Calgary Minute: Overtime Opulence, Museum Funding, and a Towering Vacancy Rate
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
We're in for a quiet week down at City Hall with just two meetings scheduled, after two others were cancelled.
- The week will start with what looks to be a marathon Combined Meeting of Council on Monday at 9:30 am. After hearing 27 separate Land Use Amendments, Councillors will receive a number of presentations from Officers, Administration, and Committees, including the Integrity and Ethics Annual Report, the City Manager’s Quarterly Report, and an Event Centre Update.
- Next, on Wednesday at 1:00 pm, there will be a Business Advisory Committee meeting. Wednesday's Standing Policy Committee on Utilities & Corporate Services meeting and a Thursday Gas, Power and Telecommunications Committee meeting have both been cancelled.
Last Week In Calgary:
The Priorities and Finance Committee voted 7-1 to approve $15.5 million for upgrades of Fort Calgary and the Glenbow Museum. City Administration says that despite this money being redirected from other cultural projects, this will not affect the $7.5 million they plan to spend on a 400-seat opera theatre on the Stampede grounds. Presumably, that means that they just plan to raise taxes again to pay for that?
- Speaking of tax dollars, while many Calgarians in the private sector are lucky to still have a job, it was revealed that at City Hall, some staff are getting more than $100,000 in overtime pay, on top of their regular pay! No reasonable person would begrudge rewarding an employee who puts in some extra time occasionally, but more than double the average Canadian salary just on overtime indicates a fundamentally broken system and culture at City Hall.
Avison Young has released their quarterly update of Calgary's downtown vacancy rate, and it’s another record high. The grim details: a 29.2 percent vacancy rate, 5 completed towers are completely empty, and another 7 with 75% vacancy or more. Calgary Council has attempted to centrally plan their way out of this spiral, but it doesn’t look to improve yet.
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