The rumours are official, Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco will not run for a fifth term (see Leader Post, Newstalk and Prairie Dog.) The Mayor will end his 12 years in office before the municipal election this fall.
As Mayor Pat Fiacco certainly divided opinion. Many Reginans appreciated his energy and positivity as a great ambassador and civic booster. There were years without tax increases, which was popular if not short sighted. Big projects like Wascana Lake improvements, record construction and more recently new office towers and a public plaza downtown. He also embodied a more corporate style at City Hall, perhaps taking a page from his time in the private sector.
Detractors often felt he was isolated, combative and too business oriented. With projects like the Regina Revitalization Initiative (RRI), the 12th avenue plaza and planned cuts to libraries were some of many controversial plans and projects backed by Mayor Fiacco.
His stepping down makes this fall election look much more interesting. Vetting a new mayor should allow the public to raise questions and reflect on the kind of leader they want and what direction they should go.
In the mean time, there are meetings, plans and projects on the go. Like today, where at 11:45 there is a meeting of Executive Committee (which may or may not be open to the public). There are three reports on the agenda:
EX 12-3 Final Taxi Study Recommendations. There are dozen recommendations for upgrades to Regina’s taxis including GPS units and security cameras in at most three years time, as well as new licensing and inspection fees. There is also a recommendation for a ratio of one cab for every 1250 residents.
EX12-4 Regina Revitalization Initiative (RRI) [Stadium] Procurement Team Contracts. The City wants to contract a Project Manager, Architectural/Owner’s Engineer and Fairness Advisor to the RRI team. The positions are part of the P3 process and as such will provide, according to the report, expertise in their fields.
I recommend reading the Background section of the report for a good summary of the RRI process to date.
EX12-5 Comprehensive Housing Strategy Work Plan. The work plan sets out 5 phases:
Background Review (Now)
Issue Identification (Mar-May)
Policy, Incentives and Strategies Identification (May-July)
Evaluating Alternatives and Preparing a Draft (July-Nov)
Public Engagement (Nov-Dec)
Housing Strategy (Early 2013)