Reimagine Services Report Coming Before Council

At the next City Council meeting on June 22, 2021 the Reimagine Services report will be presented by Administration. There have been a lot of questions and public discussion about the proposals in this report, which include recommendations about charging parking fees at city parks and attractions after two hours free, naturalization of park space, reducing the amount of recreation and cultural programs, and how we operate recreation and sport facilities.

The Council Agenda is here:
https://pub-edmonton.escribemeetings.com/Meeting?Id=300e6d53-b3b0-4b01-b5cb-6eb3a2abd7f3&Agenda=Agenda&lang=English

The item is 6.5. You can see the Update Report in the item attachments.

Nothing has been decided yet. There’s the City’s financial state to take into account, but also the quality and accessibility of City parks and amenities. Before deciding where I come down on these recommendations, I want to hear Administration’s presentation, and in the meantime I want to hear what you think. Please feel free to contact my office at [email protected] or 780-496-8136.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who provided feedback. It is appreciated.

To clarify my stance, I’ll preface by saying Administration has been tasked with finding ways for the City to save money on several of our largest-budgeted service areas. The report linked contains many other recommendations besides just the parking one. Some are reasonable and I would support, but not necessarily all of them. I want to get a few things clarified about the entire report, which is what should come out of Tuesday’s presentation.

That said, with regards to the parking recommendation specifically, I’m concerned about equity — the impact on people who may not be able to afford fees. I’m concerned about the potential impact on people’s physical and mental health if access is reduced. I’m also concerned about the economic impact on attractions if attendance drops.

I would like to see this recommendation in particular opened to public engagement and feedback from attractions staff.