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Conversation with Jordy Smith, about Wards and Gasoline Alley?



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  • From: Jordy Smith
    To: gjmarks
    Sent: Mon, 09 Oct 2017 14:02:40 -0600 (MDT)
    Subject: Re: Missed opportunities and possibles?

    Thanks for the thoughts, Garfield:
    I’ve been observing and studying to find out what Red Deer needs to do if we are to retain residences and businesses from moving to Gasoline Alley. The main thing I keep on finding is how we need to make our city into a more appealing destination in and of itself. Making the Hazlett Lake area into a district with amenities, shopping, etc, is a fantastic idea and one we should go with.
    One thing I noticed regarding the conversation of how to keep businesses from moving to Gasoline Alley is how little of an advantage Red Deer has over it. Think about it, many candidates have said that businesses will come to Red Deer because we are in a prime location between Edmonton and Calgary… but so is Gasoline Alley. Some say we will attract more businesses because we have an airport (which is county owned), or because we may be getting a University, but Gasoline Alley can take advantage of these opportunities as well. The only advantage Red Deer has is through developing more high density destination locations like Hazlett Lake.
    What are your thoughts on our ‘advantages’ over Gasoline Alley?

    Thanks, Garfield:
    As you may know, I am in favour of ward system. I have already written extensively on the subject. Here I will include the short Facebook article I wrote entitled, “A Case for Wards.”

    When you hear the word ‘wards’ what do you think? Some people picture prison wards, some think of hospital wards, and many don’t know what to think. In this context, wards are districts city councilors represent at City Hall. Places such as Calgary and Edmonton have 12-14 wards, while other locations such as Red Deer and Lethbridge have none. In the latter examples, these cities have at-large elections where everybody votes for multiple candidates according to the number of seats available. (For example, Red Deer has eight council seats, so each voter selects a maximum of eight people.) Red Deer has always used this at-large system for elections, but I advocate for switching to a ward system.
    Wards provide direct representation within the city council. They allow anyone who sees an issue in the city to go to their particular councilor and voice their concern. In this situation, the councilor ensures the person’s, and their district’s, voice is heard. If they don’t represent their community well, their constituents can vote for a new councilor in the next election. In our current system, a person can reach out to some or all of Red Deer’s councilors, but if the issue isn’t prevalent across the entire city, it is unlikely to enter the council meeting. Important neighbourhood issues may take a backseat to other matters in distant parts of the city. This scenario isn’t always a problem in at-large systems, but it often favours certain parts of a city more than others. This issue is especially true when a majority of councillors all live in a similar part of the city. In Red Deer, seven of our eight councillors live on the South-East side of the river; in fact, many of our past councils have had disproportionate representation from the South-East side. A ward system gives each part of Red Deer direct representation and a voice in council decisions.
    A ward system facilitates a simplified election process for citizens. We have 29 people running for city council; this is the second highest number of candidates the city has ever had (the most was the 2013 election with 30 candidates). Having 29 candidates means every citizen must research and understand the positions of 29 different people to make an informed decision. The sheer amount of options encourages voters to pick people they know, names they recognize, or randomly selected candidates. These reasons for voting aren’t good for our democratic process because they put popularity ahead of platforms and solutions. In comparison, citizens of Calgary only have to consider, at most, nine councillor candidates; Edmontonians only need to research, at the most, 13. Each Red Deer citizen needs to be aware of over twice as many candidates than the two largest cities in Alberta! Wards simplify the election process for citizens, ensuring the most qualified candidates are selected based on the issues and solutions they bring.
    Lastly, wards help prevent underqualified candidates with certain advantages to win elections. It takes a strong campaign for candidates to run successfully, and the at-large system makes it more challenging. In a ward system, every candidate only campaigns within their district; this contrasts an at-large system where a candidate must reach the entire city. The at-large system gives two types of candidates an advantage: incumbents, and those with financial resources. Incumbents are current councilors who are running for another term; their advantage comes from successfully running in previous elections. They already have signs, name recognition, more opportunities to talk with the press, and strong networking connections. None of these are bad, but it makes it difficult for new candidates with great ideas to win against incumbents who have already been on council for two, three, or four terms. Candidates with financial resources also have an advantage; they can mobilize and advertise their campaign to the entire city in a short period. Contrast this with other potentially great candidates who don’t have the resources to bring their message to a city of 100,000. Now, the best financial support comes from interest groups; often they have a particular agenda, so they back the candidate who helps them achieve it. This situation is problematic because it allows candidates to be elected whose interests are tied to their financiers, rather than the city. A candidate who lacks these advantages is unlikely to win, even if they are the best person for the position. Wards make it easier for candidates to run; they don’t require as many resources because they only compete in their ward. The incumbents still have some advantage, but the smaller community creates a more even competition.
    Some argue Red Deer is too small to have wards, but cities such as Brandon, Manitoba, and other smaller cities in Ontario have had wards for decades. Others believe ward systems make city council more divisive and less focused on the city as a whole. Red Deer can resolve this concern by adopting a three or four-ward system, each with multiple councillors. This idea gives each ward more representation on the council, and encourages councillors to consider more than just one-eighth of the city when making decisions.
    Every city begins with an at-large system. With it, Red Deer has grown to its current size. Our councillors work well with each other, making the city a better place. But Red Deer is facing new challenges, and developing wards is a part of overcoming them.
    Thank you for your time and consideration.

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    Central AB Child Advocacy Centre one step closer to reality



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  • Red Deer, Alberta, June 15, 2018: The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is thrilled to announce that the next phase in planning for its new Centre of Excellence on Red Deer College’s main campus is now underway.

    On Thursday, June 14, RDC’s Board of Governors approved a resolution to move forward to request Government of Alberta approval through an Order in Council to lease a portion of land on the RDC campus to the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre. This request builds on the memorandum of understanding that CACAC and RDC entered into earlier this year, and it represents the partners’ commitment to work together to explore options that will meet the needs of Central Albertans.

    Mark Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the CACAC, together with the centre’s staff and service partners, couldn’t be more pleased with this announcement. “Supporters of the centre have worked tirelessly since the formation of the coalition group who were determined to help with the desperate need for child advocacy in Central Alberta. We are collectively changing the way Central Alberta responds to child abuse. We opened in our temporary facility November 2017, and the statistics have been staggering of how many cases have been processed. The need for our planned Centre of Excellence is proven, and we are going to be working hard to raise the funds to bring it to fruition. These children need us, the community needs us, and the future of our society depends on it.”

    The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not for profit organization, governed by a board of directors that works in an integrative partnership with the Central Region Child and Family Services, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Justice, Alberta Education, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, and the RCMP to better service children, youth and families impacted by sexual abuse and the most serious/complex cases of physical abuse and neglect.

    The centre has professionals onsite dealing with the criminal, child protection, medical and psychological needs of child victims and their families. Onsite professionals include police officers, physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and crown prosecutors with the common goals of: improved timeliness in the coordinated assessment and investigation of child abuse cases; increased access to support and therapeutic resources for the child and their family; enhanced collaboration among partners; more efficient and effective use of resources; increased knowledge and awareness of child abuse in the community.

    Working collaboratively, we achieve greater results than any partner could on their own. It blends investigation, treatment, prevention, education and research with expertise to provide an integrated practice approach: wrapping around children and always “working in the best interests of the child”.

    Learn more about the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre by clicking this link.


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    Meet some amazing local artists at the ‘Open Studio’ Tour June 23/24



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  • The Red Deer Arts Council is thrilled to announce its third Open Studio Tour, June 23 and 24, 2018!

    This is a self guided tour of artist studio spaces and free to the public.

    Nineteen visual artists in fourteen studios bring you this amazing experience. They will open the doors to their private art studios from 1 to 4:30 p.m., and welcome the public to see the process of creating fine art as each artist demonstrates their processes. From sculpted clay to sculpted metal, from paintings to silk, from jewellery to glass, the fascinating techniques and works of some of Red Deer and area’s most recognized artists will be on display for visitors.

    You can download or print the tour brochure and a map to help find all the studios, and artist bios to read before arriving on scene. The artists will not only demonstrate the processes they use, but happily take questions about their media, style, technique or anything related to art. Artists love to answer questions about their art!

    Each studio is also offering a door prize for visitors. The draw will take place at a reception at Troubled Monk Brewery at 5551 45 Street. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the Brewery’s tour and tasting to find out about their own brand of locally made, hand crafted products. Tour visitors are invited to RSVP to the Arts Council by June 19th by phone at 403-348-2787 or by email at – to be eligible for this special reception.

    Here’s a list of the participating artists:

    Red Deer Artists

    Teena Dickerson
    Teena Dickerson Metal Artist Studio
    DEMO: Teena will be demonstrating bronze casting.

    Suzanne Le Beau
    Spirit of Clay Ceramics Studio
    DEMO: Suzanne will be demonstrating the process of pouring liquid clay (slip) into plaster molds , as well as  the process of taking them out of the molds and altering them.

    Shirley Rimer
    Works In Clay
    DEMO: Shirley will be demonstrating some of her clay work upon request, throughout the Open Studio tour.

    Marlene Kallstrom-Barritt
    Kallstrom Studio
    DEMO: Marlene will be working on various paintings of the “Ascending” series. “

    Candice Meyer
    Candice Meyer Studio
    DEMO: Candice will be demonstrating the process she goes through to make her jewellery.

    Darcy Gusse Edinga
    Silk Concepts
    DEMO: Darcy will be demonstrating painting on silk.

    Trenton Thomas Leach and Holly Elliott
    Rogue Art and Design
    DEMO: Trent will be demonstrating stained glass. Holly will be demonstrating photos applied to various mediums

    Susan Barker and Issy Covey
    The Kitchen Studio
    DEMO: Issy will be hand building her clay ceramics. Susan will be  painting.  Susan will also show her wheelthrowing studio.

    Betty Schnell
    Betty’s Studio DEMO: Betty will be demonstrating painting a landscape.

    Wendy Meeres
    Art and Lampwork Beads Studio
    DEMO: Wendy will be demonstrating glass bead-making.

    Marianne Harris
    Paintwerx Studios and “Away To Play”
    DEMO: Marianne will be demonstrating miniature watercolours with special effects.

    ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jeri Lynn Ing
    Gallery IS Studio
    DEMO: Jeri Lynn will be demonstrating her process of applying layers of acrylic paint and collage on canvas to create large abstract flowers and landscapes. There will be a few different art pieces in different stages of development to better show the viewer her process.

    Vivian Williamson
    Calligraphic Art Works Studio
    DEMO: Vivian will demonstrate the process she goes through to do decorated letters on watercolour paper as well as calligraphy on a watercolour background.

    Out of Town Studios

    Pat Matheson
    The Farm Studio
    DEMO: Pat will be demonstrating the Raku-fire process which involves removing his pieces from a red hot kiln – lots of fire, smoke and fun!

    Bobbie Seright Palanuik
    Veranda Gallery and Gardens Studio
    DEMO: Bobbie will be demonstrating her work with pastels/oil.

    Learn more about the Red Deer Arts Council by clicking here or going to Facebook.

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    Community Events

    june, 2018

    wed30may - 26sepmay 303:30 pmsep 26ATB Financial Downtown Market(may 30) 3:30 pm - (september 26) 6:30 pm

    sun10jun - 24jun 1010:00 amjun 242018 Edgar Farms Asparagus Festival10:00 am - 4:00 pm (24)

    sun17jun - 1juljun 1710:00 amjul 1- 4:00 pm2018 Edgar Farms Asparagus Festival10:00 am - (july 1) 4:00 pm

    tue19jun7:00 pm- 11:30 pmSebastian Bach w/ Guest The Standstills & Sweetgrass- June 19th7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

    tue19jun - 15juljun 198:00 pmjul 15Freewill Shakespeare Festival8:00 pm - (july 15) 10:30 pm

    wed20jun9:00 am- 11:00 amAlliance MeetingsTopic: Red Deer’s Community Safety Strategy9:00 am - 11:00 am

    wed20jun5:45 pm- 8:00 pmRed Deer County Eco-Buffer and Shelterbelt Workshop5:45 pm - 8:00 pm

    thu21jun - 3juljun 216:30 pmjul 3THE WORKS ART & DESIGN FESTIVAL6:30 pm - (july 3) 12:00 am

    fri22jun - 1juljun 227:30 pmjul 1- 9:15 pmEdmonton International Jazz Festival7:30 pm - (july 1) 9:15 pm

    fri22jun - 23jun 229:00 pmjun 23A Weekend With St. James Gate I Bo's Bar & Stage9:00 pm - 1:00 am (23)

    sat23junAll DayRed Deer Highland Games(All Day: saturday)

    sat23jun4:00 pm- 8:00 pmOlds Beer Festival4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    sun24jun11:00 am- 2:00 pmOne Eleven Jazzy Brunch11:00 am - 2:00 pm

    mon25jun - 3sepAll DayRip ‘N Rec Summer Pass returns for youth in Red Deer(All Day)

    tue26jun5:00 pm- 6:30 pmUnited Way Central Alberta Annual General Meeting5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

    tue26jun - 22juljun 268:00 pmjul 22Freewill Shakespeare Festival8:00 pm - (july 22) 10:30 pm

    wed27jun - 1juljun 279:00 amjul 1- 8:00 pmWestern Canadian Breeders Championships9:00 am - (july 1) 8:00 pm

    wed27jun2:00 pm- 3:30 pmMayor’s Garden Party2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

    sat30jun9:00 am- 12:00 pmRed Deer Roundup 5k/10k/15k Run9:00 am - 12:00 pm

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