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]:
[No Answer Provided]
I would certainly like to ease our tax burdens, while maintaining our most important services. I’ve spoken to thousands in Ward 1 and they have consistently asked me to ensure we get good value for money when we use their tax dollars I am absolutely committed to spending wisely, on the things that matter most, the things that will make the biggest positive difference for Calgary. I will direct our budget to the highest priority areas first, ensuring Calgary and Ward 1 benefit from the decisions made. This is achieved by remaining in touch with the population to learn of new local issues, sourcing locally, and budgeting wisely.
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 Answer Provided]
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?
I believe in taking a moderate and thoughtful approach. Overwhelmingly, the thousands of Ward 1 residents I’ve spoken to have told me that they want me to be careful, respectful, and smart with their money as their councillor.
Where the stadium is concerned, that means I'd have to be certain there would be a defined return and benefit for the city and the public before I could spend public funds on a new stadium. After all, public funds are for meeting the needs and best interests of the public. I'll work with my colleagues on council to ensure we allocate public funds in the best interest of the city and Ward1.
I love the team, and want to see them stay here, so I’m willing to work with the team’s ownership, if they understand this, and if they are willing to work together, too.
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]:
If so, what would you do to fix this? Which topics do you believe should be discussed behind closed doors and why?
Council spends far too much time in camera, far more than other cities. I would only recommend use of this practice where absolutely necessary to protect the public. For example, if citizens’ personal information were being discussed as part of an issue, this would be grounds for meeting in camera.
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]:
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?
We can do better with our public art program by ensuring we use more local artists who understand the local culture they are celebrating. The selection process could also be designed to engage the public better, for example by having open voting on a shortlist of art projects. This would create public pride and buy-in. We can also ensure that costs are transparently reported, so the public can see how funds are used in each project.
The process could also be improved to relax the location to include surrounding areas, so that art could be installed in commercial or service districts, creating attractive public spaces that can be visited and enjoyed, and providing a focal point in places that are actually stopped in. This does double duty by creating both art, and workable public spaces, with enhanced amenity. This essentially gives us much more for the same financial input.
How can council support small businesses?
As Councillor, I'll ensure the City of Calgary supports local entrepreneurs and small business owners with local sourcing, something it does not currently prioritize. The city is a big economic actor, in its purchasing, and our dollars need to support local growth.
We also have big opportunities to reduce the bureaucracy that small business is faced with when engaging the city. The city needs to be open to innovation and look closely at its unwieldy procurement process.
Finally, where the city does invest in economic diversification, there are opportunities to direct funds more efficiently. I know this from experience, having worked in business development in Calgary’s tech (startup) sector. I learned from entrepreneurs and investors what they need to help grow and diversify our economy.
Diversifying the economy will make the biggest difference to our long term future and job creation. A supportive municipal government is integral to maintaining the pace of entrepreneurial and new industry growth in Calgary.
Do you support the current plan for construction of the Green Line?
Answer 6.1 [Yes/No Only]:
[No Answer Provided]
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?
The trouble with large capital projects like LRT, and the Green Line specifically, is that the planning and construction are so long (decades), that they’re often not responsive to trends that fluctuate over a few months or years. I learned this as an urban planner, and while on construction of the West LRT, the most recent new line built in Calgary -- These projects take many, many years to reach completion.
In general, I favour well-implemented and designed BRT over LRT. For example, we can modify our largely radial LRT network with connecting bus rapid transit (BRT) lines. BRT, if done well, can move many people very quickly, making the whole transit network more useful. BRT is also cheaper and faster to implement than light rail. Being faster to construct, it can respond more readily to changing conditions, such as our current downturn, and our trend toward multi-centric planning.
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]:
Why do you support/oppose a public vote? Should the results of a vote should be binding?
We don’t have enough information yet. For example, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has yet to finalize its own selection criteria. I’d also like to see the IOC cleared of corruption prior to lending our support as a city through a bid. I will ensure that Calgary stands to benefit from making the bid and holding the Olympics, before making a decision.
This must be considered in light of other “big projects” that we could band together to achieve, get excited about, and get behind as a city. On balance, it seems that the Olympic bid is a distraction for Calgary right now. With that being the case, I do not support a plebiscite.