Happy New Year! As 2018 begins, keep in mind that you live only once, life is short, and don’t be afraid to try new things. We are blessed to have this opportunity to make this year a successful and positive one, and I look forward to working together with you to achieve great things for our community.
As 2017 came to a close, City Council debated the 2018 budget adjustments. Despite talk of restraint, City Council voted 11-4 to increase spending by $150 million. I was not in favour as this results in an effective 3.8% increase in property taxes. I do not know anyone who has received such an increase in pay or pension this year. City Council should make do with the same—or less—just as families and seniors in our community have been forced to.
Despite me asking for a pause pending a review, the Southwest Bus Rapid Transit (SWBRT) project was approved to proceed. I will continue to demand accountability on the financial, safety, and construction concerns surrounding this project. The City’s rubber-stamp approach to major spending decisions is not sustainable. We cannot continue to green-light decades-old projects without re-evaluation.
I am determined this year to continue to ask tough questions, and change the tone at City Hall in regard to accountability and respect for citizens. Your voice is important as we move forward on significant transportation and development issues.
Finally, I am delighted to invite you to attend our inaugural Town Hall on Thursday, January 21st, 2018 from 7:00 to 8:30pm. Everyone is welcome, and no RSVP is required. These town halls will be held monthly (excluding July and August) and rotated throughout our communities. Many thanks to the PBP Community Association for stepping forward to host the very first! Please visit www.calgary.ca/ward11 for more details.
As always, I appreciate your comments. I look forward to seeing you around in the coming year!
City Councillor and Palliser resident