The Pulse: May 7, 2024

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  • 11°C: Rain. Amount 10 to 20 mm. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High 11. UV index 1 or low. (forecast)
  • Teal: The High Level Bridge will be lit teal for Sexual Violence Awareness Month. (details)

A person wearing a suit looks at a person wearing a suit who is speaking to an audience.

Robar says he's keen to help city understand costs

By Colin Gallant

Edmonton's interim city manager Eddie Robar told the hosts of Episode 262 of Speaking Municipally that he doesn't plan to merely warm the seat while city council looks for a permanent replacement for Andre Corbould, who resigned in March.

"I don't think we're going to sit idle on anything," Robar said. "I keep telling people I'm in the best seat in the house because if I mess it all up, I just go back to my old job — and I'm OK with that."

Robar said one of his goals is to improve clarity between council, city staff, and citizens. For example, the unrest among city employees that nearly caused a strike suggests a needed realism about the city's capacity, he said.

"When we ask people in our groups, in our workplace, to achieve expectations (for) service standards that are unachievable, and you're putting that on the employee, I think that is a disservice to the group," he said.

Robar said that mentality also applies to the recent 8.9% property tax increase, when Edmontonians wanted justification for expensive capital projects. Though it's the operating budget that determined the tax increase, he said council needs a clearer picture of the maintenance costs that new capital projects add to the operating budget.

"I think we've got to do a better job of identifying that for council, so they understand (what) the impact of approving 10 new subdivisions looks like," Robar said. "We need people in there to cut the grass, we need people in there to plow the streets, we need people to fill the potholes."

One of Robar's priorities is to meet citizen expectations. Barring that, he said, the city must at least be aligned and clear on what it's capable of given its revenues.

"One of my trackers as a record has always been about managing expectations — what we can deliver for what we have — and making sure that people are well aware of what they can get from us for the tax money that they're putting in," he said.

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Headlines: May 7, 2024

By Mariam Ibrahim

A title card that reads Taproot Edmonton Calendar:

Happenings: May 7, 2024

By Debbi Serafinchon

Here are some events happening today in the Edmonton area.

And here are some upcoming events to keep in mind:

Visit the beta version of the Taproot Edmonton Calendar for many more events in the Edmonton region.