On Monday, September 15th, City Council held a meeting. Unfortunately, the archived video is not time-stamped, which means it is very difficult to find out, for example, Did measure 8.17 about city support of community gardens pass?

[Answer: yes and you can hear so at the 1:49 mark]

My colleague, Carina Luo is Geospatial Data Analyst at the Academic Data Centre of the Leddy Library. She recently made this map of the walkability of the city of Windsor.

Recently, I have been taking to spending small amounts of time researching more about how the City of Windsor is investing in infrastructure to reduce flooding in the city. To do so, I have been spending some time reading the City of Windsor’s Weathering the Storm site where one can find the Windsor Sewer and Coastal Flood Protection Master Plan.

Starting today (September 21st) and ending on October 19th, the City and Dillon Consulting will be engaging the residents as part of a Stormwater Financing Study. I’m not entirely sure what is going to be asked for public comment, but what I very much hope to see is some sort of incentive program to encourage property owners to naturalize more of their land and to invest in more green infrastructure as a means to encourage more water absorption into the soil.

Both Kitchener and Mississauga have Stormwater credit programs to encourage rain gardens and permeable paving for residents, and a variety of mitigation strategies for commercial and industrial partners.

Compared to these strategies, the City of Windsor’s efforts to reduce storm water in our sanitary systems seem paltry.

Addendum: Melissa Munro pointed out on twitter that Edmonton has had stormwater levies since 2003.

Last week I suggested that community leaders who are seeking a more diverse set of city council members should endorse the adoption of Ranked Ballots in the City of Windsor.

This week, The National Observer has run several articles about ranked ballots including this explainer, What is a ranked ballot anyway?

The use of ranked ballots in the U.S. jurisdictions was largely repealed after it led to the election of women and people of colour, acccording to FairVote. By 1962, only Cambridge in Massachusetts still used multi-winner ranked choice voting. But it has made a resurgence in the States (where it is known as ranked choice voting, or RCV) in local and regional votes in the last 20 years.

National Observer, What is a ranked ballot anyway? Alastair Sharp, September 17th 2020

I also found their article, What happened when voters in London used ranked ballots? particularly encouraging.

In ranked ballots, candidates seek to win the second- and third-choice votes of their competitor’s supporters, which advocates in general — and some participants in London’s 2018 election in particular — say encourages candidates to appeal to a broader set of constituents.

Shawn Lewis, London’s first openly gay city councillor, said ranked ballots “created an interesting dynamic where I feel like candidates across the city were actually talking to each other more about city-wide issues rather than just being bubbled in wards and focused on getting to that 33 per cent of the vote to win the race.

“It took away people’s ability, I feel, to be one-issue candidates, and if they were one issue, they very quickly fell to the bottom of people’s rankings,” he said.

National Observer, What happened when voters in London used ranked ballots?? Alastair Sharp, September 18th 2020

It is important to talk about the future we want. I want a future that includes ranked ballots for Windsor.