One emailer yesterday was asking what can be done about people who just don't keep their property up. As a home owner, that's always been bothersome for me, Most of us work pretty hard to keep our places in nice shape, and one bad property in the neighbourhood can certainly spoil it. There are parts of the city, where that desire among homeowners, landlords, or tenants doesn't seem to be there. There are aspects of the property standards bylaw which can deal with that, but it should be a last resort. Talking to neighbours, and property owners, should be the first, second and third steps. That being said, there's no point in having a bylaw unless the city is willing to enforce it...
The other email of note, was probably the longest I have ever received. It went from the city's rental licensing bylaw (it should be revenue neutral in my opinion) to stormwater fees (better out in the open, I believe than hidden inside a bigger property tax bill) all the way to the transportation of dangerous goods (we should have that information...what and when) to fracking and how the environment should be the top priority in any decision.
I think, if we each left the planet a little bit better than when we got here, that would be ideal. Conservation of all forms of energy plays a part in that (and helps keep our costs low) But it doesn't really address all the larger issues.
It would be nice, if every question had an easy yes or no answer to it. But that's just not the case. However, if every decision we make is based on the idea of improving things, then I don't see how we can go wrong. Perhaps thats simplistic. But it seems like a good place to start