Jennifer Wyness

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:

City services are crucial to families and constituents across Calgary and Ward 2. City council should look to grow services by improving budgeting efficiency and focusing on long term expenditures. Doing so will keep taxes stable.


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 would not consider cash subsidies, but would consider a contribution of land from the city. I would prefer to focus on the Olympics and leveraging private sponsorship, as well as federal and provincial contributions to repatriate tax dollars back into Calgary. If we decide and win the Olympic bid we would be able to address both the stadium and arena needs plus the infrastructure requirements of both projects.


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 clear what topics are discussed by looking at the meeting agenda, but what is said and who says it and how they voted is murky at best.  Any issue brought forth by an independent review should be discussed openly, as well as general matters. Private meetings should be only used for City management compensation (not councillors) and city legal proceeding. Council needs to stop micro managing every detail, and utilize committees to do the due diligence and then present before council, publicly.


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:

Public art and Calgary art is vital if Calgary wants to attract businesses, people, and be considered a world class city. Where Calgary currently fails, is by treating public art as a Cap Ex budget line on infrastructure projects, and not utilizing a pool of public art money to support local artists and engage Calgarians in art.


Question 5:

How can council support small businesses?

 

Answer 5:

The City needs to promote areas of specific entrepreneurial and innovative spaces called cluster plans, so that similar businesses can grow, develop and compete. This promotes cross pollination of workers and ideas. Examples of business cluster plans include: fashion districts, technology hubs, and arts districts. By having similarly focused businesses and people in common areas, business development has been proven to grow faster than when in isolation.

In addition to this, the City needs to focus on quality and affordability of living. Small businesses have entrepreneurial owners that put a disproportionally large amount of their net worth into their endeavors; the City needs to keep costs of living and quality of services in check so that funds are put back into businesses. 

Additionally, the City needs to focus on attracting and building incubators, angel funds, and venture capital investment that has a broad scope of focus outside of O&G.


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:

If we wait, the price goes up, the negative impacts of construction increase, the timelines get longer, and the need continues to grow. Calgary needs to get to work, and stop spending money discussing it further. In the long run, this piece of public infrastructure is needed, and if we wait, Calgarians will pay more for its construction. We need to do it right and the sooner we get to work, the more positive the outcome will be.


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 oppose a plebiscite on determining whether Calgary should host the 2026 Winter Olympic bid. The cost of the plebiscite, plus the additional cost of developing the communication to educate Calgarians on the bid prior to the vote, is not an effective use of funds. I would much rather have Town Halls to inform Calgarians about the Olympic bid and work together to decide in an open forum. The city council has already voted and approved the spending of up to $5 million on an exploration committee to study a possible bid, the results of this study should be communicated to Calgarians by their ward councillor during each town hall session, followed by a vote at city hall.