Just got back from visiting family to discover there are three big committee meetings this week and a huge stack of reading to go along with them. Great! And a federal election to boot! Golly, what a welcome home!

But before I get into all of the goings on at city hall, I want to express my gratitude to Laura Pfeifer for stepping in at the last minute and covering this column. Between her keen urban-planner’s senses and mad photoshop skills, she really did a heroic job.

Hell, super-heroic. Literally. Have a look at Laura assuming the TWACH mantle of power….

And no, I have no idea why she’s wearing that goofy tinfoil mask. Anyway, without further ado, here’s your city hall preview.

Monday, April 4
MUNCIPAL HERITAGE ADVISORY COMMITTEE (12:15 pm): Staff will be giving the committee a presentation on the upcoming Official Community Plan renewal process.

CITY COUNCIL (5:30 pm): Staff’s taking another crack at the Waste Plan Implementation Plan. Specifically, they’ll be presenting their responses to the eleven questions council left them with at the January 18 budget meeting.

That’s me fighting Nazis!

Because you can’t spell ass-kicking without SS.

Anyway, about staff’s supplemental waste plan report…. there’s a lot in there and I’ll reserve my comments until after the council meeting.

Tuesday, April 5
Big things on their agenda include the budgets for the Downtown Business Improvement District and the Warehouse Business Improvement District. Also they’ll be looking at the property tax exemptions for 2011 and at recommendations to provide community investment funding to the Canadian Western Agribition ($95,000), the Regina Regional Opportunities Commision ($50,000) and the UofR’s University Industry Liaison Office ($1,000).

Wednesday, April 6
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (11:45 am): Looking at some taxi-related recommendations. Out of them, we should see things like GPS dispatching technology implemented into the city’s cabs. Also, we’ll likely see debit and credit card machines appear in the cars over the next year. And, the age of the vehicles will be more tightly controlled and the city will be working with cab companies to implement training and testing for drivers.

Also on the agenda is this pension deal that seems to have blown up while I was away.

ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (5 pm): Looking at paratransit stats for 2010. Apparently, there were fewer rides provided last year compared to 2009. And while the number of complaints fell, the number of trip refusals increased from 13,837 in 2009 to 14,521 in 2010.

And that’s it. For complete agendas and reports, go to the city’s website.