Calgary Minute: Raise Discussions, Power Consumption, and a Tax Rebate Motion
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
On Tuesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Executive Committee. Councillors Wong, Chabot, Sharp, Wyness, Chu, and McLean will present a Notice of Motion directing Administration to report back to the February 27th Council meeting with a list of one-time, operating, and capital budget adjustments to reduce spending by $23.1 million. This reduction is intended to refund taxpayers the equivalent of the shift in taxes from businesses to residents that was approved during the budget adjustments in November.
The Community Development Committee meeting, originally scheduled for Wednesday, is cancelled. The next meeting of the Community Development Committee will take place on February 14th.
- On Thursday, the Calgary Planning Commission will meet at 1:00 pm. Several land use amendments are on the agenda, as well as some new street names in the community of Saddleridge.
Last Week In Calgary:
City Council discussed the automatic 2.4% raise they received on January 1st. Despite some Councillors suggesting it wasn’t the right time for a raise, no one put forward a Notice of Motion to roll it back. Councillor Raj Dhaliwal pledged to donate his increase to the Calgary Food Bank, and Councillors Sharp, Wong, and Pootmans also said they would be donating to charity. Councillor Courtney Walcott said Calgarians get good value from their elected officials, while Councillor Jasmine Mian thought having the discussion about the raise was a waste of time.
A five-member Ward Boundaries Commission has started their work examining the effectiveness of Calgary's current Ward system. The Commission will look at things like how many employees Councillors can hire, Ward budgets, and whether Councillors can establish satellite offices. Oddly, the actual ward boundaries themselves are not going to be reviewed. This is the first time that Calgary’s Ward system has been reviewed since 2015. With a budget of $176,000, the Commission is planning public engagement through online and in-person interactions, and will present the engagement plan to Council on January 30th. The final recommendations are expected to be presented in September 2024.
- Calgarians took to social media to point out that, during the grid alert threatening rolling blackouts as a result of last week’s deep freeze, it looked like office buildings and the Calgary tower were still using plenty of light while residents were being asked to cook their dinner with the microwave instead of the stove. Mayor Jyoti Gondek said she’s speaking with Administration about what steps were taken to reduce the City’s power consumption. The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) said that a number of downtown towers participate in provincial programs for shedding load when the power grid is stressed, and that during evenings and weekends, office buildings are using much less power than usual.
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