On being a ‘Change Agent’….

Change is a difficult proposition for many, particularly when environmental circumstances are comfortable, the universe is unfolding as it should, and when nothing appears to be a threat to that comfort. The inertia of a consistent path is an easy course to follow.

As a candidate for the upcoming St Albert civic election, I wish to acknowledge that many of our creature comforts in St Albert are cared for incredibly well. Many of us don’t have any issues with City services, taxes, personal safety or how the City is managed. That is how it should be, in that we have many dedicated individuals who look after our needs and ensure our safety. Awesome work is completed every day.

But that comfort should never stop us from ‘keeping our eyes open’ to possibility. The possibility that, as a City, we can do better in specific areas. The possibility that we can reduce the cost of living in St Albert. That we can enjoy a greater degree of community support, public safety, and leisure activities.

That said, it is also clear that we must manage our expectations and take care that we don’t extend ourselves financially to the point where recovery is going to harm future generations of our residents. We are responsible for our actions even though they may not impact our children and grandchildren for many years. We own it.

For those who follow the business of running our City, some issues continue to be seen as opportunities for improvement. We have seen spending in specific situations  where the justification given is not supported by the actual and final product. Some of these issues are relatively small (unnecessary painting, unnecessary signs) while others are more substantial (new road and traffic circle). We must never forget that every expenditure is cumulative towards the total amount spent through the budget process. Every dollar counts.

I see large empty SAT busses moving through small residential loops. There must be a more efficient way of offering transit to our residents.

I see us pushing for stand-alone community facilities (ie the Branch Library) when to do so would add substantially to our debt. We obviously have not examined every possible solution, as new possibilities are still popping up in Council deliberations.  

Although we have a relatively low-crime community, we also have disturbing incidents of pedestrian and cyclist collisions. In my view, every user of our roadways must play a critical part in responsible and safe roadway use, so everyone can remain safe. We should consider a reduction in the speed limits on purely residential streets, but balance that with accountability for those who put others at risk. We cannot continue to rely on automated traffic enforcement when ‘in person’ enforcement provides so many better learning opportunities, ‘real-time’ consequences, and demerits where applicable.

There are more issues. The point is not to identify every one, but to suggest that there are possibilities for improvement in the way St Albert does its business.

Which brings us back to the whole idea of examining and where necessary, creating change.  

It takes courage and conviction to consider change. It also takes a lot of hard work. And, it most definitely takes a team to ensure the best product is achieved.

A new set of eyes and a new perspective is always a healthy growth opportunity for a community and how it is governed. For all of the comforts and services that we enjoy, there are significantly fewer issues that should be changed. But change would be - and is - healthy and evolutionary.

The theme of this blog is that we should not be afraid of change…that it requires fortitude to advance change… and change cannot be advanced by a minority of council.

I’m prepared to make changes and have demonstrated my willingness to do so through my work in promoting and establishing civilian oversight for the St Albert RCMP.

I will work hard if change is required. But no one person can accomplish such lofty goals by themselves. In order to affect change, a majority of council must agree to the principles of what adjustments are necessary. Unless a majority will support a new direction of business, not much will occur. Inertia will prevail.

If you want to see business conducted in a slightly different fashion in St Albert, you must examine each candidate's willingness to support change. It should be obvious in their past performance. It should be unequivocal in their platforms. It should be evident in the expressions of what they are prepared to do as new councillors.

For incumbents, a track record is easy to evaluate. They have been in the public realm for the last four years and their comments and voting records are readily available. If you want change, you must evaluate the record of these incumbents to ensure you understand who you wish to support and why. If they have been open to change, that behaviour is a good predictor of their future decisions.

I’d be happy to work for  change. It’s critical that your favorite candidates understand your concerns. The majority of your new council needs to understand that too. Any one of them can be change agents.

But it will work best as a team effort.



 


Comments

I agree with your sentiments. Change is inevitable. If there is one thing that is permanent in this world, that is change. The bad thing is people are used to having a negative attitude towards change. That is something that must be corrected. People should be comfortable with change. That is a measure for maturity. If you are not capable of accepting and dealing with change, how can you say that you are a matured individual?

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08/30/2017 2:23am

What a beautiful web.. Love to sit here...

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We need changes as we need our comfort. It will be always hard for us to make a choice)

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09/21/2017 8:14am

Well, we don't like changes. It's a fact. It's a part of human nature and you know that.

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10/26/2017 12:01am

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10/27/2017 10:35am

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