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Keith Gerein: Edmonton, council still adjusting to Sohi leadership

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As the old saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

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Unfortunately that was before inflation.

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So in this column trying to assess Mayor Amarjeet Sohi’s first year in office, the appropriate currency is actually two pictures.

In fact, what I have in mind are two particular photographs that uniquely capture contrasting views of how Sohee has fared in her new job.

The first photo in question was recently taken by Postmedia colleague Greg Southam. It’s So-hee’s, in his private office at City Hall, sitting by a large, unmissable, colorful mural of Edmonton landmarks and people from marginalized communities.

At the bottom of the mural are the words “Edmonton for all of us.” This was the best election slogan last fall when Sohee won a comfortable victory.

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At the time, some voters undoubtedly dismissed it as campaign lip service.

But in Sohee’s case, as the prominence of the mural shows, that’s the most basic principle of why he chose to run for mayor. When he speaks disgustingly about “collaboration” and “cooperation,” he informs his governing style on nearly every issue that comes across his desk, from police and anti-racism initiatives to transportation, climate, and business. It is this idea of ​​broad inclusion that is development.

“That’s what he ran and what he does, so it’s not surprising to people,” Kaung said. “I think he’s been very persistent and consistent about a lot of his points of advocacy.”

It’s an honorable road, but it’s not easy. Sohi acknowledges that such an approach can be offensive to privileged people. Especially when assumptions about how fairly the city operates are questioned.

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“Amaljeet has connected with people who have not always had a say in our political process,” Kaun said. Andrew Knack. “He brought people to the table, made sure they knew what was happening, when it was happening, and had them come and speak at public meetings.

“From the outside, if you’re used to getting a lot of attention from the mayor, he’s extending that attention to more people.”

Among those who are aware of attention deficit are Edmonton’s neighborhood leaders. Some of them recently told me that they had not yet become a regional collaborator like Don Iveson. It was most felt in terms of funding, but there were many questions about cost.

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Sohi countered the idea, saying he was “deeply committed” to regional cooperation but had many files in his city.This involves a lot of energy investment in repairing relationships in the city — I think we’ve had some success. — with states.

“There are so many demands on my time…and I will do my best to attend the regional table, but doing so at the cost of ignoring the mandates I have gotten from the people of Edmont. I can’t,” he said.

Unfortunately, Sohi’s efforts to improve their relationship have not all worked out. This brings me to the second photo that has been quietly circulating among the mayor’s critics lately.

Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi rides into the cargo area on an electric bike ridden by the city's coun. Michael Jans.photo from twitter
Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi rides into the cargo area on an electric bike ridden by the city’s coun. Michael Jans.photo from twitter jpg

The photo in question, posted on Twitter in early October, shows Sohee driving around in her car. county basket.electric bike by michael jantz.

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Of course, this was just a fun moment during a community event hosted by Jantz as part of the purpose of helping expand the city’s bike lane network.

But for those uneasy about the mayor’s leadership, this picture symbolizes how the dynamics of the city council have evolved. It speaks to the belief that, at least for his first year, this really became Janz’s council, allowing Sohi to be sucked into its orbit.

Whether he agrees with Jantz or not, he and fellow left-handed Count. Anne Stevenson has been active in setting much of the agenda and influencing public discourse.

The mayor had his bright moments, but there was a persistent feeling that he was a little too quiet at times, or a little too reactive rather than proactive, and people expected more immediate political significance. surprised me.

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In part, this is due to ongoing tensions with the council and the Edmonton police. Sohi seems unsure of how to manage it, leading to the perception that he may not have strong trust in the police system or the people who lead it.

For better or worse, Sohi’s leadership will also be judged by what we see in public through the administration of a council that has dealt with overly long and difficult subjects.

(There were a few days when I sympathized with the officials of the city hall, but since the summer things have improved somewhat.)

On this front, it should be noted that the new mayor always struggled to fill the seat for Iveson, who was the maestro leading the meetings.

Likewise, I think Sohee could be more determined in keeping the agenda on track, but he’s dealing with something Iveson never did.

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“I think Amaljeet started out really generous. He recognized that everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but those who don’t seem to be trying to shut people up or trick them procedurally.” “But[the council]has a certain grace period, and we’re nearing the end of it.”

Regardless of all this position, upcoming deliberations on the city’s new four-year budget speak volumes. We’ll see how it steers a council that doesn’t always know the constraints on inflation, taxes, and financial capacity, not to mention public demands for city services. right.

I think Sohee is sensitive to both halves of this reality, but I’m still not quite sure how he intends to navigate it.

That could probably be forgiven for the first year, but the leadership he adopts in the coming weeks could go a long way in determining which paintings better define his legacy.

kgerein@postmedia.com

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Keith Gerein: Edmonton, council still adjusting to Sohi leadership

Source link Keith Gerein: Edmonton, council still adjusting to Sohi leadership

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