What’s Next? Nenshi’s First 100 Days: Part 1, The First Official Meetings

By DJ Kelly October 21, 2010

With the election firmly in the books – and plenty of analysis still to come – I wanted to be the first to take a look forward at what’s next for our new mayor.

Some of the early important dates are already known.

October 25 at 7pm will be the swearing in of the new council. It is at that point the torch officially passes from Mayor Broconnier to Mayor Nenshi.

The next day at 9:30am the “Organizational Business Meeting” begins. This is where the new council learns all the ins and the outs. They’ll get a tour of the premises, get their keys to the washrooms, and pick their offices and council chamber seats. This is also when they will have discussions about the structure of their office staff and who gets first dibs at the staff of the retiring or defeated aldermen. (With the experience this individuals have, expect several of them to stay in the Office of the Aldermen, just with new bosses.) This is also the meeting where council will determine who will sit on what committees and boards they need to populate. Expect lots of backroom talk and positioning as each tries to ensure they get onto a committee they believe their skills will be most useful on – or at least the cushiest gigs.

The first public meeting will be the Standing Policy Committee (SPC) on Community & Protective Services on November 2 at 9:30am in the Engineering Traditions Room. The next day at the same time and the same place will be the SPC on Finance & Corporate Services, while on the Thursday the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee will be at 9:30am and the Gas, Power & Telecommunications Committee will meet at 1pm.

The following week, on Monday, November 8 will be the public’s first chance to see our council seated for the first time all together. This will be their first Council Meeting. It will also be their first combined public hearing. Talk about starting off in the deep end; there is no swimming lesson here. The agenda for this meeting will be released on Thursday, November 4. Assuming this meeting goes long, the overflow will be at 1pm the next day. The rest of the committee meetings will have their first meeting between November 9 and 18.

The week of November 22-25 will be an interesting one as it is the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention in Edmonton. There are no meetings scheduled and because it is so close you can probably expect the majority of council to attend. It might be tough for the newbies however as they will still be getting their feet under them and can’t really afford the time out of the office. But it will be rewarding for them if they go. I expect some will stay and some will go depending on how ready they feel for the next week, which is when things are really going to get crazy.

November 28 to December 3 is the week Calgarians have been waiting for – and dreading – for 3 years. It is when the Business Plan and Budget Adjustment Debates happen. How council will spend our money – and what the property tax increase will be – will be set at these meetings. Expect LOTS of backroom dealings between aldermen and department/business unit heads between now and these days. This is when we will see the mayor and his aldermen show there stripes.

Then there are a couple weeks of regular meetings before 3 weeks of holidays – the first moment the new mayor will be able to catch his breath.

I expect all of this plus the month of January to determine Mayor Nenshi’s next three years. Basically, he has 100 days to win or lose much of Calgary’s support.

In coming posts in this series I will examine the early days meetings, some actions Nenshi can take to increase his likelihood of success, what might be changing at the City of Calgary as a result of this election, and what to do with the “Purple Army”.