Municipal Government – Ballinger TX http://ballingertx.org/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 21:38:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://ballingertx.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-150x150.png Municipal Government – Ballinger TX http://ballingertx.org/ 32 32 Summit County Officials Propose Countywide Fiber Optic Broadband Project | New https://ballingertx.org/summit-county-officials-propose-countywide-fiber-optic-broadband-project-new/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 21:38:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/summit-county-officials-propose-countywide-fiber-optic-broadband-project-new/ Summit County officials hope to improve internet access for local governments — and eventually residents — through a $70 million fiber optic broadband network project across the county. The network, called Summit Connects, would consist of a 125-mile fiber optic ring connecting Summit County and all of its 31 city, town and township governments, as […]]]>

Summit County officials hope to improve internet access for local governments — and eventually residents — through a $70 million fiber optic broadband network project across the county.

The network, called Summit Connects, would consist of a 125-mile fiber optic ring connecting Summit County and all of its 31 city, town and township governments, as well as a central data center, the director said. of the county, Ilene Shapiro.

The preliminary goal of the project is to provide a high-speed, secure and affordable broadband platform for daily local government operations and communications, Shapiro said. Eventually, the county will seek to partner with private companies to bring the network to homes, schools, businesses and others, she added.

“Residents will have access to it, ultimately, but the first reduction, if you will, is for public safety and economic development,” Shapiro said. “Connecting our communities from a safety perspective is paramount.

Shapiro has asked the county council to approve the project, which would require an estimated $70 million investment from the county, said Brian Nelsen, Shapiro’s chief of staff.

The county plans to use $35 million from its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation and $22 million from the County General Capital Improvement Funds as part of the investment, Nelsen said.

“The private providers we spoke with … both used the $300 million figure for private investment that would grow into the community,” he said.

If approved next week, officials expect the initial design phase to take 6 to 8 months, Nelsen said. Construction of the fiber ring and data center is expected to be completed by 2025, he added.

At this point, county officials will begin planning to bring the technology to residents, Shapiro said.

“We understand that everyone is anxious; they want to get it, but these are big projects, and we want to make sure we’re aware, and we’re working with all 31 communities to get their input,” Shapiro added.

According to Broadband Ohio, 11% of Summit County’s geographic area does not have access to minimum levels of upload and download speeds, county officials said.

Local governments face similar technology issues, Nelsen added. They are often limited when selecting an internet service provider due to cost, he said, and depending on their location, the highest speeds may not be accessible.

Small governments can also be sensitive to security issues, he said.

“It’s a struggle for many of them to keep up to date with technology, to keep themselves safe from cyberattacks, and just the day-to-day operations that run county and city government, and really all organizations.” , Nelsen said.

Summit Connects would also allow the county and 31 communities to reduce collective costs through the use of a single data center, he said.

The fiber would come from a data center in Fairlawn, which already operates its own broadband network, FairlawnGig, Nelsen said.

Shapiro requested a contract with Thrasher Group for the design of the fiber ring and a contract with Mann Parsons Gray Architects for the design of the data center.

Both contracts will not exceed $100,000, according to county officials.

Fairlawn officials recently introduced legislation allowing for the creation of a Council of Governments to operate the fiber ring and data center.

“The City of Fairlawn is thrilled to partner with Executive Shapiro, Speaker Walters, and my fellow mayors and administrators to improve public safety for Summit County’s 540,000 residents. Building this critical infrastructure today will make our county safer tomorrow and open doors for future innovation,” Fairlawn Mayor Bill Roth said in a press release. “We have significant experience in building and operating a service broadband and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with our partners throughout this project.”

Summit County Council meets on Monday, June 27, the last meeting before its summer recess.

Copyright 2022 WKSU. To learn more, visit WKSU.
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Corporators in burkas insult the national song in the municipality https://ballingertx.org/corporators-in-burkas-insult-the-national-song-in-the-municipality/ Sun, 19 Jun 2022 13:54:49 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/corporators-in-burkas-insult-the-national-song-in-the-municipality/ In Uttar Pradesh, some councilors are accused of insulting national song Vande Mataram during a council meeting in Muzaffarnagar. A video of the national song Vande Mataram being sung at the meeting has gone viral in which four burka-clad corporate women are seen to remain seated while all other members of the house stand in […]]]>

In Uttar Pradesh, some councilors are accused of insulting national song Vande Mataram during a council meeting in Muzaffarnagar. A video of the national song Vande Mataram being sung at the meeting has gone viral in which four burka-clad corporate women are seen to remain seated while all other members of the house stand in honor of the national song.

Netizens called it an insult to the national song. Interestingly, the Union Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairy Products and Fisheries, Sanjeev Balyan, was also present at the meeting. He is the elected Lok Sabha member from Muzaffarnagar constituency.

The meeting, which was held at the Municipal Auditorium on the afternoon of Saturday June 18, 2022, was also attended by Kapil Dev Agarwal, Minister of Vocational Education and Skills Development of the Government of Uttar Pradesh. He also served as the Municipality President of Muzaffarnagar in the past. This incident also occurred in the presence of several other senior officials.

At the meeting, where a resolution of Rs.196 crore for the development of the city was passed, the entire House except these 4 members stood in honor of the national song “Vande Mataram». The members of the house also seemed unhappy with this act. The national song was played before the start of the debates.

Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan advised everyone to respect the national anthem and the national song. Councilors also discussed this. The Union Minister said if a woman insults the national song, how will she strengthen the society?

It should be noted that a case regarding granting the same status to the national song as that of this national anthem is pending before the court. During the last week of May 2022, the Delhi High Court also sought the opinion of the central government in this regard.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay filed a Public Interest Complaint (PIL) on the matter. He said that due to the lack of national song guidelines, it is used indecently and insultingly in movies and parties as well.

In his petition, he said: “On January 24, 1950, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Speaker of the Constituent Assembly, said that the song ‘Vande Mataram’ had played a historic role in the independence struggle of the India and would be honoured. tied with ‘Jana-Gana-Mana’. Upadhyay basically asked to play both – the national anthem as well as the national song – in all institutions.

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ZeroEyes Promotes JT Wilkins to Senior Vice President of Government Solutions and Dustin Kisling to Senior Vice President of Strategy https://ballingertx.org/zeroeyes-promotes-jt-wilkins-to-senior-vice-president-of-government-solutions-and-dustin-kisling-to-senior-vice-president-of-strategy/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/zeroeyes-promotes-jt-wilkins-to-senior-vice-president-of-government-solutions-and-dustin-kisling-to-senior-vice-president-of-strategy/ In his newly expanded role, Mr. Wilkins will be responsible for the strategic and focused growth of ZeroEyes government solutions in the federal and municipal government markets. He will focus on growing AI threat detection in the DoD requirements cycle, developing ZeroEyes’ Air Force SBIR into a record-breaking program, extending ZeroEyes’ solution to agencies federal […]]]>

In his newly expanded role, Mr. Wilkins will be responsible for the strategic and focused growth of ZeroEyes government solutions in the federal and municipal government markets. He will focus on growing AI threat detection in the DoD requirements cycle, developing ZeroEyes’ Air Force SBIR into a record-breaking program, extending ZeroEyes’ solution to agencies federal civilians and the establishment of strategic defense partnerships.

“There are few jobs outside of the military and first responder communities where you really feel like you’re making a difference,” says Wilkins. “At ZeroEyes, I wake up every day knowing that I am helping to save lives. Focused on the government market, I work tirelessly to ensure that those who protect us abroad and work to keep our country running efficiently are in safety here at home.”

In Mr. Kisling’s new expanded role as Senior Vice President of Strategy, he will be responsible for strategic alignment with ZeroEyes industry and technology partners, evaluating go-to-market opportunities and development of M&A, VC and PE landscape strategy, valuation and initiatives. , and oversee business development initiatives.

“It’s a privilege to be part of a company so committed to making the world a safer place,” says Kisling. “The professionalism and dedication of every member of the company makes ZeroEyes an exceptional place to work. I look forward to supporting the company’s mission and growth, and ultimately bringing our technology to even more customers.” needing a security solution.”

Mr. Kisling and Mr. Wilkins are both military veterans. Previously, Mr. Wilkins served as a Marine Gunnery Sergeant and led intelligence and targeting operations in the Special Operations Forces. Throughout his career in the Marines, Mr. Wilkins operated at all levels of the Department of Defense, working directly with the Intelligence Community, the Department of Justice and other government agencies to mitigate threats against United States and allied nations.

Mr. Kisling served in United States Marine as Navy SEAL. Prior to joining ZeroEyes in 2020, Mr. Kisling co-founded and served as Executive Director of Veteran’s Outdoor Advocacy Group, which researches, advocates and promotes legislative solutions that improve the lives of veterans through complementary therapy to traditional approaches to mental health.

About ZeroEyes

ZeroEyes provides a proactive, human-verified AI gun detection software solution that integrates with existing security cameras and mitigates mass shootings and gun violence by reducing response times, delivering actionable insights with images and providing clarity in the chaos, thereby saving lives. ZeroEyes has been recognized by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a promising counterterrorism technology and is the first video analytics technology to receive the SAFETY Act DT&E designation.

Founded by Navy SEALs and military special ops veterans, ZeroEyes provides accurate, real-time firearms-wielding intelligence near or in an occupied area or building to local personnel and law enforcement. order with an image of the shooter(s) and the location of the threat, within 3-5 seconds from the time the weapon is detected. The ZeroEyes team also provides technical advice, installation assistance, and training exercises for active shooter events to improve safety at schools, businesses, and government facilities. Based in the Greater Philadelphia region, the company’s affordable and effective firearms detection solution has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Defense, major K-12 public school districts, colleges/universities, commercial real estate groups, factories manufacturing, Fortune 500 corporate campuses, shopping malls, superstore retail stores and more. Learn more about ZeroEyes at ZeroEyes.com.

SOURCE ZeroEyes

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Roly Russell talks about his first two years as an MP – Grand Forks Gazette https://ballingertx.org/roly-russell-talks-about-his-first-two-years-as-an-mp-grand-forks-gazette/ Tue, 14 Jun 2022 21:00:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/roly-russell-talks-about-his-first-two-years-as-an-mp-grand-forks-gazette/ “The only one that’s consistent is a lot of emails,” said Roly Russell, when asked about a day in his life as MPP for the riding of Boundary-Similkameen. Since winning his seat in the 2020 provincial general election, Russell has come out on top across the riding. But he did not always want to play […]]]>

“The only one that’s consistent is a lot of emails,” said Roly Russell, when asked about a day in his life as MPP for the riding of Boundary-Similkameen.

Since winning his seat in the 2020 provincial general election, Russell has come out on top across the riding. But he did not always want to play politics.

Science and environmental conservation have always been Russell’s interests. After studying conservation biology, forestry and ecology at post-secondary level, Russell pursued a career in academia, doing research and teaching to raise awareness of climate issues.

“For me, personally, through my life trajectory, (it’s) recognizing the urgency of climate action in particular, and seeing the opportunity to help be part of the solution there.”

Sustainability has always been a priority for Russell. He said his scientific background helps him in his political roles, especially when it comes to decisions on climate issues.

“Getting out of the world of science brings a very different view of how we come to make decisions or figure out what is true or not. So it also has a significant impact on how I operate in this policy area.

Originally from Grand Forks, Russell has a unique understanding of the inner workings of rural communities. Immersed in a small-town community since childhood, he knows well how rural communities work.

Russell said Boundary-Similkameen is a unique riding. The region is made up of several smaller towns, unlike many other constituencies which operate around a larger town or community.

Russell is the Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development. Through this role, he champions and represents the needs of rural communities.

As an MPP, Russell divides his time between the Legislative Assembly of Victoria and that of Grand Forks. While in Victoria, he worked to debate bills and represented the people of the constituency in parliament. When the Legislative Assembly is not in session, Russell travels the constituency. He said providing people with accessible ways to communicate with him and his team is a top priority.

“One of our goals is to understand how…we make sure there are very few barriers for people to come to us with their concerns so that we can try to help.”

Russell’s pre-election campaign period was in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020. This presented some challenges in being able to connect with communities, he said, but also opened up new ways to communicate through online platforms.

For Russell, meeting new people and connecting with communities is a highlight of the job.

“It’s like a very, very public job interview, which lasts about a month,” he said when asked about the election process.

When Grand Forks flooded in 2018, Russell was Chairman of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) and Electoral Area Director for Rural Grand Forks/Area D. When the flood hit the community, Russell played a role in rallying the community around recovery efforts. He worked to coordinate local groups and support them in economic and social recovery efforts.

Russell emphasized his appreciation for the many community members who contributed.

“I have tremendous respect for the people who have stepped forward into these roles to help navigate the community through this. And it ended very well for us, I think, in terms of having the right people at the table.

After becoming an MP, Russell had to deal with flooding in Princeton, in the fall of 2021. The second time around, Russell had more knowledge on how to handle disaster recovery.

“Having been through this for our own community here, I knew some of the questions to ask, that they would want to ask, even before it became clear that they had to ask them.”

Managing disasters, particularly weather events caused by climate change, is a top priority for Russell, both in and outside of his political roles.

“A few years ago, the challenge was to make sure communities understood the threat well enough to properly prepare for it. Now, I think it’s pretty painfully obvious to everyone just how much of a problem climate change is in terms of the increased frequency and unpredictability of these kinds of weather events.

Floods, fires and heat waves have become far too common for residents of British Columbia. Russell said preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery are all essential to managing these disasters.

Levee systems and forest fire departments are examples of disaster mitigation that can help prepare for such events, he added.

After years in academic science and working with municipal government, Russell decided that working with the provincial government was the best way to bring about the change he hopes to see in the world.

“My goals for the term are really to help contribute to improving the way we do things like forest management, like climate action, and like delivering health care in rural communities. And recognizing that at the same time, it’s about understanding how rural communities work and better meeting their needs in a meaningful way.

Russell recognizes that young people have a lot of potential to make change and have their voices heard, and he encourages teens who are interested in politics or activism to explore the opportunities.

He was very impressed with the questions students at Boundary Secondary School (BCSS) asked him during the campaign. Russell said these questions were “the best questions [he] I was asked.

Russell encourages young people to pursue their interests and passions in life and be the change they want to see in the world.

“It’s about finding a way to make your future what you want it to be, instead of doing what you’re maybe told you’re good at or what you should be doing.”


@audreyygunn
editor@grandforksgazette.ca
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British Columbia PoliticsFeatures

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City of Aspen receives bid for child care provider https://ballingertx.org/city-of-aspen-receives-bid-for-child-care-provider/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 05:30:31 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/city-of-aspen-receives-bid-for-child-care-provider/ The city of Aspen has received an offer from a prospective childcare provider to fill the void left earlier this month by a longtime local business that operated in the government-owned yellow brick building municipal. The national research was published last month as a request for proposals on BidNet, a bidding platform for governments. The […]]]>

The city of Aspen has received an offer from a prospective childcare provider to fill the void left earlier this month by a longtime local business that operated in the government-owned yellow brick building municipal.

The national research was published last month as a request for proposals on BidNet, a bidding platform for governments.

The city had no luck attracting interested parties in March when it put out a request for proposals from licensed child care providers in the Roaring Fork Valley.



The city is aiming to find an operator to take over four classrooms at Yellow Brick this fall, according to deputy city manager Diane Foster.

Aspen Playgroup, which served more than 40 children and was owned by Kadi Kuhlenberg, closed on June 3 after reaching an impasse with the city over new lease terms.



A citizen advisory board that oversees the city’s taxpayer-funded child care program, known as Kids First, decided last summer that Playgroup Aspen and another provider, Aspen Mountain Tots, should operate five days a week instead of four.

The terms of their leases were amended in 2021 and were to come into effect in September 2023.

The mandate was to increase the capacity of child care offerings.

Kids First Council is following guidance from Aspen City Council, which in 2021 made increasing childcare capacity one of its priorities, recognizing that without access to affordable early education, parents cannot contribute to the local workforce and economy.

Yet the early childhood education industry faces serious problems with low teacher salaries, stringent state and federal regulations, and locally no affordable housing.

The difficult landscape is probably one of the main reasons why the city received only one offer from an interested supplier.

Foster said the critical needs to increase child care capacity in Aspen are wages and housing, which are hard nuts to crack and which the city government continues to work on with dedicated sales tax revenue.

In 1989, city voters passed a 0.45% sales tax, 55% of which goes to the Kids First program and the rest to affordable housing. The tax was renewed by voters in 2008 and runs until 2040; it has generated $34.9 million since 1994, which goes as far back as the city’s financial system.

Generating just under $2 million a year, most of the revenue goes towards financial aid for families, tuition reduction and other grants, as well as program support, such as quality improvement efforts and resource teachers.

Foster said the city wouldn’t want to take money out of Family Financial Assistance to raise teachers’ salaries or subsidize Yellow Brick’s rent to $1 a year so providers raise their salaries.

She said she could not release the identity of the bidder until a childcare committee made up of herself, Kids First staff and board members is convened. this week to consider the proposal.

“There’s only one, so let’s hope they qualify,” she said.

Foster said Kids First staff have approached child care providers in the Valley to reassess their interest in moving to the Yellow Brick.

As for the sole bidder on BidNet, Foster said she expects a decision to be made later this week.

csackariason@aspentimes.com

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‘Appropriate’ action investigation finds Rivers handled altercation appropriately https://ballingertx.org/appropriate-action-investigation-finds-rivers-handled-altercation-appropriately/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 14:06:02 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/appropriate-action-investigation-finds-rivers-handled-altercation-appropriately/ By Michelle Warren, The Chronicle June 10, 2022 An investigation into a complaint filed by Willimantic activist James Flores against Windham Town manager Jim Rivers found Rivers handled an altercation with Flores in May 2021 appropriately. Find out what’s happening at Mansfield-Storrswith free real-time Patch updates. The altercation occurred between Flores, Rivers and other city […]]]>

By Michelle Warren, The Chronicle

June 10, 2022

An investigation into a complaint filed by Willimantic activist James Flores against Windham Town manager Jim Rivers found Rivers handled an altercation with Flores in May 2021 appropriately.

Find out what’s happening at Mansfield-Storrswith free real-time Patch updates.

The altercation occurred between Flores, Rivers and other city hall staff at city hall on May 3, 2021.

Flores, a former member of Windham City Council, was arrested in connection with that altercation, as well as a separate altercation with Willimantic police on June 4, 2021.

Find out what’s happening at Mansfield-Storrswith free real-time Patch updates.

“I had every confidence that Mr. Rivers would be vindicated in the report,” Windham Mayor Thomas DeVivo said Wednesday.

He said he planned to put the report on the agenda for the city council’s next meeting, scheduled for June 21.

“I should be allowed to go into this building,” Flores told the Chronicle on Wednesday.

Flores filed the lawsuit with the city on Feb. 18, and DeVivo referred it to city attorney Rich Cody. Citing a conflict of interest, Cody advised that another firm handle the investigation, hence Karsten & Tallberg LLC. of Rocky Hill was given the task.

In the complaint, Flores claims that Rivers violated his civil rights by refusing to tell him about a planned flag ceremony at Cinco de Mayo during the incident on May 3, 2021. He also claims that Willimantic police violated his civil rights that day.

Rivers said police have launched an internal investigation into the police complaint. Police Sergeant Willimantic. Lou Frechette referred comments on that investigation to Willimantic Police Chief Paul Hussey, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday. The report by Karsten & Tallberg attorneys, dated May 31, says that in light of the evidence and the First Amendment, Rivers did not violate “any identifiable rule, regulation, policy or law.”

The document indicates that Rivers told Flores to leave his office several times and asked him to go to the public area, which Flores refused to do.

According to the report, the video shows Flores saying four officers ‘tried to intimidate him’ and that ‘you know how white supremacy works’, noting that some of the Latino officers were ‘afraid to speak their minds. “.

In his complaint, Flores claimed that Rivers was unprofessional towards him. Citing previous cases, the report states that when a citizen “acts in a manner that unreasonably disturbs the peace within a public office building and refuses to comply with reasonable restrictions applicable to such building, an administration may be justified in requiring the removal of a taxpayer citizen from city property because the citizen’s right to be there is not unlimited.”

The report references the law as well as witness reports and a cellphone recording from Flores of some of what happened, which was originally posted on Flores’ Facebook page.

“Mr. Flores apparently spent a significant portion of his time following the incident on May 3, 2021 continuing to interfere with Mr. Rivers’ official duties and his general sense of safety at his workplace,” the report said. . “Nevertheless, Mr. Rivers insists that he ignored Mr. Flores’ harassment and continues to exercise the professionalism and restraint he showed when he last met with Mr. Flores.”

Rivers said it’s difficult for staff to speak to Flores, noting they don’t want to respond to accusations he’s making that are false.

Flores has been charged with disorderly conduct and first degree criminal trespass on public lands in connection with the May 3, 2021 incident.

He is currently facing the following charges in connection with the June 4, 2021 incident: two counts of interfering with an officer/resistance and two counts of assaulting a public safety officer. During an appearance in Danielson Superior Court on Tuesday, the Flores case continued until July 14 for both cases.

Flores applied for the supervised diversion program, which would involve mandatory therapy rather than jail time.

“Let’s see what happens on July 14,” he said.

By court order, Flores was restricted from being on city property, including inside City Hall and on the lawn.

Flores said he asked the legal authorities to lift his mayoral ban.

He said if he was accepted into the supervised diversion program, but the ban was not lifted, he would prefer to be tried.

On Wednesday, he called Willimantic police for clarification on how far he should be from the town hall.

Frechette and Willimantic officer Joel DeCaprio spoke to Flores on Wednesday about the issue outside of town hall.

Frechette said Flores could not be on city property, but was allowed on public driveways, in other words, the sidewalk, where he was.

On Wednesday, Flores said he had not read the Karsten & Tallberg report, but said police should have interviewed other city hall staff who were there, as well as him, saying police only interviewed Rivers.

Flores also called Rivers a “misogynist” and a “racist.”

“We can’t let his behavior take over this town,” he said.

DeVivo, however, said Rivers is a “patient man” and handles city business professionally. “It’s not a hothead,” he said.

Rivers said he and other staff were worried Flores didn’t know what he was doing and hoped he would get help.

“Nobody is trying to hurt her,” he said. “No one is trying to take away his rights. It’s very concerning.”

Rivers said staff are also concerned about the well-being of city employees. “We need to put measures in place to make sure we protect employees,” he said. Rivers said it was costing the city a significant amount of money to put security measures in place and to investigate Flores’ complaint.

He said the investigation cost at least $9,700.

A copy of the report is available in the file for Tuesday’s city council meeting. The City Council file is available on the City’s website windhamct.com.

Follow Michelle Warren on Twitter — @mwarrentc.


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St. Albert’s historic debt aversion has consequences: City chief financial officer https://ballingertx.org/st-alberts-historic-debt-aversion-has-consequences-city-chief-financial-officer/ Wed, 08 Jun 2022 14:00:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/st-alberts-historic-debt-aversion-has-consequences-city-chief-financial-officer/ A balanced long-term debt plan will have a mix of old debt paid off and new debt to come, St. Albert’s chief financial officer told a board committee. While the city of St. Albert has always prided itself on avoiding long-term debt projects, the city’s chief financial officer says this strategy has its drawbacks. Diane […]]]>

A balanced long-term debt plan will have a mix of old debt paid off and new debt to come, St. Albert’s chief financial officer told a board committee.

While the city of St. Albert has always prided itself on avoiding long-term debt projects, the city’s chief financial officer says this strategy has its drawbacks.

Diane McMordie, St. Albert’s chief financial officer, reviewed the board’s current debt policy and outlined challenges ahead with long-term debt during a presentation to the board committee on May 30. McMordie also addressed potential ways to update St. Albert’s current debt policy, established in 2003, such as reconsidering St. Albert’s internal debt limits.

“While on the surface some would say the city has been fiscally responsible in severely limiting its use of debt, I’m going to challenge that notion a bit today,” McMordie said.

According to McMordie, debt can be an affordable source of finance if used correctly; a solid long-term strategic debt management plan will have a mix of old debts resolving and new debts arriving. Achieving this balance means that debt can complement “an organization’s sustainability,” she said.

Prior to 2019, however, St. Albert had only two long-term projects on its books over the past 15-20 years: Servus Place for $38.8 million and the first leg of Ray Gibbon Drive for $33.4 million. millions of dollars.

This historic debt aversion means that essential growth projects in St. Albert have often been delayed. McMordie gave the example of Fire Station No 1 – which was due for replacement ten years ago.

Construction of the new Fire Station #1 began in 2020 and has since been completed. Additionally, the council allocated funds to decommission the former Fire Station No. 1 building during its last budget season.

However, if Fire Station No. 1 had been replaced as needed 10 years ago, McMordie said, the City could have saved on the costs of maintaining and repairing the old building and staggering the expense with the No. 4 Fire Station, which Council approved a loan of $26.5. million by 2021.

Due to the delay, the City assumed these two expenses at approximately the same time.

Currently, St. Albert has several key projects on the horizon, with a few examples including a community amenities site in the city’s west end with an expected budget of just over $100 million, and construction of Fowler Way at around $39 million.

“Due to limited debt acquisition in the past, the amount of debt that will be repaid does not match the increased debt requirements to fund projects,” McMordie said.

Chicken and egg problem

St. Albert faces a similar challenge when it comes to facilitating new developments and future debt impacts.

Under the St. Albert Offsite Levy Program, developers offer a proportional share for new infrastructure to bring utilities such as water to their land in St. Albert when they develop it. However, since development does not happen all at once, one party often has to provide the upfront money to start a project.

McMordie said these substantial up-front sums needed to jump-start development lead to a “chicken-and-egg situation”.

“Developers need the infrastructure in place to grow,” McMordie said. “We need them to grow so we can collect their offsite levies to get the money to build the infrastructure.”

In previous years, St. Albert has been able to use excess capacity built into the city’s existing utilities to serve new developments, allowing the city to temporarily avoid the stalemate in financing new developments.

McMordie said St. Albert has reached a stage where that excess capacity has been exhausted, meaning new infrastructure is essential for development to continue.

These offsite royalty projects, combined with municipal growth capital projects (e.g., community amenities site), represent $500 million in new projects from 2023 to 2050. A long-term debt strategy can help guide the City through the tough choices ahead. , McMordie said.

Additionally, McMordie asked if council would be interested in reviewing St. Albert’s debt policy, which caps debt at 15% below the limit set for municipalities by the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and caps debt tax-financed debt at 50 percent. cent of this internal debt limit.

The committee is considering a change

Com. Wes Brodhead said if the council were to reconsider its debt policy or incur additional debt, the city would have to make it clear to the public “why this is in our best interest”.

As a councilor serving multiple terms, he noted that he had participated in conversations where the council considered going into debt puts the community at risk.

“We have to understand that the generation came out of 20% interest rates in the early 80s and they’re still residents of our community,” Brodhead said. “There’s real fear around it and I don’t think we can unilaterally forget that.”

Brodhead noted that members of the public “often equate civic finance with their own situation,” where saving eliminates the costs of debt they themselves have to bear.

“Under the city’s circumstances, current residents are paying for an asset that future residents are going to…benefit from,” Brodhead said. “I’m not sure that’s well understood within the community.”

Earlier in the presentation, McMordie pointed out that saving for capital projects can mean that former residents bear the full cost of a project that will primarily benefit future residents.

“One of the best reasons you would use long-term debt…is that you’re creating generational capital,” McMordie said.

McMordie said the administration will begin analyzing other municipalities to see what long-term debt strategies are being used in the province, with the goal of providing recommendations to council going forward.

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Jason Gunnell and Courtney Ketter vying for municipal bench at NLV https://ballingertx.org/jason-gunnell-and-courtney-ketter-vying-for-municipal-bench-at-nlv/ Mon, 06 Jun 2022 21:06:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/jason-gunnell-and-courtney-ketter-vying-for-municipal-bench-at-nlv/ Two men are running to replace Judge Sean Hoeffgen in Department 2 of the North Las Vegas City Court, after deciding not to run again. Senior Deputy Attorney General Jason Gunnell and local attorney Courtney Ketter will face off for the seat. Both have lived in the area for more than a decade and are […]]]>

Two men are running to replace Judge Sean Hoeffgen in Department 2 of the North Las Vegas City Court, after deciding not to run again.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Jason Gunnell and local attorney Courtney Ketter will face off for the seat. Both have lived in the area for more than a decade and are seeking to be elected to the bench for the first time.

Jason Gunnell

Gunnell was originally born in Idaho and attended law school at Southern Illinois University.

He spent much of his career as an Air Force attorney, as a prosecutor, and later as a senior special advocate for victims. He left active duty in 2015 and moved to North Las Vegas with his family.

He now works in the Attorney General’s office, handling a variety of different cases. He said his unique experiences would help him acclimate quickly to the job of judge.

“I’ve had experiences at the federal level, I’ve had experiences at the state level and in county courts,” he said. “And I want to bring all of those skills and everything that I have to focus on the city of North Las Vegas and try to make a difference locally. The bigger the government, the harder it is to make a difference.

Gunnell said he wanted to involve local community groups in the justice system, and also wanted to spend time getting out into the community and helping streamline some of the more tedious court proceedings.

“Getting more involved in the community is one of my big goals,” he said. “So the first time you meet me as a judge is not in the courtroom itself. You’ve met me on the street before.

Courtney Ketter

Ketter has lived in the Las Vegas Valley for 17 years and said applying for the job felt like the “next step” after years of becoming increasingly involved in the local community.

“I feel like my personal and professional experience gives me a good set of skills to communicate well with people in North Las Vegas,” he said. “And that’s why I run.”

Ketter has experience as a prosecutor and defense attorney, and he said that was one of the main reasons he felt he was the best person for the job. A native of Inglewood, California, he graduated from the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV and later started his own company, Ketter Law Offices.

If elected, Ketter wants to improve cooperation between the different municipal courts in the region and wants the court to be more accessible.

“I think too often people have this deer thing in their headlights when they go to court,” he said. “There is a lack of information, a lack of knowledge about how the court works. And I think we need to do a better job with that.

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South Africa’s municipalities on the brink of collapse: report https://ballingertx.org/south-africas-municipalities-on-the-brink-of-collapse-report/ Sun, 05 Jun 2022 05:59:50 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/south-africas-municipalities-on-the-brink-of-collapse-report/ The latest findings from ratings agency, RatingsAfrika, show that six of South Africa’s eight major metropolitan municipalities are financially unsustainable and in need of critical government intervention. The group monitors and assesses the financial viability of approximately 100 local councils and eight metro councils each year. According to the local pressThe firm’s latest findings show […]]]>

The latest findings from ratings agency, RatingsAfrika, show that six of South Africa’s eight major metropolitan municipalities are financially unsustainable and in need of critical government intervention.

The group monitors and assesses the financial viability of approximately 100 local councils and eight metro councils each year. According to the local pressThe firm’s latest findings show that the country’s municipal sector has deteriorated over the past year, adding that it is on the verge of collapse.

Only one metro is an exception to this rule, he said: the Western Cape, where municipalities are generally financially stable. Municipalities in the Free State and North West are in the worst condition.

“The South African municipal sector (with the exception of the Western Cape) is on the verge of financial collapse. The government must recognize this and start taking the necessary steps to save the country,” the group said.

Municipalities do not have the money to pay service providers and provide services to residents. For the year to June 2021, the 108 municipalities tracked by Ratings Afrika had a combined total of R23 billion and a cumulative deficit of R54 billion.

RatingsAfrika said the government should step in and bail out these municipalities – however, it warned that this could come at a cost to taxpayers, who would inevitably have to foot the bill.

Municipal failure

The dismal state of municipalities in South Africa has been well documented by the Auditor General and has been a big topic of discussion among investors, analysts and economists.

The Auditor General previously noted that only 28% of municipalities submitted quality financial statements for auditing, and only 11% received no-fault audits. The Free State and North West provinces have not had a single clean audit between them.

Only 5% of municipalities are financially stable and around 64 are dysfunctional due to poor governance, weak institutional capacity, poor financial management, corruption and political instability.

The report described a death spiral: endemic corruption and mismanagement in many municipalities lead to lack of funds and increasingly poor service delivery, the latter situation reinforcing a culture of non-payment of municipal tariffs and service charges which, in turn, exacerbates the financial deterioration of municipalities and further affects service delivery.

According to financial services firm Allan Gray, many municipalities are failing to meet the basic needs of their constituents, including providing them with adequate access to water, sanitation, housing and electricity.

As a result, trust in the system has eroded and the risk of social unrest – such as that seen in July 2021 in KwaZulu Natal and parts of Gauteng – is high.

“Although the downward trend in municipal health has been well documented in the press, the sheer scale of the rot is still alarming: unwarranted, irregular, unauthorized, wasteful and wasteful spending amounted to $189 billion. rands,” said Allan Gray.

Speaking at a recent PSG annual conference, former finance minister Tito Mboweni pointed out that without fixing dysfunctional municipalities, dangerous roads and reducing dependence on Eskom, South Africa can overlook economic growth. significant.

turn the tide

Current Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has acknowledged that the government is facing a deteriorating situation at the local government level, with more and more municipalities struggling financially.

During his speech on the budget vote in May 2022, he said the National Treasury, in partnership with Cogta, would seek to use local government support mechanisms to implement “intense” interventions to change things in the area.

This will include programs to improve the results of municipal audits with a specific target on those with the highest levels of irregular, wasteful and wasteful spending to guide intervention under Section 139(7) of the Constitution .

“There are 43 municipalities that meet the criteria to be placed under mandatory intervention. I have already written to the premiers of all the provinces in October last year to identify these municipalities and that the process of mandatory intervention must begin in earnest,” he said.

Restoring the financial health of municipalities would improve residents’ quality of life, encourage economic activity and investment, as well as encourage the payment of taxes and duties, he said.


Read: Parts of South Africa have now collapsed: expert

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If we arm teachers, where will they keep their weapons? – The Virginian-Pilot https://ballingertx.org/if-we-arm-teachers-where-will-they-keep-their-weapons-the-virginian-pilot/ Tue, 31 May 2022 22:02:49 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/if-we-arm-teachers-where-will-they-keep-their-weapons-the-virginian-pilot/ Re “‘A Wretched Evil That Destroys’: Texas Elementary School Horror Resonates in Virginia and Beyond” (May 24): Another harrowing mass shooting by a young man with an AR-style rifle 15. Can’t we do anything to lessen this threat to our American citizens and our children? After the Uvalde massacre, Republican officials repeated one of their […]]]>

Re “‘A Wretched Evil That Destroys’: Texas Elementary School Horror Resonates in Virginia and Beyond” (May 24): Another harrowing mass shooting by a young man with an AR-style rifle 15. Can’t we do anything to lessen this threat to our American citizens and our children?

After the Uvalde massacre, Republican officials repeated one of their favorite solutions for stopping would-be shooters: arming teachers and school administrators. If they don’t support any type of restriction on gun ownership, then they should explain in more detail how they would implement their solution.

  • What kind of weapon should be given to teachers? A 9mm semi-automatic pistol? A shotgun? An AR-15 semi-automatic rifle? Or maybe just a classic .45 caliber Colt revolver?
  • Where would teachers keep their weapons in the classroom? In a locked safe or cabinet? In a desk drawer? In a case or just strapped to your back?
  • How can parents be sure teachers can use their guns effectively when we don’t require training and licensing for gun owners?
  • How do you select and hire teachers who wouldn’t panic in the face of an armed intruder? Where will we find teachers who could calmly and deliberately shoot another human being?
  • How do we need to change our teacher education programs to ensure effective classroom teaching and advocacy?

Some politicians will not support any gun control measures, not even the red flag laws and universal background checks supported by a large majority of Americans. These same politicians want to escalate teachers’ responsibilities in the classroom to prevent future mass shootings.

We must protect parents from such divisive thinking.

GM Lower, Williamsburg

Re “Portsmouth City Council abruptly fires City Manager in heated meeting” (May 24): The road to better city administration is high and straight, characterized by professionalism, respect for staff and residents, and conducted with maximum transparency.

Once again Portsmouth City Council has failed itself and its residents in all these standards. Instead, our council strays from the straight and narrow like the drunken sailors of the past, betraying their oaths of office and embarrassing us all. They send a clear message to potential investors, whether homebuyers or business buyers: stay safe, bad investment. Portsmouth’s logo reflects its maritime heritage, suggesting a sailing ship successfully navigating headwinds and cresting waves. The current council seems determined to sink our ship of state, and with it, the city’s hopes for a better future. That’s a shame.

Katherine Davis Moore, Portsmouth

Here are some statements we will hear: “you shall not kill”, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, “when guns are banned, only outlaws will have guns”, ” God created men equal. Colonel Colt made them equal. and the “only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. The Sixth Commandment and these quotes often appear in the media whenever we have a mass shooting. However, schools, office buildings, and other gun-free areas have no protection against a suicidal bad guy with a gun. Lawmakers continually pass welfare laws restricting good guys with guns, which bad guys ignore. People in unarmed areas should protect themselves with non-lethal force such as pepper spray.

Perspectives

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The best opinion content of the week and the opportunity to participate in a weekly question on a subject that affects our region.

Lawmakers should pass Good Samaritan laws that provide legal protection for office workers, teachers and others who use non-lethal force to defend themselves against a suicidal villain. This law will protect nice people from legal action if they accidentally spray pepper spray on a passerby. A police force pepper spray with a 25 foot range can be purchased on eBay, Amazon or Walmart for around $50.

Roger D. Howell, Yorktown

Here are some observations from my trip to Florida on Interstate 95. People complain about gas prices, but they don’t really care about gas mileage.

The McNally Institute reports that according to the Energy Saving Trust, the best fuel economy is driving at 55-65 mph, and 85 mph uses 40% more gas than 65 mph. Most cars on I-95 go over 80 mph. Road rage is a major problem. Sometimes this is caused by people overtaking a car and immediately cutting in front of that car. The passenger side mirror should never be used to determine distance. Use your rear view mirror and don’t change lanes until you see the overtaken car in that rear view mirror.

Why we can put a man on the moon but can’t design a passenger side mirror with proper perspective is beyond me. When signs say “lane closed ahead, move left/right”, don’t. Slow down, stay in your lane until the very end, then alternate all other cars to merge. No one is cut; this is called “zipper fusion”.

Some of these signs are a mile away from getting to the actual melting point, causing many upset people trying to recover. Remember that the fast lane will soon be the slow lane when everyone moves on. Talk about wasting gas. Each time you turn your steering wheel to change lanes, you are driving away from your destination. You’ll drive an extra 50 miles towards Florida if you zigzag. Truckers used to be travellers’ best friends, now they seem to be the enemy.

John J. Martin, Norfolk

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