Municipal government has the greatest impact on your day to day life of any order of government. The decisions City Council makes really matter, so it’s important to know what guides your local candidate’s decision-making process. Here’s how I approach the issues:
I believe The City should operate like a business and behave like a service organization. This means that we need to be able to make a business case for what we spend our money on. It also means we need to be customer focused and deliver the best possible services to Calgarians.
I believe Council needs to have a frank discussion on what The City’s core services and programs are. To reduce spending, Council has been nibbling around the edges of some of our programs and services. That’s not how we realize the budget savings Council will be asked to find when the next budget cycle is voted on. We need to have a thorough examination of our programs and services and make some difficult decisions. In some cases, The City is taking on responsibilities from other orders of government. We need to be prepared to push back and ensure those programs are funded accordingly. In other cases, it might make more sense for some of our services to be provided by the private sector.
I believe in approaching the issues with an open mind. I want to see all the information on the table, hear from all sides and make the best-informed decision from there. Over the years we have seen a polarization of Council with two clear voting factions. In my opinion these factions have been more about who is bringing something forward instead of what is being brought forward. I have never subscribed to that school of thought. I don’t care who is bringing something forward, I’ll base my votes on the merit of the motion.
I believe your elected officials owe you an explanation for how they vote on the issues. You are never going to agree with every decision your elected officials make, I feel that is a given. But your elected officials must be able to communicate clearly why they made the decision they did.
I believe Council needs to be focused on value for money. It’s an over used phrase, but I feel it is especially important for Ward 12. For a very long-time resident of Ward 12 were paying their fair share in taxes without seeing the investments or services their communities needed. While we have made meaningful progress in the last seven years, we are still lagging many other areas in the city. Value for money means finding that sweet spot where your tax level matches an appropriate service level. We often talk about where Calgary stacks up to other Canadian cities regarding taxation. I’m not that interested in that comparison. The comparison I want to see is how the taxation level relates to the quality of service. How is your local government performing with the resources being provided?
I believe actions are more important than words. For far too long residents in southeast Calgary were told all the right things about new recreation centres and an LRT line – yet those projects always seemed to go to other parts of the city. Delivering on priorities means having a plan for getting the job done. Being an elected official is about problem solving. If we aren’t going to be bringing solutions forward, we are likely in the wrong line of work.
This is how I approach the issues in a nut-shell. If you are interested in my perspective on a specific issues, please feel free to contact me directly.