Cheryl Link

Survey Responses:


Question 1.1:

Do you think municipal taxes should:

a) Reduce in absolute terms
b) Reduce in real terms (grow, but slower than inflation)
c) Reduce in relative terms (grow, but slower than inflation plus population growth)
d) Stay the same (grow, but only in line with inflation plus population growth)
e) Increase a bit (grow in line with the city’s Municipal Price Index)
f) Increase more (grow faster than the city’s Municipal Price Index)

 

Answer 1.1 [Choose One]:

a) Reduce in absolute terms


Question 1.2:

Comments?

 

Answer/Comments 1.2:

Calgarians have seen consecutive tax increases well and beyond the level of inflation so there needs to be an absolute halt in further increases and a look at the expense side of the balance sheet. Residents are being taxed out of their homes and the fee increases just add to this ever increasing lack of affordability.

Incomes for most residents have not gone up with inflation so there’s a disconnect there.


Question 2.1:

Would you vote in favour of allocating any tax dollars or giving any subsidy towards a new stadium/arena?

 

Answer 2.1 [Yes/No Only]:

No.


Question 2.2:

If yes, how much and in what form would these taxes take (direct cash, land, subsidy, indirect, etc), and why do you support public dollars being directed towards a corporation?

 

Answer/Comments 2.2:

I do believe the Flames are important to Calgary and we must find a way to get this arena built. I have no doubt a business case can be made for this and a win win for the flames and the taxpayers. We need a business smart council to get this city moving again and inject some optimism into the city!


Question 3.1:

Recent research on Calgary’s City Council found that council spends nearly a quarter of its’ time meeting in private (in camera). Do you agree that this is too much time spent in private?

 

Answer 3.1 [Yes/No Only]:

Yes.


Question 3.2:

If so, what would you do to fix this? Which topics do you believe should be discussed behind closed doors and why?

 

Answer/Comments 3.2:

It is shocking this council operates with such little transparency and this must change. I would vote to end private meetings all together unless it’s critical for a privacy reason. I want to see a sunshine list on all contracts also with all contracts be made open to bidding with full transparency.


Question 4.1:

From the $470,000 Blue Ring, to the $236,000 for a “Poop Palace”, and now another $500,000 for Bowfort Towers, council has consistently failed to engage with Calgarians about which public Art projects their tax dollars are spent on. Do you support continuing to use taxpayer dollars to fund art projects for the city?

 

Answer 4.1 [Yes/No Only]:

Yes. 


Question 4.2:

If yes, why do you think council and administration have repeatedly failed on this issue, and what guidelines should be used to ensure Calgarians are happy with the results in future?

 

Answer/Comments 4.2:

Art does serve a great purpose to honour and celebrate our history, culture and humanity. Public art I believe serves a different purpose than art in general in that it should be comprehensible and appreciated by the wider public — easily understood and easily appreciated by the ‘public’ — not needing a narrative to understand the intention. Alberta artists should be engaged to this end so it’s a genuine expression of our culture and history. We should be supporting and showcasing our local talent.


Question 5:

How can council support small businesses?

 

Answer 5:

We need a business smart council that understands business. We need to cut the red tape and streamline processes to keep costs down for our businesses. We also need to find a way to NOT download the increased tax burdens from empty downtown offices onto small businesses. I hear more and more from businesses that this is a very ‘business unfriendly council’ — we need to be a willing partner to facilitate businesses to flourish and excel not be the gatekeeper to put up roadblocks to their success. We’re a city of entrepreneurs and need to support the ‘can do’ attitude of the city. Let’s get moving!


Question 6.1:

Do you support the current plan for construction of the Green Line?

 

Answer 6.1 [Yes/No Only]:

[No Answer Provided]


Question 6.2:

The construction of the Green Line was approved based on a cost-benefit analysis that assumed the project would be completed two years earlier than now projected, and at a lower construction cost for the entire line than is now estimated for half of the line. If the costs increase again or the project is further delayed, would you continue to support it, and why?

 

Answer/Comment 6.2:

I have had concerns over the Greenline ballooning costs and lack of ambition for the cost. European cities have created far more track for a fraction of our budget for the Greenline that doesn’t reach the south hospital or the airport. I have asked if this is a ‘transportation solution’ or a development solution? There is a lot of talk about TOD — ‘Transit oriented development' along the route which is fine eventually but the route is so unambitious it doesn’t seem a transportation solution if it reaches too few and doesn’t take people where they need to go or take cars off of Deerfoot trail. Downtown has such high vacancy that people are not going downtown but need to get to the south hospital and the Foothills industrial park to work. I worry about the neighbourhoods that will have many houses bulldozed to make room for the route as well. Could we not start the Greenline in the south east downtown and have it reach all the way to the south of the city and the same north and rethink the expensive aspect of tunnelling under the Bow River? There is so much focus on getting downtown when there are more and more business units being developed out of downtown as Quarry Park. Perhaps we should rethink this focus on getting ‘downtown’ only. Transit ridership is down with the unemployment rates in the city as well so an overall review of transit strategy to phase in would be a wise investment. How does the city best serve our communities with public transit? Short term and long term? Technology is changing so quickly also that we should be considering that as well. Let’s be future smart!


Question 7.1:

In July, City Council voted against a motion to hold a referendum/plebiscite on whether Calgary should bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics bid. Do you support holding a referendum / plebiscite on whether Calgary should bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics bid?

 

Answer 7.1 [Yes/No Only]:

Yes.


Question 7.2:

Why do you support/oppose a public vote? Should the results of a vote should be binding?

 

Answer/Comment 7.2:

This is an important decision that must be made with full support of citizens.