Jeff Davison

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]:

d) Stay the same (grow, but only in line with inflation plus population growth)


Question 1.2:

Comments?

 

Answer/Comments 1.2:

We have currently had a sustained period of tax increases well above inflation and growth. We need to hold the line and re-evaluate the projects we have undertaken based on their priority and feasibility.


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 need a partnership of some fashion that ensures Calgary stays a world class city. Part of that requires facilities to host international events. An NHL team is highly sought after by major cities. As important is the major concerts that are flying past Calgary to Edmonton. These events add to Calgary’s quality of life and produce substantial cash flow to our 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:

Council rules currently require in camera meetings for personnel issues and issues dealing with sensitive financial matters where publicity could weaken the city’s position. This policy has obviously been abused. In Camera meetings should be to deal with a temporary matter and released to the public as soon as possible.


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.


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:

I am very happy to see that Council suspended this program until it can be restructured. The program we have is broken. Calgary needs to look to places like Kelowna where they have a great local art program that is engaging, cost effective and overall local. Ultimately, going forward, we need to come up with a better way to deliver a public art program that is local, cost effective and engaging if it is to continue.


Question 5:

How can council support small businesses?

 

Answer 5:

The city needs to provide businesses with predictable costs. Massive sudden tax hikes are never acceptable. The city needs to address the issues that businesses need. Businesses need sustainable traffic flow and parking for customers. Affordable housing and public transportation options for staff. Most important is reduced bureaucracy to speed up permits and applications. Calgary needs to move at the speed of business, not at the speed of government.


Question 6.1:

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

 

Answer 6.1 [Yes/No Only]:

No.


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:

This is just another example – in a long list – of projects that have gone seriously over budget and over time. These mistakes would bankrupt most businesses. City Hall has completely bought into LRT expansion at all costs. We need to rethink how we move people around this city. A downtown centric approach may no longer be reasonable. The recent west leg of the LRT has not met expectations and is causing as many problems as it solves.


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:

A referendum is a total abdication of Council’s civic responsibility to make decisions based on public input and consultation. It is incredibly expensive and time consuming to sufficiently educate the general public in order to make an informed decision, especially on something as complex as the Olympics. All too often referendums obligate and restrict options to meet fast changing conditions.