David Winkler

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]:

c) Reduce in relative terms (grow, but slower than inflation plus population growth)


Question 1.2:

Comments?

 

Answer/Comments 1.2:

I would like to ensure that our local economy becomes more stable and sustainable. Currently, our taxes have elevated to levels that are not sustainable, especially business taxation. As a business owner, the only one in Ward 10, I have been feeling the crunch brought down on us from all three levels of government. Last year I spoke to Council to discuss a reduction in taxes and not an increase or freeze. Council chose a band-aid solution by dipping into the savings. They had no intention of coming up with solutions/strategy to assist businesses for the long term. There is a huge disconnect between Calgary’s business community and City Hall. Businesses are continually hit with having to cover the costs of City Hall’s spending issue. Not once has Council talked about looking at a more sincere negotiation with Unions to discuss the sharing of the economic woes the rest of us have been going through. I am not afraid to have this discussion with Unions regarding, salaries, benefits and pensions.


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:

We can ill-afford to subsidize businesses at any time. It is innapropriate to subsidize a business, especially if the business model is a failure. I am assuming that the Flames have a healthy business plan, and therefore do not need social assistance. I am however, open to the discussion surrounding the idea of building a public sporting/entertainment facility, with the Flames as a lessee.


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:

I do not agree with Councils penchant for private meetings. I believe that the issue is fear of liability. In all honesty, I do not understand the need for this other than the law department’s need to mitigate liability. I feel our law and by-law departments are far too big and hamper not only our Council’s decisions to go in camera, but also hamper our planning and development department to the point of having huge wait times for approvals, thereby hurting our businesses.


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]:

[No Answer Provided]


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:

This is a leading question, and not really thought out maturely.

Yes I support taxpayer dollars to fund art projects. I would however, ensure that money is spent in areas where the public can access and appreciate the art, whatever it looks like. I would also like to see the money spent a little more on local talent.

The amount of money going towards art is relatively insignificant compared to other wastes from The City, and has a direct impact my business and my community.

If one understands business, then one will understand that art, culture and business go hand in hand


Question 5:

How can council support small businesses?

 

Answer 5:

I would love to answer this in detail as I have been clear since day one that Council is relatively ignorant of the needs of business. From un-siloing our P&D department to reducing/eliminating land uses, there are a myriad of ways to support small business. I would write more, but I am campaigning and there is too much to write here.


Question 6.1:

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

 

Answer 6.1 [Yes/No Only]:

Yes.


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:

The Greenline is an amazing opportunity for Calgarians. Like art, if you know business then you know that a good business goes hand in hand with good transportation. I would like to, however, compare the costs of our system to that of other cities. I believe that Calgary pays too high a cost for the LRT. I would have also not put my LRT further than Odgen, and would have instead pushed the LRT further North. I believe that this didn’t happen because of a weak Councillor in Sean Chu, versus the tenacity of Shane Keating.


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]:

No.


Question 7.2:

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

 

Answer/Comment 7.2:

I will vote against Calgary holding another Olympics. Simply put, we do not have the money to gamble on the Olympics. I was really upset that Council chose to spend $5 million on a study to determine whether or not we should submit a bid to host the Olympics. How many Traveling Lights can we purchase for that? Right, 10.

Once again, Calgary does not have the money, nor to we have an industry in the near-future that could bail us out if it fails. I do not gamble more that what I own in my businesses, and nor should our City.