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PBP Town Hall Summary, Feb. 20, 2020

What happened at our Town Hall?
What an engaging and lively discussion we had on topics such as planning, spending accountability at City Hall and the economy.
If you were unable to attend, here is a summary of our community conversation:
On the Guidebook for Great Communities …
A big thank you to Lisa Kahn and Carlie Ferguson with the City Guidebook planning team for attending and answering questions on the Guidebook for Great Communities  and the multi-community Local Area Planning (LAP) approach the City is taking:
Jeromy remains concerned about the Guidebook, which is looking to become the City’s guiding policy for all planning in the future. The Guidebook and subsequent multi-community LAPs mean significant changes to how our communities are built in the years to come.
At this time, he is unable to support the Guidebook, given its focus on driving density, the ambiguity of the language and the absence of considerations such as flood concerns, heritage preservation and restrictive covenants.
He is encouraging everyone who would like to speak publicly on the Guidebook to attend Council on April 27 at 9:30 a.m. to speak on the matter.
“If change is going to happen, it needs to be something that the communities are going to be on board with,” – Jeromy, on the need for genuine public engagement on the Guidebook.
On the expense scandal …
“Why is this arms-length principle not applied to Mayor and Councillor compensation? Not even CEOs get to decide their own compensation.” – Anonymous
There is a crisis of confidence at City Hall, propelled by the current situation involving Councillor Joe Magliocca and the Integrity Commissioner. Jeromy is advocating for a bigger-picture approach to restore this shaken public trust.
A closed-door meeting earlier this week determined that the Mayor is the spokesperson on this matter. Nevertheless, Jeromy believes that a forensic audit should be extended to the entirety of Mayor and Council in order to show the Calgary taxpayer that Council has nothing to hide.
“It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing,” – Jeromy, on opening up the books and showing Calgarians there is nothing to hide.
On the economy …
“I don’t know what right politicians (at every level) feel they have to pass on all of these tax increases … I mean, have a look at your Enmax bill,” – Alan, Woodbine (you need jobs in downtown Calgary, not an LRT that goes to nowhere).
Jeromy has been vigilant in his fight to lower taxes and reduce non-essential spending at City Hall. Just last fall, he attempted a motion to cut wages by 5% across the board, to preserve frontline services while looking to such city departments as bike lanes, communications, the arts budget and other discretionary areas, in order to find efficiencies.
While the majority of council did not agree to these measures, he will continue to fight for improved accountability and transparency.
With respect to the business community, Jeromy does not feel government should get in the way. A good example of this is the Opportunity for Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF), where government is essentially picking winners and losers in private industry by using tax dollars to award select businesses out of $100M slush fund.
 “What kind of message does it send that we are taxing you to death, and taking those surpluses to attract your competitors to come to Calgary? It just doesn’t make sense.” – Jeromy (OCIF is political interference in private business).

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.