My profile and answers for the Calgary Herald
Why do you want to be city Councillor?
After Shepard was annexed in 2007, the community association was having difficulty fitting into somewhat inflexible city policies. Seeing this I felt it was important to become involved on behalf of the community. Further to this, I feel Councillors have a responsibility to be fiscally responsible to tax payers’ dollars. The decisions made by Council have a profound effect on the sustainability and well being of our City, I want to do my best to help ensure those decisions are made in a fair and equitable fashion with a mind-set for long term planning. I want to ask the question—can we do better?
If elected, what is one thing you would like to accomplish, and why?
We have the opportunity to redefine and build communities that are well supported by quality transit systems that will serve the needs of today’s generation and tomorrow. The improved social, economic, health and environmental outcomes that can result from building the SE LRT will be beneficial to all Calgarians. For this reason, I want to accomplish a comprehensive funding plan for the SE LRT and lay the foundation for future construction of the much needed mobility option.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing the City?
Without a doubt it’s public transit. We currently have a bus/transit service that primarily connects outlying suburbs with downtown. I propose a model that gives Calgarians the opportunity to travel to and from all quadrants of the city. To do this we need to build C-Train lines according to city needs and to ensure equivalent services to all quadrants of the city.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I would describe my leadership style as a mix between participative and people-oriented. I am big on teamwork and creative collaboration, and I encourage engagement from all stakeholders in projects and decisions. I try to approach every issue with common sense and logic to make the most informed decisions for our City moving forward.
In your opinion, what is the best thing city council has done in the last three years?
Prior to 2010, Council was often divided on issues resulting in lengthy debates and endless rounds of research. Over the past three years, however, council has been able to collaborate and work together to make decisions on several key issues. This includes the approval of project financing for four recreation facilities, three of which are in southeast Calgary.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
The lessons I’ve learned in life have had a great influence on how I approach my colleagues on Council. The most important of these is “whistle while you work”. By this I mean enjoy what you do. Always be courteous in how you do it and always try to be personable and address difficulties face-to-face.
What is the one thing you think council should have done, but didn’t?
Asset management strategy. This proposal was intended to cut red tape and administrative overhead to make it easier for administrators to manage city-owned assets. The City maintains a vast inventory of land and building assets that are under the purview of many business units. This would have created an accessible database that would allow the City to evaluate properties and determine whether each property is being used in the most efficient manner possible.