Submitted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward Councillor
The days are getting shorter, which means the to-do list in the office is getting longer! This fall, I anticipate that we’ll be kept busy with multiple big issues, including debating the new Civic campus of the Ottawa Hospital proposed to be built at Dow’s Lake and the new Official Plan (which I addressed last month).
In August, we had two departures from the office among my long-serving staff. Fiona Mitchell has joined the city in the planning department (congratulations, Fiona!), and Emma Kenny is going to be pursuing studies. I’m grateful for the service they’ve given the ward for many years. I know residents will miss them. Joining us are Stephany Chevalier-Crockett, who will be helping us on the multiple planning files that cross our desk, and Ben Inwood, who will be working on constituency issues, as well as all things tree-related.
With two new staff in the office, it’s timely for me to remind residents of how you can best reach us. Writing to us by email is usually the quickest and surest way to ensure we see your correspondence. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to which all of us in the office have access. Your note will be triaged to the right staff person, who will deal with the item according to its priority. You can also call us at 613-580-2485.
Social media can be a great way to share information, and I can field a few inquiries on social media like Facebook and Twitter. But, with the volume of email and calls, we don’t always have a chance to catch up. We can’t guarantee a response to social media, so if it’s important, please be sure to email us, in addition to posting.
It’s also a good idea to consider calling 3-1-1 if you need help with routine city issues. When we receive requests for help with things like potholes, damaged signs, garbage pickup and such, we call 3-1-1 since that’s the fastest way to get it into the city’s queue for action. If you’ve called 3-1-1 and gotten a service request (SR) number, and don’t see action within a reasonable period of time, feel free to email me with that number, and we can escalate the item.
Keeping track of everything going on in the ward can be tough. I publish a weekly email newsletter where I make every effort to ensure it is focused on the information you need without filler or promotion. Visit my website at kitchissippiward.ca and click the banner near the top to subscribe.
As you know, there’s a federal election on Sept. 20, and we’ll soon have a new Member of Parliament. Once again, in Ottawa Centre, we have four highly qualified and engaged candidates for the major parties. My encouragement to residents is to focus on the election issues that matter most outside the minute-by-minute social media and cable news cycles. Cities need help with housing, transportation and infrastructure, and I hope voters will centre those issues in their own discussions with candidates. There will be an all-candidates virtual debate on Monday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. for our riding organized by west end community associations. Keep an eye on hamptoniona.wordpress.com for details on how you can join the virtual event.