City Planning, Reviews and Transparency

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know what goes on in the cities planning department.  But that right there is part of the problem.  Some of this info should be known, reviewed, and available easily to see. And perhaps it is, but the HRM website is not exactly user friendly in my opinion.  Yes its hard with so many departments, and I don’t have better options.

The snow issues of last winter are still fresh in our minds, and we still see foibles and inconsistencies, at least from my and I’m sure the public’s perspective.

I’m not on council, nor am I running, but if I were, here are things I would like answers to, and I think we should have them publicly available no matter what. Some relate to each other, some don’t. And in no particular order….

  1. When do we start regular maintenance for different things? ie: road repainting, patching, parks and rec?
  2. Who, how often, and when are plans for regular maintenance reviewed.
  3. How are priorities set? Is downtown residential patching more important than heavy shopping areas like Bayer’s Lake? Same with line painting.
  4. What data is used to determine this.  historical? how often is it collected, updated?
  5. What is the infrastructure plan? Do we have multi-year plans? if so why, a few years ago, was beford hiway near old ultramar paved, then torn up for water, then torn up for gas, rather than doing the latter two first?
  6. Do we have an infrastructure bank? Do developers contribute? Should we allow developers to build developments for profit that add to our infrastructure woes without contributing to a pool to improve it?
  7. Should we allow development at all in some areas till we can make it sustainable infrastructure wise?
  8. Do we have a growth plan?
  9. Why do we interrupt daily traffic in non-residential areas when we could do work in off-peak hours.  If contracted, why, who reviews.  Are the cost savings worth the downsides?
  10. Why, oh why, do we allow paving and patching in cold weather? I would need to see empirical proof that this is a valid plan, as having seen it first hand, asphalt sticks to tar better when both surfaces are hot. Cold ground will also expand, and heave destroying work done during cold weather faster than if in summer.
  11. This is an over generalization, but it is a common perception in the HRM public….Why is it so hard to actually make a decision? Are people afraid? Lets stop referring to committees over and over, and do things.

I’m not looking for personal response here, I just think that council should be aware that these criticisms are out there (not necessarily of council either, but of the whole shebang).  Lets get together and make this city truly work rather than continue to feel like were bogged down in bureaucracy and “heritage”.

Posted in Politcs, Rant and tagged , , .

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