Calgary Minute: Budget Adjustments, Mandates Extended, and Massive Transition Allowances
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
City Hall will be busy this week, with four meetings scheduled, starting with a big one as the new City Council is thrown in at the deep end to debate the City's budget in a Special Meeting of Council starting at 9:30 am today. Before debating the budget, Council will also receive reports on a survey on citizens' opinions, and on the economic outlook for the City. Last year, when it was an election year, Council managed to freeze taxes. What are the chances they manage to do that again this year?
- On Tuesday at 9:30 am, Council will keep up the pace with a meeting of the Executive Committee that will be considering a substantial number of reports alongside a much-anticipated motion from Mayor Gondek - a Climate Emergency Declaration that will set a net-zero emissions target for the City.
Also on Tuesday, at 1:00 pm, the Nominations Committee will consider appointments to over fifteen boards, commissions, and committees. Finally, the Infrastructure and Planning Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am to discuss several real estate transactions that fall within their purview.
Last Week In Calgary:
Following an election that saw the largest turnover at City Hall in decades, Calgarians will be on the hook for transition allowances totalling over half a million dollars. A total of $564,318 will be dispersed to 10 retiring or defeated Councillors and Mayor. Former Councillor Jeromy Farkas declined both his transition allowance and pension benefits.
Council's first organizational meeting was as controversial as expected, with Council voting to change their own rules to prevent Ward 4 Councillor, Sean Chu, from sitting on a number of Council committees. The vote passed 9-6 with Mayor Gondek and Councillors Carra, Spencer, Walcott, Pootmans, Wyness, Mian, Penner, and Dhaliwal in favour, and Councillors Chu, Demong, SHarp, McLean, Chabot, and Wong opposed.
- Despite the number of active COVID-19 infections dramatically falling in the City, Council voted to extend its mask mandate. The old rule saw the mandate expire automatically after 10 days of cases being below 100 per 100,000. As cases in the City dropped below this threshold on October 29th, the mandate was expected to expire automatically today. Council voted 12-3 on a motion by Councillor Walcott to amend the bylaw to require case rates to stay low for 28 days, instead of 10 days. Councillors Chabot, Chu, and McLean were the three opposed. In theory, this means the mask mandate will now expire on November 26th, if Council doesn't extend it again, of course.
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