The 4-year Action Plan budget wrapped up last week and I’m happy with how the process went. Administration came forward with a good budget based on the tax rate my Council colleagues and I gave them to work within. Growth is expensive. This budget was designed to keep up with our rapid growth, without providing any additional services. We managed to keep the tax increases relatively low without dramatically altering our services.
Ward 8 constituents have been clear: Keep an eye on how dollars are being spent, but if the City can provide good quality services, infrastructure and projects then we are willing to pay for them. To drop the tax rate any lower means that our roads don’t get cleared of snow, our streets don’t get cleaned and the bus doesn’t come as often.
Moving forward, as we adjust the tax rates over the next 3 years, I am supportive of providing more transit. This past May when we initially set the tax rate, I made a motion to increase transit funding. That motion failed. I’m glad that my Council colleagues were willing to relook at the idea and add some additional transit hours during the process, and moving forward I will continue to push for more.
One thing I was disappointed by was the lack of a commitment to pedestrian infrastructure in this budget. Whether we’re walking to work, walking to the bus, or walking to our car, all Calgarians are pedestrians. I look at the underpasses downtown, with more than 40,000 people walking through them every day, and I know that there is value in investing to make them cleaner, safer, and better. As a Council we have talked about how to make getting around on foot in Calgary a better experience, but that was cut from the budget. Over the next 3 years I will keep pushing for investments in pedestrian infrastructure.
Visit the calgary.ca newsroom for more details on the Action Plan budget.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.