Ward 1 - Sonya Sharp

May newsletter

In this issue: Council and committee updates, updates on City programs, and opportunities to share your feedback. 

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Councillors in Flames jerseys in front of City Hall

Hi Ward 1! 

It's been an exciting month in Calgary as we cheered on the Flames during their playoff run. It's not the ending we hoped for, but it has been great to see our city come alive and come together again. It truly shows the spirit of our city that we had no major issues on the Red Mile or other celebrations whether our team won or lost. Thanks to everyone who celebrated responsibly. A deal is a deal, and I will be wearing Oilers colours at the next Council meeting for what I hope is the first and last time! 

Even as we've been celebrating, the work at City Hall continues. This month, I have updates on some of my committee work, further updates on Transit safety, and information on a number of new programs and initiatives at The City of Calgary. 

We really love hearing your feedback. If there's anything you'd like to see in these newsletters, let us know! You'll find all the contact info for me and the Ward 1 team at the bottom of this newsletter. 

—Sonya Sharp

News from City Council

Business Advisory Committee update to Council

Council's Business Advisory Committee, which is chaired by Councillor Sharp, presented its first update of the term at the May 10 Council meeting. The committee's role is to act as a conduit between the business community and City Hall, addressing barriers that businesses face while doing business in Calgary. 

City Administration is now working with the committee to address a number of the concerns brought forward to the committee over the last several months. This work means less red tape and more responsible use of taxpayer dollars. A more business-friendly climate in our city improves the quality of life for everyone.

Administration is expected to report back to the committee with an update on its progress later this year.

Business storefront: come in, we're local

Event Centre Committee update to Council

The Event Centre Committee, also chaired by Councillor Sharp, received its first update from City Administration last week. The May 25th update included details about the third-party advisors working with Administration, the role of the committee, and the benefits of this project to Calgarians.

Councillor Sharp is committed to ensuring that this project is successful for the benefit of all Calgarians. The committee and the public will continue to receive updates as work progresses. More details and updates are available on Calgary.ca

Tax and the 2022-2023 Service Plans and Budget

The size of the property tax bills mailed out last week may have come as an unpleasant surprise to many residents of Ward 1. With costs rising, higher property tax creates an added expense that many households simply aren't ready for. 

The amount you pay in tax isn't entirely up to Council, but the municipal budget is definitely within Council's control. As we head into The City's next four-year budget cycle, Councillor Sharp will be looking to make sure we balance efficient and effective city services with reasonable and predictable tax. Add-ons to the budget in subsequent years of the cycle need to be kept to a minimum to that Calgarians know what to expect. 

The budget planning process takes many months, and there will be additional opportunities to share your feedback over the course of the year that we will highlight in this newsletter. You can also follow along as Council holds a strategic meeting on the budget next week on Wednesday June 8.

Transit safety update

The Community Development Committee of Council received an update from Calgary Transit on their safety efforts on May 27. According to their safety metrics, some progress has been made, Councillor Sharp has heard from Transit users that more still needs to be done. 

Some steps that Calgary Transit already has planned include new Transit security guards to complement the peace officer presence, upgraded lighting and CCTV monitoring, and a third-party feasibility study of a closed CTrain system. 

Even when these updates aren't in the headlines, Councillor Sharp is continuing to work with Administration and community partners on improving these issues. We appreciate all of the feedback on Transit safety that our office has received to date. 

Updates in brief from Council

  • The results are in: Calgary's bird is the black-capped chickadee! Council will officially recognize The City's official bird at the June 7 Combined Meeting of Council.
  • Council has approved an increase to taxi meter rates of 15%. Taxi operators are facing increased costs, and this will help ensure that this important service remains available for Calgarians. This is the first increase to the meter rate since 2014.
Historic City Hall illuminated at night

City services and community updates

Flood mitigation

While the long-term forecast looks good, The City of Calgary is ready for this year's flood season. A number of projects including the downtown flood barrier and Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir will help protect the safety of Calgarians as well as critical infrastructure in the event of a flood. 

Despite all these efforts, we can’t prevent flooding entirely. If you live or work in an area that’s at risk of river flooding, it’s important to take simple steps so that you’re ready too. Visit calgary.ca/floodinfo for information on steps you can take to prepare and the measures that The City taking to prepare. 

Drought resilience

Calgary is not only at risk for flooding, but also for drought. The City is working on a Drought Resilience Plan, and is looking for feedback on how we use water, how we can incorporate water-wise landscaping, and ways to reuse the water we already have. Submit your feedback by June 14

Alcohol in parks

The City has expanded the Alcohol in Parks program. Responsible drinking is now permitted at more picnic sites, select large picnic sites, some open areas, and fire pits. New areas in Ward 1 include West Baker Park. Details on locations and rules are available on Calgary.ca

Updates in brief

  • The City has a dedicated team of Business Experience Representatives to support businesses in opening a restaurant or brewery in Calgary. Visit Calgary.ca/ber to learn more. 
  • Permits are now available and required for Calgarians interested in keeping bees on their property. Details at Calgary.ca/pets
  • Using a rain barrel can help to save over 4,000 liters of water annually. Check out Green Calgary Rain Barrel Sales: shop.greencalgary.org.
  • A pilot is now underway to allow bikes on CTrain during all hours of operation from May 16 to August 31, 2022. You can submit feedback on the pilot project at calgarytransit.com/CTrainBikePilot to help decide next steps. 
  • Neighbour Day is June 18! Find ideas for community events in your neighbourhood at Calgary.ca/neighbourday.
Bee pollenating flower

Contact the Ward 1 Office

Telephone: 403-268-2430

Address: Councillor Sonya Sharp

Office of the Councillors, MC 8001

The City of Calgary

PO Box 2100 Stn M 

Calgary AB  T2P 2M5   

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