Economic Growth, Financial Control, & Building a Stronger Calgary
"Governments are the only entity on Earth that can live outside of their means, and then go get more money from the people they work for." - Andrea Hinton
Reform to City Council Salaries
Calgary city council members are the third highest paid in Canada, after Toronto and Edmonton. Currently, city council decides upon its salary based upon the Alberta Average Weekly Earnings report. In Alberta, the numbers given in this report can fluctuate dramatically, especially when Alberta is going through good economic times. I do not believe that city council should be able to ever have a year in which they see their salaries increase 5-6%. Instead, city council needs to bring in legislation that would cap their salary increases at a modest number, while having no limit on salary decreases.
Get Calgary's Finances under Control
During these challenging times everyone has had to make sacrifices, city council should as well. The ability of differentiating between a-want versus a-need is a skill city council has lost. Ensuring that every dollar spent by city council serves as many people as possible is one of my focuses. Taxpayers need to be able to see their money at work for them, not tied up in redundant bureaucracy. City council must learn to work with less like everyone else, and pass those savings on to the taxpayer.
Bring back Calgary's Economy
Calgary currently has record high vacancy rates for downtown office space. We need to work towards making Calgary an attractive city for business in order for our economy to recover, diversify, and grow. We know Calgary is losing its young talent to other major centres across Canada. Calgary needs to fight for this talent in order to fully recover, and grow. Aggressive changes are needed to attain these goals, this includes streamlining business approvals, and providing businesses with tax incentives to demonstrate Calgary is open for business.
Preparing Calgary for the Future
To build a stronger Calgary the municipal government needs to have complete transparency between itself and Calgarians. I am in favour of plebiscites on topics that would impact the whole city, and listen to the voice of the people. I want to see Calgary continue to be improved with infrastructure projects that would increase quality of life for Calgarians; as well as show case Calgary as a strong city that is ready for the future. The Green Line LRT is one project that could help achieve this.