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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Week Fourteen

I started working on the Parking in Historic Downtown Policy. To start off, I examined the Camrose Traffic Bylaw #2481/06 section 3. This section provides regulations for how parking should be conducted in the city as well as the city downtown. In addition, I examined the Land Use By-law #2567/07 pp 74 to 76 as it provides guidelines for communal parking. Next, I gathered that it was the Camrose Police Service that enforced parking regulations in the city. I held a meeting with the deputy police chief to discuss section 3. I came out of the meeting with more questions and they include some of the following:

I. I am curious as to why the need for this policy since there is a governing by-law already in existence. I may need to clarify this with Engineering and Camrose Police.
II. I need to talk to the Camrose Police Enforcement Officer next week to get a better understanding of the enforcement aspects of parking.
III. Also, there is no clarity as to what Engineering wants for this policy. There is the need to talk to Engineering to determine if the Parking Policy just wants to focus on enforcement only or should the policy include parking stalls development.

I worked on my group research prooject examining how important it is to involve all relevant stakeholders in sustainability initiatives.

The follow-up review meeting on the surveillance policy with the City Manager and the General Manager of Community Services went well. We concluded that I call the FOIP office in Edmonton to get some feedback on some surveillance concerns we discussed at the meeting.

Learning Outcomes
• Discuss policy issues with different department staff to get a uniform picture for the need for the policy
• Provide compelling suggestions to Department why there maybe no need for a policy review or draft in cases where a policy works very well.
• Ensure department heads and other associates do not have issue with policy before proceeding to the next level of policy implementation

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Week Thirteen

There was a bit of misunderstanding as to whose project the Directional Signage Policy was. The misunderstanding arose out of the discussion I had with Public Works and the direction they asked me to take; nevertheless, my consultation with Municipal Planning and Infrastructure Protection clarified certain aspects, not all, of what might be expected for a Directional and Informational Signage Policy. In our consultation, we examined the current City of Camrose Map and the various city landmarks and locations that maybe essential to have directional signs to; the need to redo the City’s current map to assist residents and visitors to their intended destinations, as the current map is not informative enough to provide precise directions; there is the need to improve the map for businesses within the City to help their operations as well as serve their customers and clients better.

Some additional information that I incorporated into developing the Directional Signage policy includes the following:

Alberta Transportation Off- Road Facility Signs
Camrose Land Use By-law #2567/07 Section 7.12
Canadian General Standards Boards Specifications 62-GP-11M
Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada

The rational behind this is to have engineering specification that are consistent with and adheres to a Canada Wide Standards for Informational Signage. The Coop Student conducted the research on specific standards, and I developed the policy itself. I presented a copy of the policy to the Municipal Engineer for review. I hope to hear from him by tuesday, next week.

I submitted a Report to Committee—Surveillance Policy—to department heads for their feedback. I had one feedback from a department head to address some video surveillance issue at his department. I responded to it and we, Legislative Coordinator and I, might have to meet up with the Department Head next week to discuss his concerns a bit more. The surveillance policy was intended to be on council agenda this coming Monday but I believe it’s been removed from it to address the Department’s Head concern.

We had our last internship meeting with our community partners on friday, August 12, 2011, to discuss the success and challenges of the internship program. Lots of good ideas was floated around and discussed. The downer of the day was there might be no funding for the program next year. We are hoping the folks at Alberta Rural Development Fund change their position and provide the funding for this program, as it is a meaningful, helpful, and practical program for both interns and community partners. Moreover, the benefits of this program goes beyond the dollar figure. I am hoping all community partners petition the Alberta Rural Development Fund to reconsider this program for future interns.

Learning Outcomes
• I utilized resources at the engineering department to develop the directional signage policy despite the misunderstanding at the start.
• It is better to get everyone’s concern addressed, most importantly department heads, first before proceeding to the next stage.
• Do not discount anyone’s view.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Week Twelth

I worked on four policies – Roadway Signage & Inspection Policy, Dust Control Policy, Curb & Sidewalk Inspection and Maintenance Policy, and Directional Signage Policy- at the same time this week. The reason being they all overlap in a way as these policies are implemented by Public Works. I held consultations with Ray, the supervisor in charge of administering these policies, to get an understanding of how these policies were implemented by his department. Meeting with him at the Mirror Lake Center (MLC), I gathered that all the policies, with the exception of the Directional Signage Policy, seem to be working well for Public Works. Areas that might need improvement for these policies include the following:

• Creating a Curb & Sidewalk Database for Public Works to notify them when maintenance and inspections are due on existing and new sidewalk developments.
• Review the ‘language of instruction’ in the Dust Control Policy to reflect contemporary needs, and also include the use of calcium chloride as the substance of choice in dust control by the municipality
• Continually contrast the various policy with other municipal policies to identify maintenance areas that can be improved
• Find creative ways to expand the current Curb & Sidewalk Inspection and Maintenance Policy to include winter months, if possible, as there are several complaints and calls made to the City for maintenance work in the winter.
• Increase the budget if extra work needs to be done.

I conducted some research with an Engineering Coop student on the Directional Signage Policy. Our research showed that the City does not have a policy for Directional Signage, even though the Land Use Bylaw and the City Development Standards does include and explains how various signages should be set up on City lands. To add to this, I found out that Directional Signage is under the administration of Municipal Planning and not Public Works or Municipal Engineering. I intend to meet up with Municipal Engineering and Municipal Planning next week to clarify the expectations of this project.

Learning Outcome:
• Try not to ask for a budget before developing a policy. It should be the other way around.
• Meet with department heads to always clarify project expectations, as well as consult with relevant stakeholders who are directly engaged in working on projects that are guided by policies you may possibly be developing. Meeting with all stakeholders helps define and shapes your policy development. Also, such meetings could reduce potential tensions that could impact the policy.