Eyes on the future

Reorganizing City of Red Deer operations could mean a big difference in the coming year.

City council: from left

Reorganizing City of Red Deer operations could mean a big difference in the coming year.

The city has hired a consultant to analyze the city’s departments and its hierarchies. The aim is to see if business could be done more efficiently and whether cost savings could be achieved.

Councillor Buck Buchanan understands it’s been about 20 years since an organizational review has been done.

“We had about 500 to 600 employees then, but it’s doubled since then,” Buchanan said. “We haven’t really changed the departments around . . . is there a better way of doing business?”

He said it may be a good idea for the RCMP, which is under the control of Community Services, and Red Deer Emergency Services, under Development Services, to be together under one department.

Councillor Gail Parks supports having both planning and legal services as city departments, not contracted as they are now.

She wants to maintain the RCMP in town, but also approves an additional municipal police force so the city has a better ratio of officers.

“The RCMP could be left to do federal and large crime matters,” Parks said. “We wouldn’t have to have a smaller number of RCMP because we can’t get the numbers we need and have agreed to fund. Ottawa determines the number.”

She would like to see this idea investigated over the next year.

Other goals of this council before municipal election day on Oct. 18, 2010, are:

Morris Flewwelling — See the beginning of the Greater Downtown Action Plan go forward and is also looking forward to businesses moving into the city’s new industrial Queens Business Park.

Cindy Jefferies — Continued work on the greater downtown.

Lynne Mulder — Hopes to see development begin within the Greater Downtown Action Plan, and would like to see the completion of a secondary suite bylaw. Hopes for more public input into the municipal budget process.

Parks — Would like to see a new committee structure at City Hall.

Tara Veer — Wants to see the city take a more holistic approach to urban planning and would like to see improvements in design standards and all modes of transportation. Also looking forward to a safety and security plan for the city.

Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer — Looking forward to being involved in the provincial Land-Use Framework study, which will attempt to balance growth across designated regions. “I am concerned what is happening to our land, particularly the land in the West Country,” she said. “It’s being decimated out there.”

Frank Wong — He would like to see recently annexed land north of Hwy 11A, north of Edgar Industrial Park, be developed for housing. “We keep pushing to the northeast and the southeast,” he said. He would like to see an area structure plan north of the city at least started. He’s also happy a review is being done on the public arts policy.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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