Jun Lin

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:

City council cannot solve all budgetary challenges by simply implementing massive tax hikes each year. We need to learn to do more with less. During each annual budget planning session, we need to first ask, what are our priorities, our goals, and how do we achieve them within our means without excessive tax increases.


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:

So far I have seen no public benefit. In general I am opposed to public money being used to subsidize a for profit enterprise. Furthermore, economists from across the political spectrum are in agreement that there is little benefit to taxpayers/the public. Finally, we have other infrastructure such as road improvements that are of a higher importance.


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:

This is far too much time. Councillors are too afraid to be honest with residents on sensitive topics and this has to change. The best disinfectant is sunshine. I would only vote to go “in camera” for topics where public discussion by councillors would result in a lawsuit (or other similar legal implications) against City Hall and negatively affect taxpayers/the public, OR, where the safety and security of the city and its citizens would be negatively affected by a public discussion (sensitive security information, etc).


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 Given] 


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 enhances our city, but the current 1% policy:

>Guarantees inflation of all infrastructure projects.

>Creates absurd situations where we MUST spend several hundred thousand on art on things like the “poop palace” or blue ring, in order to be in compliance with city policy.

We need to halt all public art spending until a new policy that make sense for community and Calgarians is written. Furthermore, there must be a fixed public art budget which is part of the same budgeting process as everything else, weighed against all of our other priorities. As well, we should follow Edmonton’s example and create an arm’s length committee that seeks public input on art decisions.


Question 5:

How can council support small businesses?

 

Answer 5:

We need to ease the tax burden on small businesses immediately. They create jobs and give vibrancy to our communities, why are we punishing them?


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:

From a ridership point of view, it makes far more sense to build the Green Line North than South. This would better relieve congestion and serve more people. The current south leg is a line to nowhere. I will continue to support this because it is more efficient than the hundreds of buses we have going up and down Centre St/Harvest Hills every day.


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:

Yes, I support a public vote, because I don’t think 15 people alone should make a decision on what will be one of the biggest expenditures in the city’s history. This will also ensure a chance for honest and transparent public debate about the pros and cons of spending this money. I support a binding referendum with one key caveat. In the event of a yes vote, if the costs go up dramatically after the vote, council should be able to pull the plug. My number one priority is protecting taxpayers.