Here are the five top priorities I have debated and supported at Council in directing our Administration to:
In 2015, Council adopted the Economic Resilience Strategy which allowed us to deliver value through strategic capital investment, provide short and long term value with no additional taxes – all while managing our debt. As a municipality, we are not permitted to run operating deficits.
This responsible fiscal management plan has enabled us to reduce costs and increase efficiencies in 2016 and 2017 in the amount of $325M in operating funds and $94M in capital funds. While these numbers are impressive. we are providing goods and services to a City of 1.2M people and continue to be one of the most desirable cities in Canada to live. We haven’t had to cut programs and services yet – but may have to.
I brought forward a Motion to establish a policy for the disclosure of the compensation and expenses of City employees who are paid more than $100,000. By asking for this disclosure of public sector employees’ salaries, Calgary is moving toward being more transparent. I am happy to say that my Motion was successfully passed. With open policies such as this list, it is my goal to make sure that our citizens are able to see how their tax dollars are being spent and to ensure we stay competitive as a City.
Council was approved for a salary increase, effective January 2016, at 0.88%. This worked out to approximately $93.00/month or $1116.00 annually. I joined a small group at the Calgary Jewish Centre where we met to explore the possibility of us jointly sponsoring a Syrian refugee family. I donated my salary increase to sponsor the family. They arrived in Calgary in 2016 to begin their new life in Canada. We rented a home for them and raised enough money to support the family of three for one year.
The 2014 “Snowtember” extreme snow event required a coordinated emergency response to manage public safety risks and widespread damage to trees in all residential communities. Snowtember damaged over 50% of Calgary’s urban forest. Nearly $40M has been approved by Council to replace the tree canopy over the next few years.