Ward 6 has a unique list of Candidates. We have not one but two incumbents running for Council.
The current one is Mr. Pootmans. His voting record and recent public statements make him an out and out Social Engineer who wants to bulldoze our city and have everyone walk everywhere. He will have better luck getting Americans to give up their guns. He is also advocating for $10.2 Billion in debt to finance his vision of a Social Utopia.
Mr. Connelly was a one term alderman who left us three years ago looking for a "better" job as Mayor. He lost with less than 1% of the vote. He then looked for the nomination for The Wild Rose Party which he also did not win. Now he wants his old job back. Why should you give it to him?
Most of the problems in Ward 6 have been ongoing through the past two councils: the traffic and congestion on 45th street and on 85th street, the impossible traffic on Sierra Morena Blvd, speeding through our residential areas schools and play grounds. Traffic lights, speed bumps and crosswalks have been asked for and these requests are ignored. City wide, the issues include huge capital cost over runs on the west LRT and our 3 Water treatment plants as well as total wastes of money such as the Peace Bridge and big blue hula hoops. The citizens want accountability, transparency and good caretaking of the $16.5 BILLION dollars that City Hall will spend in the next four years.
I am a businessman who understands how economics and financing works. I have spent most of my career doing what others could not. I will ensure that the people City Council hire to do OUR work understand that a budget is not just a suggestion. I will promote 100% transparency, no meetings behind closed doors. I will bring some much needed common sense to Council. I will respond to EVERY inquiry, large or small, within 48 hours. My cell phone number will not change and no one will be ignored.
After 10 weeks, my team and I have knocked on almost 10000 doors. I have personally chatted one on one with almost 1500 Ward 6 residents.
I have listened, I have asked questions, listened some more, suggested ideas, listened to feedback, asked more questions and listened yet again.
We have not always agreed but I was always honest and lost a few votes along the way because of that honesty.
Here is part of my Agenda for the first year. It will focus on essential services, finance review and righting a few wrongs.
I will vote against the next $52 million tax grab and move to return this year's retroactively.
I will vote against any and all tax increases.
I will review the 1% budget for art on capital budgets. Suggest we cap it at a number that reflects whether the project can display art inside or out, with a max cap of $200,000 and use of Calgary resident artists ONLY.
I will ask for increased fines for speeding through our residential areas and double the fines for speeding through our playground and school zones. Are our children not worth as much as construction workers?
I will ask for widening of 85th st and have proper shoulders, lines and lighting installed.
Part of the 45th street problem is a 37th street problem. We need to study the traffic flow and find better ways for people to use 37th so they are cutting up 45th.
I will move for a senior bus pass for life for a one time fee of $25. This pass can only be used from 9 am - 4 pm and then again from 7 pm to end of service. If they want to travel outside these times there is a $2.00 charge.
I will look to create a clean energy program in conjunction with Enmax and a local Calgary company that would divert garbage from the landfill and create electrical power instead. Calgary residents can opt in to purchase this cleaner power for an extra $9.25 per month and ALL this extra revenue goes to recreational facilities throughout the city.
I will make sure our capital cost projects have oversight that will ride shot gun on our tax dollars. No more doubling of budgets.
I will get firefighters their much deserved contract and end this 3 year nonsense that neither Joe nor Richard cared to do.
I will put a traffic light outside the fire station on 69th street to aid deployment.
I will review the intersections that have had crosswalks or traffic lights requested by residents and have them installed by March 1, 2014.
I will get 22 additional police officers here in Section 2 so that we can keep up with the rest of the city and push for the additional 330 officers that Calgary is lacking according to StatsCan.
Since the City turned over EMS to the province, response times are awful. Worse, our 69th street ambulance service closes at 9:30 pm so EMS then comes from much further away. I will review EMS response times in Ward 6 and get the province to improve by May 2014.
I will work with our School Trustee and the province to get those three schools that were promised and not delivered built. Identify where they should be and get them built!
I will review long term debt by May 2014 to see if we can re-finance at more favourable rates.
I will review our investment and return with Enmax by May 2014
I will review our $3.1 Billion in surpluses for return on investment versus paying down some debt.
I will work with developers, builders and city planners to create a 5 year development plan that will be responsible and will benefit all Calgarians.
I will push for Campaign Finance Reform: $50,000 cap for council, $400,000 for Mayor. Donations capped at $1,000 from individuals only. No corporate donations at all. They are not tax deductible so no need for corporate donations.
I will ask for total transparency on Councillor and Mayor's financial and land holdings, updated as changes occur and with discussion and vote recuse if a conflict is indicated.
I will not support any new budget items unless they are an absolute need for the city. No "nice to haves".
It has been energizing to be out there every day and meeting Ward 6 residents from all over the world.
I have been thinking about the three times I met Wayne Gretzky. From the start of his amazing career until the end, he was always incredibly humble. It made me realize that, if Wayne Gretzky can be humble, I should be as well.
I will never take credit for projects like LRTs and rec centres that I may or may not have played a role in. Any success we have as a city or as a ward will always be a team accomplishment. I will always look for a team player other than myself to "cut the ribbon".
I won't be expensing any $5000 private box hockey games like Mr. Pootmans did. Nor will I be taking long, expensive lunches on someone else's dime. I will pay for my own hockey tickets and plan on having lunch at my desk.
I will share my parking stall with my staff. Most days I plan on riding the LRT.
I will donate 25% of my pay to a non profit or charity and will disclose every year the recipient(s).
So, if you honour me with your vote and, together, we win, this is who I am and this is who I will be.