Sean Yost

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]:

a) Reduce in absolute terms


Question 1.2:

Comments?

 

Answer/Comments 1.2:

The rate of increase on residential and business property taxes has been over 60 and 70% respectively over the last seven years. The enormous increase is hurting homeowners who are hurting during this recession and crushing businesses. We need a council who is willing to ask the hard questions of the Administration to ensure the City only spends money where it makes sense.


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:

What I have been hearing at the doors over the last few months is that almost everyone wants to see a new arena but they do not necessarily want the taxpayers to foot the bill. I think there are more innovative solutions. I would like to go back to the table to see if there are other options including bringing in more corporate money from sources other than the Flames owners. I also do not want us to forget that Calgary also needs to upgrade or replace McMahon stadium and we need to look at that. We need to take a fresh look. I will do that.


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:

One simple rule for in-camera sessions - it must deal only with negotiations for the purchase of properties by the city or staffing issues.


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:

The last council tried to re-write the public art policy and failed, nothing changed. I think Calgarians want to a) get to enjoy and see the art they've paid for and b) have a common sense approach to how much gets allocated to these projects. We need a common sense approach on all of our spending from now on.


Question 5:

How can council support small businesses?

 

Answer 5:

Simple, get government out of the way. Reduce the regulatory burden and red tape that is slowing down business and raising the cost of being in business. Stop raising taxes. Ensure that all infrastructure building helps grow business opportunities. I was in business and I saw the effects over the last 7 years, we can help the unemployment rate helping reduce costs.


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:

The costs have changed significantly. Initially it was estimated at $4.5 billion for the entire 46 kilometres, that changed to $4.65B for just 20 kilometres. Calgarians deserve to know what the real costs are, can they be driven down and can we do this project any better? I have made a commitment to Ward 6 residents to ask the hard questions to get better value for our tax dollars.


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:

First, we need to clarify the real costs of hosting the Olympics again and if there is any better deal to had from the IOC on the TV revenues. Second, a referendum is the only way that City Council can justify spending billions of public dollars knowing that Calgarians support the effort.