Medicine Hat Minute: Police Chief, Arena Deal, and City Manager Priorities
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
The Public Services Committee meets this morning at 8:00 am. The Committee will discuss amendments to the Outdoor Smoking and Vaping Bylaw which includes expanding the definition of “outdoor public places/events” to include grandstands, skating rinks, basketball courts, and outdoor events like markets. There will also be a Managing Director’s Service Area Update that includes the Monarch Theatre Request for Proposal, the Public Art Policy, and Fabiola Film Productions.
- Later this afternoon, at 3:45 pm, the Council Committee of the Whole will meet. The meeting is closed to the public as the discussion relates to a Performance Evaluation Template for Council Employees. The Economic, Land & Strategic Planning & Development Committee will meet on Tuesday at 4:30 pm. There will be an update on the “Strong Towns” initiative before the meeting is closed to the public for discussion of a customer inquiry and a property sale.
- The Corporate Services Committee will meet on Thursday at 11:00 am, but no agenda is available yet.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
Chief Alan Murphy has officially been sworn in as the new Chief of Police for the Medicine Hat Police Service. He was appointed to the position permanently in December after serving as the interim chief since October. One of the main issues he hopes to address is crime and disorder in the downtown area. He believes that the problem can only be solved with a team approach involving police, social agencies, political leaders, and members of the community. He also plans to focus on wellness within the police force, saying that police officers are exposed to significant trauma daily and need support for their mental health in order to effectively serve the community.
- The City of Medicine Hat has announced that a deal to sell the former Medicine Hat Arena property to NewRock Developments has fallen through. The purchase contract expired, and the parties agreed to discontinue further negotiations. The rezoning and changes in market conditions, inflationary pressures, rising interest rates, and unproven market demand, made the feasibility of the development uncertain. City staff will work on a new proposal for the arena lands, which could be in front of City Council by the second quarter of this year.
- A motion to make economic development the top priority for the incoming City Manager, Ann Mitchell, was defeated at a meeting of Council. The motion, presented by Mayor Linnsie Clark, called for Mitchell to bring forward recommendations on economic development just two weeks after starting her role on February 6th. While some Councillors supported the motion, others felt that it was not the right time for Mitchell to start thinking about economic development, and that she needed some time to adjust to her new role first.
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