

Nick Morra said...

"Now, as a trustee, I will be thinking about ways that EPSB can contribute to this vision and complement its focus. We are a big part of Edmonton."

Very glad to hear it. The most obvious and direct way EPSB can support this vision is to stop closing schools in mature, central areas, and to stop penalizing smaller neighbourhood schools under outdated enrolment measures. This will go a long way to reducing sprawl, promoting walkability and encouraging a diverse, vibrant and greener city.

In my opinion, we're eventually going to get a city as envisioned by Councillor Henderson (and others). The only question is how long it takes us, and how much time and effort we waste along the way.

Keep up the good work, Trustee Sue.