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Ward 11 - Jeromy Farkas

CKE Town Hall Summary

What happened at our Town Hall?
 
Wow! What a turnout. It was standing room only at the CKE Hall on Nov. 14th, where residents from Ward 11 and beyond turned out to talk about: the speed limit review and the budget.
 
We really appreciate the community’s support and for hosting us. Thank you to City Manager David Duckworth for attending and taking part in our lively Q & A segment.
 
If you were unable to attend, here is a summary of our community conversation:
 
Speed Limit Review: blanket reductions?
 
The City of Calgary is moving forward with public consultations to help inform how to move forward with a possible blanket speed limit reduction on all residential and collector streets; the public consultations have a price tag of $200,000.
 
Residents will soon weigh-in whether they would like to see all unposted areas become 30 km/hr, 40 km/hr or to be left status quo.
 
In October, Jeromy successfully put forward an amendment to see the status quo remain and for speeding to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. He would also be supportive of putting a mechanism in place that would empower communities to advocate and bring forward specific traffic concerns, such as speeding, in a more direct and effective manner.
 
Although data reveals that the vast majority vehicle collisions do not take place on residential roads, this does not diminish those tragedies that have taken place.
 
“Give me a spreadsheet of collisions and intersections where accidents are happening and let’s work our way down.” – Jeromy
 
Jeromy believes that implementing other traffic calming measures, better driver and pedestrian education and supporting police enforcement is a better way to address speeding concerns. Road engineering, a lack of supportive data and enforcement concerns are the merits of why a blanket speed limit change is not the best course of action.
 
Jeromy shared the results of the Ward 11 office postcard mailer conducted the week prior.
·         88% of respondents (262 results) were not in favour of a blanket speed limit reduction.
·         12% of respondents (33 results) were in favour of blanket reductions.
 
“You can’t enforce 50 km/hr right now. You don’t stand a chance at 30 (it’s about education).” – Darleen, Lakeview
 
“The perception on streets is that 50 is too fast … people feel safer when people are going slower on their streets (speed kills, it’s about building community).” – Anya, CKE
 
How is the provincial budget affecting fine revenues?
 
The province is taking more of the fine revenues generated in the City, as well as charging more for other services like forensics.
 
Jeromy believes that fine revenues should not be put into general revenues; rather, these dollars should go toward improving traffic needs at the locations where the fines are generated from. This would be a capital fund to improve the safety of intersections and specific roadways, rather than to fund the ongoing operations of the Police.
 
“The City should never be in a position where they’re relying on fine revenues to fund general operations.” – Jeromy
 
What is the deal with a freeze on public sector wages?
 
Jeromy, along with Councillors Chu and Magliocca, successfully passed a motion seeking wage rollbacks on all city staff including Mayor and Council.
 
The motion passed 14-1 and the City will proceed with asking unions to consider 0-5% wage rollbacks in exchange for limiting the impact on staff and preserving positions. An update is anticipated soon.
 
“If we can all share the pain then we can make sure everyone can stay at work.” – Jeromy
 
Rather than see further layoffs, Jeromy would rather see everyone take a little to save jobs in the long run. He would also like to see an end to the golden pensions and defined benefits of City Council.
 
The imbalance between the private and public sectors has come to light through the economic downturn, with scores of private sector employees remaining unemployed or underemployed or working for significantly less than five years ago.
 
Ahead of budget, the trio of councillors have also brought forward a proposed 5% reduction to all non-essential services for the City to be consider through budget deliberations at the end of November.
 
Rather than cutting essential services during a time when the city is facing spiking crime rates and soaring opioid addiction and a mental health crisis, Jeromy would prefer to see efficiencies found in non-essential services – for example, through public art (which has doubled over the last couple of years), communications and bike lanes.
 
We need to shift our culture to needs before wants and look for efficiencies, including privatization where it makes sense, scaling back pet projects and revisiting capital project scope and timelines.
 
“The City was built on the backs of unions (public service is essential).” – Donna, Lakeview
 
“The City needs to be run like a business (City Hall has a spending problem).” – Peter, Garrison Woods
 
What you said about spending cuts:
 
Our postcard mailer resulted in 295 responses on whether or not people wish to see spending cuts:
·         255 people or 86% said they wish to see spending reductions through this budget
·         23 people or 7.80% said they do not wish to see spending reductions
·         17 people or 6.20% did not address the budget question on the postcard
 
On budget: what we heard
  • No cuts to policing or frontline services;
  • Do not balance the budget at the expense of Calgary's most vulnerable (preserve the low-income transit pass);
  • Pursue wage reductions or at the minimum, wage and hiring freezes at City Hall;
  • Less pet projects;
  • Revisit major capital projects;
  • Zero-based budgeting and;
  • A culture shift to focus on 'needs before wants'
We look forward to seeing you at our Dec. 12 Town Hall meeting at the Cedarbrae Community Centre, beginning at 7 p.m


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.
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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.