Commitments & Accomplishments
Four years at City Hall has provided me with a unique insight into the administrative operations of our City and the governance model we use to make decisions on how we invest tax dollars. I’ve been very engaged on ward and city wide issues over my term and I’ve worked hard to ensure I provide regular ‘Councillor Communication’ on issues through a current website, monthly e-newsletters, and social media outreach.
There are thousands of issues in each ward and the entire City that a Mayor and Councillors work on to ultimately improve the quality of life for all citizens. I’ve summarized my key commitments going forward and my major accomplishments over the past four years.
My Commitments Going Forward*
I am a very engaged Councillor who is active on many many issues as reflected in my key accomplishments. If re-elected for the 2018-2022 term, I will be working on these Neighbourhood and City Wide commitments – and of course others, but these are areas of focus where I believe I can add great value and make positive change.
Neighbourhood Commitments: See Your Neighbourhood.
City Wide Commitments:
Develop Council Strategic Plan of Priorities
Virtually every City in Canada has Council collaborate and develop a Strategic Plan of Priorities for their elected term. While Winnipeg has many long term strategies in place (25 year Our Winnipeg Plan, 25 year Transportation Master Plan, etc) I believe Council should set forth a Strategic Plan of Priorities for the elected term. The Strategic Plan would identify specific recommendations, actions and priorities. The Strategic Plan of Priorities acts as a clear statement to the Public, the Public Service and Councillors on what the focus will be for the term. It is critical the Strategic Plan be developed with ALL of Council at the start of the term. I am committing to work with Council to make this happen in the first six months of the new term.
Ensure Governance Review & Meaningful Public Consultation Occurs
- There are all kinds of leadership styles and approaches used to move a team forward. The current governance model we operate under allows a Mayor to secure nine votes to move his/her agenda forward. This model – the ‘Strong Mayor’ model means it is possible to completely eliminate any conversation or discussion with Councillors – other than on the floor of Council. I’ve not had a meeting request from the Mayor on any topic for the last two years. I’m sure for some other Councillors it is even longer.
- While I recognize leadership styles are different, and personalities are unique, to have a governance model where a Mayor does not have to speak to other Councillors to discuss the future direction of our City is just absurd. Yes, this can be a reflection of weak leadership – but, regardless, the City has not conducted a review of the governance model in 20 years and it is time. Funding has been committed for a governance review and I will work to ensure broad public consultation and input into how our City is governed – which ultimately determines how Council makes decisions on investments and how the City is moving forward.
Aligning Economic Development Agendas and Decisions
Council must have a clear understanding of Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW), the Winnipeg and Manitoba Chamber of Commerce and the Province of Manitoba’s economic development goals – to ensure when Council sets civic agendas and makes decisions – the actions align to support economic priorities. Very simply – we should all be working from the same playbook and making decisions to support the economic development goals. I am committing to working with Council to facilitate sessions to ensure Council is acutely aware of the economic development goals of our agencies and the Provincial government.
Optimize Operational Improvements
- I’ll be brutally honest – the dysfunction, and silo based operations of the internal workings of the City is costing taxpayers millions. The administrative operations of the City, in my opinion – need a complete overhaul. We need strong administrative leadership to improve systems, and to work with Council on improving corporate culture. We need to develop a ‘how can we help you’ approach to service delivery. We need problem solvers, we need innovative thinking to solve problems. I’ve never worked in a more dysfunctional organization.
- This direction and leadership needs to come from a Mayor to a CAO – or be moved forward as a priority by Council members. As the Councillor whose had the largest ward in population for four years, I need 311 to work for my residents. I’ve been chiseling away at trying to improve 311 but with little success because it is not prioritized by leadership. 311 is the front line for service delivery for our City – how can improving this not be a priority? Working in great detail on the illegal rooming house file clearly identified the silo based approach in reporting/ tracking and information sharing internally. We’ve made great progress breaking down the process to respond / report and collect data on illegal rooming houses – but massive work needs to occur city-wide in virtually all departments. I am committing to work with Councillors to make optimizing operational improvements a priority. A city simply can’t function efficiently unless its internal systems work.
Regional Recreation Campus Development
Before a shovel went in the ground to develop Waverley West, the City of Winnipeg identified a recreation deficit in the Southwest quadrant of the City. Now, with an additional 40,000 people, the development of a recreation campus is even more of a priority. Much progress has occurred over the last four years: land has been secured, initial development funding has been secured, planning is underway to install pipes, drainage and sewer systems on the prairie fields. This is a top priority of mine to keep this project moving forward.
Crime Prevention, Poverty and Homelessness
A tremendously complicated issue – that is all connected in some form or another – and that requires many partners and approaches. I would like to see broader Council involvement and participation identifying how we can all play a role in making positive change. This should be a priority on every Councillors list and I will work to see more discussion and innovation occurs on these files.
Optimization of Transit and Rapid Transit Corridor
- Rapid Transit Corridor: We should see the best possible transit service as a result of the City’s $500M infrastructure investment. I will be working to ensure this happens. If we don’t see the best possible transit service as a result of the $500M investment (not including the cost of operating) I question why we would invest a penny more on other routes.
- Land Use Planning: I will work to ensure land use along the Transitway zoned to enable maximum residential development and proper land use plans are put in place to maximize on the significant investment in the Transitway.
- Transit: I will work to have a wide and broad public consultations on the recommendations that are coming forward in the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan so all Winnipeggers can offer input.
Combatting Illegal Rooming Houses
We’ve made great progress combatting illegal rooming houses around the University of Manitoba BUT there is more work to do! I will continue this work in the Waverley West Ward and look forward to partnering with the new South Winnipeg-St Norbert Councillor.
* These may change over the coming weeks as I have one on one conversations with residents at the ‘campaign door’ but from what I’ve heard and experienced these last four years, I think there will be nominal changes.
Please review my key accomplishments in your neighbourhoods and throughout the City that I’ve worked on over the past four years.
Neighbourhood Accomplishments: See details in Your Neighbourhood
These neighbourhood accomplishments are because residents and I worked together to make change. In 2014, I was given the honour to represent the residents of the ward, and strongly believe that by working together on neighbourhood priorities, we’ve been able to build a stronger, healthier community and improve the quality of life for all. In each neighbourhood, I’ve provided a list of what I believe we should be focusing on for the next four years. I am hearing additional feedback at the ‘campaign door’ and have built a comment section for you to provide additional insight into your neighbourhood priorities. Please provide input.
City Wide Accomplishments
I’ve highlighted what I feel are some of the major City wide accomplishments I’ve worked on. There are many many more but these are my personal highlights. I am acutely aware that the governance model we work under hinders the ability for Council to work together and accomplish even more. I have great hope we can improve on the governance model in this coming term. A city should be run with equal representation of all members of Council – not just that of a Mayor and nine Councillors.
Secured Governance Model Review
It’s been 20 years since we reviewed the City’s governance model. Currently we are one of a very few Cities in Canada that govern under the ‘Strong Mayor Model’. We receive and share information much differently than 20 years ago. Good governance requires regular reviews of the model.
Improved Decision Making Ability
Councillors who are not on the Mayor’s Executive Policy Committee now have four business days to review reports before voting on issues. Previously, Councillors only had 96 hours, and often the 96 hours were over weekends when Councillors attend community events. This increase in time will enable better decision making.
Improved Administrative Processes
Through challenging work and much political and internal resistance, I was able to call for audits that resulted in significant administrative improvements in the City’s Legal Department (Missed Statement of Claim-Water Treatment Plant) and with communication processes on Capital Projects (Sterling Lyon – William R. Clement Parkway Project)
Strengthened By Laws and Fire Safety for Legal and Illegal Rooming Houses
The work residents and I have accomplished in Ft Richmond and University Heights is improving safety for tenants in rooming houses throughout the City. We moved mountains, changed processes and broke down silos. A massive undertaking overall and still is a work in progress.
Increased Student & Housing Options around University of Manitoba
Working with planners, developers and community, over 1000 units (1, 2 and 3 bedrooms / unit) have been approved for development on Pembina Hwy and University Crescent.
Championed Adoption of Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies & Changed Winter Snow Removal Policy on Sidewalks & Pathways
Years of work with community organizations prior to being elected enabled the development of and approval of the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies for City of Winnipeg. I brought forward a motion to review and update the snow and ice removal on sidewalks and pathways policy and am very pleased all of Council approved the changes.
Secured Land and Initial Funding for Regional Recreation Campus
Four years ago, we did not have land, funding or any planning in the works for a large regional recreation campus for the south west quadrant of Winnipeg. Today we do. Major accomplishment.
Supported City Wide Transformative Initiatives
- Record Road Renewal
- Record Active Transportation Investments
- Improved Accountability of Elected Officials
- Winnipeg Art Gallery Inuit Gallery Expansion
- Assiniboine Park Diversity Garden Construction
- Winnipeg Arts Community Support
- Improved Sustainability of City’s Collective Agreements
- Winnipeg’s Movement forward on our Journey toward Reconciliation