Calgary Minute: Nenshi Out, Snow Surplus, and Fighting Downtown Vacancies With Tax Hikes
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
This morning at 9:30 am, there will be a Combined Meeting of Council that, amongst other things, will receive a COVID financial update, debate various Calgary Planning Commission reports on land use amendments, hear an annual presentation by the Airport Authority, discuss how the City plans to save money (which will be done in secret), and discuss the latest status of negotiations with unions (which will also be done in secret).
- Perhaps most interesting, however, will be the presentation of the City Auditor's report for 2020. The full report is 26 pages long, and - in short - everything is great, the City is doing really well, and whenever there's a problem the City fixes it up quickly and efficiently. This contrasts significantly with recent Audit reports in Edmonton, which have been pretty scathing of our neighbour City's operations. Is Calgary actually doing so great, or perhaps different levels of scrutiny are being applied by the different Auditors? Maybe they could swap and Audit each other instead?
- On Wednesday at 9:30 am there will be a Standing Policy Committee on Community And Protective Services that will receive reports from the Community-Based Public Task Force and the 2020 Calgary Combative Sports Commission Annual Report.
Last Week In Calgary:
- After much speculation, Mayor Nenshi finally announced that he will not be seeking a fourth term in October's upcoming municipal election. While Nenshi's purple reign over Calgary will always be controversial, we thank the Mayor for his eleven years (exactly to the day) of service. With his decision finally public, the Mayoral race has become significantly clearer, with Councillors Farkas and Gondek now the clear front-runners.
- The same City experts who destroyed businesses in the downtown area with skyrocketing taxes are now coming up with a plan to fix things after the vacancy rate hit 32% in the downtown area. Great! Of course, don't expect a dramatic u-turn on policy - there is no mention of lower taxes in the plan, just more recommendations on how to spend more of your taxpayer money.
- The City of Calgary wrapped up winter with money left over in the snow-clearing budget, thanks to less snowfall than expected. Don't expect any refund on your tax bill though; the City keeps a hold of the surplus in case there's more snow than expected next winter. Maybe that does make sense in this particular case but, isn't it funny how every time the City overspends our taxes go up, but taxes never seem to go down when they underspend?
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