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Recreation Board

  • AR-RG-20-S-3
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1957-[ca. 1961]

On January 14, 1957 Bylaw 1804 was passed, dissolving the Recreation Commission and establishing a Recreation Board. The Board consisted of nine members: one member of City Council, one Public and one Separate School Board member, and four citizens nominated by the Nominating Committee of Council. The Recreation Board acted in an advisory capacity to the civic administration in all matters affecting the development, maintenance, extension and use of all recreation grounds owned or controlled by the City.

Recreation Commission

  • AR-RG-20-S-2
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1944-1957

November 27, 1944 Bylaw 1069 was passed, establishing the Recreation Commission. The Commission had nine members: two from Council, one Public and one Separate School Board member, and five other sports minded citizens, all to serve two year terms. Their purpose was to advise Council and anyone else hired by the City to deal with issues relating to recreation. The Commission also promoted and maintained all civic recreational facilities. Programming included sports, dancing, music and dramatics. The Commission was not responsible for municipal golf courses, swimming pools, or property or projects under the purview of the Edmonton Exhibition Board or the Edmonton Boxing and Wrestling Commission.

The Recreation Commission acted in an advisory capacity to the civic administration in all matters affecting the development, maintenance, extension and use of all recreation grounds owned or controlled by the City.

On January 14, 1957 Bylaw 1804 was passed, dissolving the Recreation Commission and establishing a Recreation Board. The Board consisted of nine members: one member of City Council, one Public and one Separate School Board member, and four citizens nominated by the Nominating Committee of Council.

Recreation Department

  • AR-RG-20
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • [ca. 1946]-1961

The core function of the Recreation Department was to provide recreational opportunities for citizens of all ages. These included playgrounds and tot lots, sports, soap box derby races, and indoor activities such as friendship clubs, dramatics, dance, art, and handicrafts. To carry out these duties the Recreation Department had to plan for and maintain various sites throughout the city, though as of 1952 outdoor recreation areas other than school property were developed and maintained by the Parks Department. The Department also had to coordinate with numerous other organizations within the city that had an interest in promoting recreation or owned property used for recreation.

Before 1948 the department consisted of only a few employees to administer recreational activities, and a group of clerical staff (including an accountant) to handle administrative tasks. In 1948 two sections were added: Athletics, and Playgrounds and Centres. By 1952 a Recreation Building section had been created to run the City Recreation Building, out of which numerous recreational programs operated. In 1958 an Expressive Arts Section was established to oversee activities such as dramatics, art and handicrafts.

On August 29, 1961 Bylaw 2202 was passed, merging the Recreation Department and Parks Department to form the Parks and Recreation Department. The amalgamation took effect January 1, 1962.

City of Edmonton. Edmonton Municipal Airport

  • AR-RG-2
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1926-1971

On June 16, 1926 Edmonton's airport become the first licensed municipal airport in Canada. Upon its establishment the airport was the responsibility of the Engineer's Department. A short-lived and ill-fated experiment occurred in 1927 when the City leased the land to farmer Mary Watt, who was expected to clear the brush, graze animals and raise hay on the land while maintaining it as an air field. When this project failed the Engineering Department retook control of the airfield.

In 1929 the newly incorporated Edmonton and Northern Alberta Aero Club was given responsibility for the airport. A Council Report that year recommended that since the airport was owned by the City a municipal official should be placed in charge. As a result, the Finance Committee appointed James "Jimmy" Bell airport manager on February 5, 1930. A former WWI bomber pilot and active member of the Aero Club, Bell would be a fixture at the airport until his retirement in 1962. For the first few years Bell was responsible for maintaining the hangar and field, while the Aero Club continued the field operations. Airport construction was done by staff of the Engineer's Department.

In 1940, as a result of the airfield's important role in the war effort, the Federal Government took over operations of the Edmonton Municipal Airport. This lasted until November 1, 1946, at which point control of the airport was transferred back to the Engineer's Department.

In 1947 James Bell became Superintendent of the Airport, presumably making the airport a separate department. This is confirmed by the functional organizational charts of the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1950s and 1960s the airport superintendent supervised all construction, maintenance and operational activity associated with the airport. He supervised a staff of around twenty, which included clerks, maintenance workers, fieldmen, watchmen, electricians, and janitors.

In 1965 the Edmonton Municipal Airport returned to the control of the Engineer's Department for budgetary reasons, however this was short-lived, and on December 29, 1967 the airport became independent once more when a Bylaw to regulate the operation of the Edmonton Industrial Airport (No. 3092) was passed.

In 1971, as part of a departmental reorganization, the responsibility for the airport was given to the newly formed Engineering and Transportation Department.

On April 1, 1996 the Edmonton Municipal Airport was transferred to the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority under a 56 year lease.

Land Department

  • AR-RG-19
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1921-1957, 1959-1969

The Land Department was created in 1921 to take care of property acquired by the City through the Tax Recovery Act, whereby the non-payment of taxes would lead to the forfeiture of one's property to the municipality (prior to 1921 this function was undertake by the Assessor's Department). Due to massive land speculation prior to the dramatic recession of 1913, there were many such lots. In 1931 the City held the titles of approximately 50,000 lots, mainly in the outer zone, however the City only owned around 300 buildings. The lots and buildings were in some cases rented out, and at the time the City had a total of 1,015 tenants.

The duties of the department included negotiating sales, attending to enquires at the service counter, renting land for cultivation purposes, billing for and collecting rents, issuing notices for transfers, all the work necessary in keeping buildings in good repair, and all the different transactions relative to a real estate business.

In 1952 the department was responsible for records of city owned property; purchase, exchange, sale or expropriation of property for the City as directed; and selection of tenants, collection of rents and maintenance of City owned rented property.

In 1957 the Land Department was dissolved to create the Land and Industrial Development Department, which lasted until 1959 when the responsibilities were divided once more. The Land Department was re-established and combined with the Market and Emergency Housing Bureau, making the department responsible for operation of City Market, weigh scales and comfort stations, and the provision of emergency housing.

There were minor changes to the departmental structure every few years in the 1960s. In 1962 an Accounting section was added to the existing sections of Replot and Negotiations, Office and Sales, and City Properties. In 1964 the City Properties section was renamed the Rental and Property Management section, and by 1968, though their functions remained largely the same, all of the sections had been renamed: Negotiations Division, Land Sales and Office Division, and Rental and Property Management Division.

Finance Department

  • AR-RG-18
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1893-1997

The financial management of the City has played an important role in the function of civic government since Edmonton's incorporation as a town.

Office of the Town Treasurer
In 1892 the Office of the Town Treasurer was established, and was responsible for providing financial advice for the efficient management and accountability of public funds. All financial transactions were recorded in the Town Treasurer's Ledger. In 1899 this office was changed to the Office of the Secretary Treasurer, a combination of the position of Treasurer and City Clerk. This lasted until 1912, when the positions were separated into the Office of the City Clerk and the City Treasurer's Department.

Treasurer's Department
The Treasurer's Department was responsible for receiving and safely keeping all money belonging to the City; paying money as directed by law or by bylaw; depositing all money for Council; jointly signing necessary checks with the Mayor as well as debentures, promissory notes and other securities; and preparing and submitting regular financial reports stating moneys at the credit of the City. In the early 1910s the Treasurer maintained the fiscal integrity of the departments, and kept a General Ledger that summarized the financial position of the City as a whole, including capital liabilities and assets of utilities. In 1952 the Treasurer's Department was responsible for receipt of payments for all City accounts except for permits and police fines; technical direction for cashiering and cash handling for all City departments; preparation and issue of checks except payroll; banking and financial arrangements; custody of securities; records of pension payments; and planning and directing the work of the Mechanical Accounting Division.

Office of the Town Auditor
In 1892 the Office of the Town Auditor was established, and was responsible for auditing the accounts of the municipality. The successor to this office was the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor, established in 1915. This new entity had expanded duties which included recording all expenditures authorized by council and issuing necessary vouchers for payments, auditing books and accounts of all departments, and preparing quarterly and annual financial statements for the City. The Treasurer was still responsible for the management of the City Treasury. The Comptroller and Auditor had jurisdiction over all City departments and could make any recommendations deemed expedient. By 1930 the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor had become the central accounting centre handling the current and capital accounts, accounts receivable and payable, and annual statements. In 1942 the Comptroller and Auditor began examining and reporting upon all books and accounts of the Edmonton Exhibition Association, the Edmonton Hospital Board, the Edmonton Library Board, the Local Board of Health, the Town Planning Commission, the Stadium Commission, and the Boxing Commission.

Comptroller's Department
In 1952 the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor became the Comptroller's Department, which was responsible for the planning and technical direction of general accounting procedures for the City; checking and approval of inter-departmental invoices, salary and wage change slips and contract payments; preparation of accounts payable and general ledger records; consolidation of annual budgets; preparation of annual financial report and other consolidated financial and statistical reports; maintenance of employees personal history and earnings records; unemployment insurances, workmen's compensation, and group and other insurance matters; and calculation of pension amounts and advice to employees. By 1955 the Department was also responsible for microfilm services.

During the early to mid 20th century these various bodies were responsible for the City's finances, and often work together. For example City Comptroller, along with the City Auditor and the Treasurer, were joint custodians of the Sinking Fund in the 1930s.

Finance Department
The Finance Department was established in 1960 when the Comptroller's Department was combined with the Treasury Department. The department's core responsibility was to plan, control, preserve and effectively use the financial resources of the City of Edmonton.

The Finance Department originally had three divisions: Treasury, Administration, and Central Accounting. In 1961 the data processing function of the Mechanical Accounting Department was transferred to Central Accounting Division. In 1965 the Finance Department was reorganized into four divisions. The Administrative division was responsible for budget preparation, general administration, and microfilming and stationary services for all city departments. The Treasurer operated a centralized collection and receipting system for all moneys paid to the City of Edmonton, handled short term borrowing and investment, control of the funds under the Sinking Fund Trustees, operation of the Traffic Tag Accounting system, and custody of the City vault. The Central Accounting division was composed of two sections: Data Processing and Central Accounting, it was responsible for payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable, statement of revenue and expenditure, system planning, and coordination of data processing for all city departments. The Purchasing Division operated a central purchasing system for all City Departments and maintained a central stores and a small truck rental service.

In 1968 the Finance Department had five divisions: Treasury, Comptrollers, Budget Control, Central Records and Reproduction, and Purchasing.

In 1973 Risk Management, the city's insurance function, became a separate section of the Finance Department.

In 1974 the Purchasing Branch was renamed the Materials Management Branch and the Budget Control and Research Branch was separated from Finance to become a separate department.

In 1976 the Tax Collection function separated from Assessor's Department and became a branch of the Finance Department.

In 1977 the Bylaw Enforcement Department was created to centralize inspection and enforcements. The licensing and permit functions of Finance were transferred to Bylaw. Also that year the Central Supply and Services Department was formed and took over the Materials Management Branch from Finance. By the end of 1977 the Finance Department consisted of the Treasury Branch, Controllers Branch, Risk Management Section, Administration Section, and Tax Collection Section.

When the Bylaw Department was disbanded in 1984 the Building Inspection Branch was incorporated into the Planning Department, while the rest of Bylaw's functions went to Finance. The Document Services Section joined Treasury Branch, Security Section joined Risk management Branch, Bylaw administration staff joined Finance's Administration Branch, and Enforcement Branch was transferred in its entirety to Finance.

Also in 1984 the Utilities Services Department became a branch of Finance, except for Customer Services, which went to Edmonton telephones.

In 1985 the Corporate Budget Office was transferred to the Finance Department, and Document Services was transferred to the Police Department. In the same year Departmental Financial officers were transferred to the Finance Department, reporting to the newly formed Corporate Controller's Office.

By 1985 the Finance Department had nine branches: Accounting; Administration; Corporate Budget Office; Corporate Controllers' Office; Bylaw Enforcement (including the City Pound); Finance Policy Research and Development; Risk Management and Security; Treasury; and Utility Services.

In 1987 the Insurance Adjustments and Claims Section of the City Solicitor's Office was relocated to the Finance Department, becoming part of Risk Management and Corporate Security.

In 1988 the Assessment Office and the Material Management Branch joined the Finance Department.

In 1990 the Finance Department's responsibility of issuing grants-in-aid to non-profit organizations was passed on to the Parks and Recreation Department and the Community and Family Services Department.

In 1991 there was a major reorganization. The Department now consisted of five branches and two offices: Financial Services Branch, Financial Policy & Corporate Accounting Branch, Assessment and Taxation Branch, Materials Management Branch, and Utility Services Branch, and the Internal Audit Office and Human Resources Services Office.

In 1992 the Utilities Services Branch was moved to Edmonton Power. Also that year the Materials Management Branch divided into two branches: Purchasing and Printing Branch, and Corporate Inventory and Warehousing Branch.

In 1994 bylaw officers in Finance began enforcing unlawfully parked vehicles through the Traffic Bylaw. For the past 34 years they had enforced only the Dog Bylaw. Also in this year the Information Services Branch was formed from the Computing Resources Department and the Purchasing and Printing Branch, and Corporate Inventory and Warehousing Branch merged back into the Materials Management Branch.

The Finance Department was dissolved in 1997 when it was combined with the Computing Resources Department, the Law Department, and the Office of the City Clerk to form the new Corporate Services Department.

Names Advisory Committee

  • AR-RG-17-S-3
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1956-

The District Names Advisory Committee was established in 1956 to recommend names for public spaces within the City of Edmonton. The Committee was composed of an alderman, a member of the Edmonton Public School Board, a member of the Edmonton Separate School Board, the Chairman of the Archives and Landmarks Committee, and a Town Planner with the Secretary consisting of the Street Addressing Coordinator. In 1969 it was renamed the Names Advisory Committee and, continuing to the present, has had its membership and responsibilities modified.

Municipal Planning Commission

  • AR-RG-17-S-2
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • Technical Planning Board: 1950-1963; Municipal Planning Commission: 1963-1995

The Technical Planning Board was established in 1950 by Bylaw 1354. Its members included the Mayor, a City Commissioner, the heads of various departments, and other members as appointed by Council. The Board's duties were to co-ordinate all technical and administrative matters relating to development in Edmonton for the purposes of preparing a General Plan, acting in an advisory capacity in planning matters, and promoting public interest in planning. This work also involved the consideration of all new subdivisions and replotting schemes. Prior to this the work was done by the Town Planning Commission, established in 1929 through Bylaw 46. The Town Planning Commission was made up of nine members, including the Mayor, Aldermen, and members of the community. They acted in an advisory capacity regarding matters of planning, and were responsible for creating an official Town Plan and Zoning Bylaw.

The Technical Planning Board was replaced by the Municipal Planning Commission, established under Bylaw 2147 passed on July 22, 1963 pursuant to Section 15 of the Planning Act. The duties of the MPC were to advise and assist Council to co-ordinate the activities of the various departments and agencies of the City with regard to the planning of orderly and economic development. The Commission served as an approving authority under the Subdivision and Transfer Regulation and acted as the approving authority for subdivision applications received in areas governed by the Zoning Bylaw. In addition, the MPC advised Council on amendments to the Zoning Bylaw. The Commission sought to ensure that any proposal for the development of the City with which any City department was concerned would only be initiated after due consideration of its bearing upon the preparation of the General Plan. The MPC was composed of a City Commissioner and the heads of various departments. The MPC was dissolved in 1995 when Bylaw 11135 was passed, establishing the Subdivision Authority and repealing the Municipal Planning Commission Bylaw.

City of Edmonton. Planning Department

  • AR-RG-17
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1949-

A Town Planning Commission was established in 1929 to advise Council on matters pertaining to town planning. The Town Planning Department was established in 1949. The responsibility of the Planning Department was articulated in a 1952 organizational chart, which stated that the Town Planning Department was responsible for long and short term planning of the use and layout of the city, the preparation of layout plans for subdivisions and other specific projects, the approval of buildings plans for zoning and type of structure, and providing advice to City management on town planning matters.

In a 1983 brief to new City Councillors, Planning's function was stated as being "concerned with the way the city grows. It studies and provides advice on city development, especially the social, economic and environmental effects of growth and change. Planning considers how much land will be needed for housing, shops, industries, parks and transportation. It considers where each type of development should be located."

In 2015 the Sustainable Development website puts it the simplest terms possible. "The work of this department concentrates on planning and executing for the development needs of today and the future."

City Architect and Building Inspector's Department

  • AR-RG-16
  • Pessoa coletiva
  • 1909-1970

The Department for the Inspection of Buildings was established in 1909 by Bylaw 207. Prior to this the City employed a Building and Fire Inspector and a Plumbing Inspector, but they did not operate independently, and were likely part of the Engineer’s Department.

The Department for the Inspection of Buildings was responsible for the enforcement of building codes; providing building permits; the survey and inspection of buildings, scaffolding, and building sites; recording complaints made to the office; and the protection of buildings against fires and accident.

When it was established in 1909 the Department for the Inspection of Buildings was led the Inspector of Buildings. This position led the department until 1926, when building inspector Norman A. McIvor died while in office and was replaced by John Martland. Martland had been employed as the architect with the Engineer’s Department. In accepting the new position he was expected to continue his previous duties as well as fulfill those of the building inspector. It was at this time that the department became the Architect’s and Building Inspector’s Department, and the head became the City Architect and Building Inspector.

As of 1931, this department was responsible for providing plumbing permits, gas permits, moving permits, curb pump permits, and sign permits in addition to building permits. The department was also responsible for janitorial work at City buildings, and operation of the elevator at Civic Block.

By the 1950s the department’s responsibilities had grown. In 1952 the mandate of the Architect’s and Building Inspector’s Department was to provide architectural services for City buildings, approve building plans and issue permits, issue overhead sign permits, conduct inspections on construction to ensure City building code was being followed, conduct exams for trades certificates (but not for electricians), make recommendations concerning construction bylaws, the maintenance of civic buildings (except utilities and engineering departments) and provide mail service to City offices.

In 1957 the department took over responsibility for construction of all new City buildings. The department also worked with the Architectural Panel (established in 1950) to approve the construction of certain buildings.

By 1959 the internal structure had been simplified to only four sections: Accounting; Building Maintenance (which included a mail and security section); the Assistant City Architect; and an Inspection Division for building plans, construction, plumbing and heating.

By 1965, the department was headed by the City Architect and divided into three divisions: Architectural Design, Building Inspection, and Building Maintenance. The Architectural Design Division provided architectural services and advice to civic departments on construction projects. The Building Inspection Division inspected and controlled the construction of buildings and structures erected within city limits. The Building Maintenance Division provided and maintained working facilities for City staff in various City-owned buildings. This division also supervised janitorial staff, maintenance and carried out building alterations.

The Architect’s and Building Inspector’s Department was dissolved in 1970. The successors to the Architect’s and Building Inspector’s Department were the Planning Department (Building Inspection Branch) and the Property and Building Management Department (Architecture Branch, Maintenance, and Edmonton Community Housing Organization).

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