My Community Christmas List

If Santa is a reader of blogs, I hope this one is brought to his attention.  I've heard that Toy Builder Elf #217 is an avid fan, so if he could paste a link on Nick's personal Facebook page that would be great.

This is my Community Christmas Wish List for 2014.  It's certainly not complete, nor comprehensive, but it does reflect my personal tastes and aspirations for our hometown.

OPERATING BUDGET - It would be great to get an approved (and full) operating budget early in 2014.  We understand the need to ask questions and seek clarification - it's a sizeable piece of business - but we are eager to move forward and make the best of 2014.

NEW CENTRE FOR HOPE - Our friends at the Centre of Hope sure could use a bigger facility.  If Santa could tap the shoulders of a few wealthy patrons and some innovative thinkers in planning and development, perhaps we could up with a viable plan in the next year.  This is one wish that I wish we didn't have to ask for, but our homeless neighbours could sure use more of our support.

FLY IN, STAY IN - We appreciate our friends who are flying in from hither and yon to help us build the future.  Our Christmas wish would be that more of the companies and different levels of government make strategic choices that would inspire more of them to choose Wood Buffalo as home.  We're glad they're here, but we'd be more glad if they stayed for a spell.

SOCIAL PROFIT SOARS - I hope that Santa is exceptionally kind to our social profit organizations, providing adequate space, improved attraction and retention of staff, and predictable funding so they can focus on their core missions.  Perhaps he could make a guest appearance at Convergence YMM in February if he's not too played out from the Christmas season?

PERFORMING COUNCIL - It sure would be great if the new council could be encouraged to wrap up their forming and storming, and transition to norming and performing. I'm not sure if Santa has any influence in this regard, but we would appreciate the effort. (We wish them all a restful holiday as they have been running flat out since being elected in October)

WONDERFUL WILLOW SQUARE - We would be eternally grateful if you could deliver an aging in place facility for Willow Square.  This is a chapter in our community's history book that has gone on way too long.  If you could leverage your omnipotence to break down the last remaining barriers, we would be most grateful.

PUBLIC ART PLEASE - If you could see your way clear to delivering some public art to our community and region, that would be terrific!  A percentage-for-public-art policy under council's Christmas tree would be a gift that would keep on giving and giving and giving...

By the way Santa, thank you for the early Christmas gift of getting the Grant MacEwan Bridge opened.  That was like the BEST pre-Christmas gift ever.  Before it opened, it was taking me 25 to 45 minutes to get from one end of Franklin Avenue to the other.  On the day they cut the ribbon, the trip took all of 7 minutes.  I know your elves at the provincial government had a lot to do with delivering that particular present, so please pass along our appreciation.

We are a great community with so much potential to be, as Mayor Blake likes to say, "a global model for sustainable living in the north."  I feel confident that the vision is there, as are the resources.  If you could see your way clear to delivering a few of the items above, the sooner we can become a beacon of light for the rest of the world.

Best wishes to Mrs. Claus and safe travels on Christmas Eve.


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