Marek Hejduk

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]:

b) Reduce in real terms (grow, but slower than inflation)


Question 1.2:

Comments?

 

Answer/Comments 1.2:

They need to be reduced however without looking at the real financial situation from all city silos I’m not sure what needs to be done to reduce costs.


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:

Public money should never be used to bail out private corporations. I would vehemently oppose any taxpayers money going to the Flames. However, if the Flames gave the city stake ownership in the team, much like Roughriders, Blue Bombers and the Packers, I would re-consider the position based on profit sharing with the city of Calgary.


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:

Only topics regarding life or death should be behind closed doors. Otherwise it’s a public corporation and needs to be transparent in it’s dealings.

I actually can’t fix it, even if I, as a councillor voted to make everything 100% transparent, the Federal Government Laws under the Liberal Party have made government dealings less transparent. The cities legal team would simply comply with federal law and stand pat on all issues regarding public information.

This would have to start as a grass roots movement to change the mind of the broader public base and enact a by law in which all councillors would have to back a legally binding plebiscite (currently plebiscites in Calgary are not legally binding, but merely public suggestions the council can choose to enact or ignore).


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:

We need to keep the money local and keep the money within our own art community. Art to me needs to be form and function, sometimes just form, but somewhere where the public can appreciate it and the public can get behind the art. While we currently still have somewhat of a social license to make art, there are many world class artists in the city we could engage to create meaningful art projects. It is tough in a city to justify the costs, but I believe we should support local first before we green light art projects and not be afraid to scrap projects that simply don’t catch the publics eye, like the Poop Palace, the white elephant that is the Chinese Finger Trap Bridge, Blue Ring, Bowfort Towers.

Personally I liked the Upside Down Church, the public fought that one pretty hard and it was removed from Ramsey, good art should be intellectually stimulating, make for conversation in a positive light, and be publicly enjoyed.


Question 5:

How can council support small businesses?

 

Answer 5:

As a small business owner with a brick and mortar retail shop, council could actually lower taxes, work with business incubators like Futurpreneur Canada to help small businesses thrive. It just seems like every time the council needs money they dip their hands into my business pocket and that needs to stop. We need to attract our own local business leaders in order to develop and sustain our business communities through investment, lower taxes, and strong community support (I say this as a community store that relies on people visiting my store regularly).


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:

If the costs increase and the project is delayed, I would not support it.

I think it would be environmentally and socially disastrous. Based on evidence of the soil composition, the age of the houses in the area and the sinkholes that already appear based on current construction, we need to find an alternative route.

I would propose building a line running from Calgary zoo up past TELUS Science Center onto 16th running west towards Foothills Hospital. At 16th Avenue and Center Street then run a line north as a connector.


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 don’t support plebiscites because they are not legally binding in the city of Calgary. It would waste time and money. Council would have to first address the plebiscite issue making it a legally binding one of situation and then ask the public the question.In

In it’s current form, IOC taking 80%, IOC getting all expenses paid, and IOC demanding lavish opulent arena’s I don’t believe in wasting taxpayers money toward throwing into another Olympic that would run over budget and under used post Olympics. I do recognize that Calgary 88 was one of the few of two Olympics that kept costs low and used the infrastructure upgrades afterward quite successfully (Vancouver 2010 being the only other).