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Posts Tagged ‘Guelph City Council’

Mayor Karen Farbridge

We were pleased to welcome Mayor Karen Farbridge back to CFRU93.3fm‘s Royal City Rag on September 11. As part of our pre-election coverage, we invited all of the current city council, including the mayor, to join us on Royal City Rag for an end of term report.

Mayor Farbridge joined us on July 31 however we were unable to cover as much ground as we hoped in what proved to be a very interesting conversation. The mayor graciously agreed to come back for another chat before the election campaign gets going in earnest.

This week’s conversation focused on the upcoming municipal election campaign, fiscal responsibility, growth and sustainability, governance, accountability and transparency.

Music:
Bob Dylan, Political World from Oh Mercy
Janis Ian, The Great Divide from Folk Is The New Black
Billy Bragg, NPWA from The Essential Billy Bragg

Listen to the show:

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In our interview on July 31 , Mayor Farbridge discussed growth and its impact on municipal taxation, the Ontario government growth plan Places to Grow, Guelph’s Natural Heritage Strategy, the new tree bylaw and the protection of Guelph’s urban trees. Check out that interview HERE.

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Councillor Karl Wettstein

Royal City Rag’s end of term reports from city council continued on Saturday, August 21 with a visit from Ward 6 councillor Karl Wettstein.

As part of our pre-election coverage, we have invited all of the current city council, including the Mayor, to join us on the show for an end of term report. An opportunity for council to discuss the main issues they see facing the city, it also gives us a chance to ask some important questions of them. Check out our previous interviews with Councillor Lise Burcher, Councillor Leanne Piper, Councillor Maggie Laidlaw, Councillor Vicki Beard and Mayor Karen Farbridge.

During our discussion we chatted about issues affecting the south end of Guelph, growth and infill development, the thorny subject of municipal taxation as well as the importance of good governance.

As always, it was great conversation. Definitely worth a listen, if you missed it.

Listen to the show:

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Music:
Katherine Wheatley, One True Kiss from Landed
Billy Joe Shaver, Live Forever from Greatest Hits

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Councillor Karl Wettstein

We’re continuing our end of term reports from city council on CFRU93.3fm‘s Royal City Rag this coming Saturday, August 21. This week, we’ll be focusing on the south end of Guelph as we welcome Ward 6 councillor Karl Wettstein into the studio during our first hour, 8-9 a.m.

As part of our pre-election coverage, we have invited all of the current city council, including the Mayor, to join us on the show for an end of term report. An opportunity for council to discuss the main issues they see facing the city, it also gives us a chance to ask some important questions of them. Check out our previous interviews with Councillor Lise Burcher, Councillor Leanne Piper, Councillor Maggie Laidlaw, Councillor Vicki Beard and Mayor Karen Farbridge.

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Councillor Vicki Beard

We were pleased to welcome Ward 2 councillor Vicki Beard to CFRU93.3fm‘s Royal City Rag on Saturday, August 14.

As part of our pre-election coverage, we have invited all of the current city council, including the Mayor, to join us on the show for an end of term report. An opportunity for council to discuss the main issues they see facing the city, it also gives us a chance to ask some important questions of them. Check out our previous interviews with Councillor Lise Burcher, Councillor Leanne Piper, Councillor Maggie Laidlaw and Mayor Karen Farbridge.

As a change from our previous interviews this interview focused more on the work of a councillor and the importance of accountability and transparency. We also had a chance to chat about the new composting plant. Definitely worth a listen if you missed it on Saturday.

Listen to the show:

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Music:
Ferron, Cactus from Impressionistic (compilation)
Warped 45s, Progress from 10 Day Poem For Saskatchewan
James Gordon, This Canoe Runs On Water from This Canoe Runs On Water

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Councillor Vicki Beard

We are pleased to welcome Ward 2 councillor Vicki Beard to CFRU93.3fm‘s Royal City Rag this coming Saturday, August 14. Councillor Beard will be joining us during our first hour, 8-9 a.m.

As part of our pre-election coverage, we have invited all of the current city council, including the Mayor, to join us on the show for an end of term report. An opportunity for council to discuss the main issues they see facing the city, it also gives us a chance to ask some important questions of them. Check out our previous interviews with Councillor Lise Burcher, Councillor Leanne Piper, Councillor Maggie Laidlaw and Mayor Karen Farbridge.

Guelph Downtown - Planning For Growth?

In the second hour, Kent Hakull will be joining us in the studio. Kent  is a graduate student in Planning at the University of Waterloo. For his thesis work, Kent decided to focus on Guelph as an urban growth centre, and, in particular, on how planned growth under the provincial growth plan Places to Grow will impact Guelph’s downtown. He is also interested in how citizens and planners values and attitudes to growth and development differ.

…I am curious to research citizen and planner values concerning the physical and social dimensions of public space/realm (Downtown Guelph, Ontario, Canada), and how public space is valued in the City of Guelph’s forthcoming Downtown Secondary Plan. There is much to be said about public spaces. There is much to be said about Urban Growth Centres. There is much to be said about urban equity.

What is valued? How do we plan? For whom are we planning? What role do public spaces play?

What is happening in Guelph is naturally part of a larger transformation.  This summer I’m conducting interviews to learn what is difficult about implementing Smart Growth, Places to Grow and Active Transportation. Many of the concerns raised in Guelph at the public meetings are echoed around the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The issues are real and relevant, and to me it is a matter of understanding what is going on, what are the challenges, and, based on this, address the issues and recommend a path forward. If I look at Guelph, as a case, I may offer a unique insight to further improve the policies directing cities in their effort to balance population growth, economic uncertainty, environmental pressures and socio-cultural sensitivity.

It should be a fascinating conversation. You won’t want to miss it.

You can check out Kent’s blog regarding his studies here.

As always, we’ll wrap it all up with some great music.

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Recently, a new Guelph community group, Land Is More Important Than Sprawl (LIMITS) has expressed serious concerns about the proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park development.

The group believes that the City of Guelph is moving ahead with this huge business development without due diligence bearing in mind that we are in a deep recession, and both peak oil and climate change are starting to seriously impact the way we live.

The group also believe that the full environmental impact of this development has not been fully examined or explained to the public. The area in question is of important ecological value as it contains an old growth forest with trees of over 200 years old and and an important groundwater recharge area for the local area. As there is no shortage of brownfield land around the city available for industrial development, they believe that disused industrial land should be used first.

With these concerns in mind the Guelph Civic League is hosting a public meeting with community leaders to discuss the Hanlon Creek Business Park (HCBP) on Thursday March 26 from 7.00 – 9.00 p.m.  in Meeting Room 1 at Norfolk Street United Church , corner of Norfolk and Cork St., Downtown Guelph.

Community Dialogue Regarding The Hanlon Creek Business Park (HCBP)
Hosted By Guelph Civic League

Thursday, March 26 7.00 – 9.00 p.m.
Norfolk Street United Church Meeting Room 1
75 Norfolk St., corner of Norfolk and Cork St.

Panelists:

The evening will begin with 5 minute presentation/remarks by each panelist and then move to a facilitated dialogue.

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So the proposed hydro merger between Guelph Hydro and Horizon Utilities failed to make it through council.

Monday’s council meeting made great TV (really!)… five and half hours of to-ing and fro-ing over the issue of whether is it better that our hydro comes from a small locally managed company  wholly owned by the City of Guelph and its citizens or from a larger company in which the City of Guelph and its citizens are a shareholder that is determined to be a player on the Ontario power distribution scene.

A very difficult decision based on the apparent cost savings and other short term financial benefits that were part of the business case we weren’t privy too. But when you consider that the other Horizon Utilities shareholders Hamilton and St Catherines could potentially sell the facility out from under of us after two years without Guelph being able to do a thing about it I think the right decision was probably made.

I can’t honestly say that I had too good a handle on this issue before the vote went down but I applaud the citizens who made an effort to not only learn about the issue but also expose some of the flaws in the premise that a merger with Horizon would be a good thing.

I have to also applaud the Mayor and Council for the way they thoroughly reviewed and discussed the issue before the final vote Monday night.

If I learnt anything from last night it was that there still needs to be much more community engagement on issues like this if council wants to have the community onside before the issue comes to council.

Thanks to Annie O’Donoghue from the Guelph Civic League for putting that issue so clearly.

More on this issue when Brian Holstein joins us on Royal City Rag this evening.

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