Sanjeev Kad

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:

While I would like to commit to an absolute reduction in taxes, the City is currently facing a budget shortfall which needs to be covered. I am confident that we can find tremendous savings at City Hall and my background as a financial auditor and entrepreneur give me the experience to ask the questions necessary to uncover those savings and find those efficiencies. However, finding those efficiencies will take some time and Calgarians value quality City services, so we need to take a responsible approach, reducing taxes over a period of time.


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]:

Yes.


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:

My conditions for support for a new arena are that property taxes are not increased, that the City can be paid back and that what we build can be used by all Calgarians for a variety of purposes. I want to see a new multi-purpose arena facility built in Calgary that can be home to the Calgary Flames and a world class recreational sports facility, conference and major concert center, and community gathering place for Calgarians. I support some portion of direct cash going to the project, as well as some land. However, the project must include a pay-back plan for the City that can be in the form of property taxes, a special levy, property taxes, etc.


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 spends far too much time meeting behind closed doors and this is easy to change – stop doing it. The only issues that should be discussed in camera are related to legal issues facing the city or human resource issues in council or within the City of Calgary that are sensitive in nature. However, once legal issues are resolved, Calgarians deserve to know all details related to those matters as well.


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:

I love art and believe that it is very important for a City like Calgary to think big and embrace the concept of funding for public art. However, in order for Calgarians to be able to do that, Council needs to create a policy that will give citizens more confidence and a better process and outcomes. The process should be democratized, meaning that Calgarians should be able to have a say in what art pieces are chosen before the decision is made.

I would also like to see the policy changed around major roads – we don’t need to put art next to major roads – money dedicated towards art on major roadways should instead be dedicated to noise reductions measures - this would have a more positive impact on the quality of life for Calgarians.


Question 5:

How can council support small businesses?

 

Answer 5:

Create a one-window approach for entrepreneurs and businesses to make it easier to get things done in Calgary

Reduce the ratio of business to residential property taxes to 2:1

Reduce regulatory barriers and timelines to allow businesses to create jobs more quickly

Facilitate a more transparent and predictable approval processes for developers and builders that allows for robust consultation and input from affected residents


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 project needs to be looked at again and it needs to be built in a more cost-effective way. Until that happens, I will not support the project.


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:

While I don’t like the initial estimates around the Olympic bid, I would like to take another look at this potential project to see if it can be put together more effectively. There may be opportunities to partner with Edmonton and to bid on the Olympics as province, for example. I think its worth exploring again. I also like the idea of a referendum on the issue because it’s an issue with big potential and it is something positive that can get citizens engaged and excited about our City’s future. If a referendum was held, however, the results would have to be binding – otherwise, the whole exercise is a waste of time and disrespectful towards the citizens who take the time to participate.