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Ward 14 - Peter Demong

November 2023 Newsletter

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Greetings Ward 14!

I hope you had some fun trick or treating. Even though it can be cold in late October, seeing the kids out enjoying Halloween is always a nice sight.

2024 Budget Adjustments

The City’s budget process is a long one, and on Tuesday it will have a major milestone.

The year after a new City Council is elected, it receives one of its biggest opportunities to make its mark on Calgary—it gets to set its four-year plans and budgets. These budgets will carry forward every year until one year after a new Council is elected. In 2023, the current City Council set its budgetary priorities with its 2023-2026 Service Plans and budgets, but it will get a chance to adjust for the upcoming year and beyond.

2023 Municipal residential property tax per $1,000 of assessment
2023 Municipal residential property tax per $1,000 of assessment

This process will start on Tuesday when the City Manager and his staff will present their recommended changes. During the following week there will also be opportunities for more pointed questions, public feedback, and adjustments from Councillors themselves.

On Tuesday you will start hearing about potential adjustments in the media. For specifics on the proposed adjustments, you can visit calgary.ca/adjustments. I will send you an email with an update in the following days with more information and details on how you can take part in the public hearing. Until then, I will prime you with some of the more basic information about the City’s finances in the sections below. As you may have noticed, I have thrown in a few charts to pique your interest.

How to Navigate the City’s Website – Episode 4: Service Plans and Budgets

Finding general information about the City of Calgary’s service plans and budgets is easy. We will start by going to calgary.ca. From there we will go to the drop-down menu—a familiar place by now—and click on “Our Organization”. Under this heading you will find the subheading “Service Plans and Budgets”. That’s it. That is really all you have to do to start learning about the City’s Budget, but that doesn’t mean there is not a lot of information to take in.

2023 Municipal non-residential property tax per $1,000 of assessment
2023 Municipal non-residential property tax per $1,000 of assessment

One thing you will find is an overview of the 2023-206 Service Plans and Budgets broken down by service category. There is so much information here, I am sure you will learn something about the City. You will also see annual breakdowns of the total budget for each service category. This is an extension of one of my favourite Ward 14 initiatives, the Property Tax Breakdown (calgary.ca/taxbreakdown), which you will find on these pages too.

If you visit the “Our Finances” page you will find some useful articles there, including ones about your property tax bill, Financial Reports, etc. A tax comparison of Calgary to other cities is something I have been asked for recently. You can find that there as well. Click on Calgary Comparison to take you there directly.

Comparison of 2023 municipal tax share for regional and national comparators
Comparison of 2023 municipal tax share for regional and national comparators

As I mentioned before, there is a lot of information to digest about the City’s Services Plans and Budgets. You can find a lot more on calgary.ca. I hope you look. It is never a bad thing to know more about what your government is spending money on.

Maps of Calgary & Geography Awareness Week

Apparently, November 13-17 is Geography Awareness Week. I had no idea until now, but it is a great excuse to delve into the City of Calgary Map Gallery, a treasure trove of maps and applications. From historical insights to real-time city operations, these maps offer different perspectives and stories about our city. So now you have a reason to discover the richness of our communities and forge a deeper connection with Calgary during this week. Visit the Map Gallery at mapgallery.calgary.ca.

Winter is coming!

Winter can be a time for family fun, but there are several risks associated with the changing weather. Knowing the risks ahead of time will help keep you and your family safe this winter.

Winter storms increase the risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice and high winds. They can last a few hours or several days, knocking out heat, power and communication services. These storms can also place seniors, young children and sick individuals at greater risk.

Here are some ways to prepare for a winter storm ahead of time:

  • Know the risks. Include your kids in the discussion and use it as a way to talk about emergencies, how you will communicate with each other about your whereabouts and how to evacuate the house if needed.
  • Winterize your home.
  • Pay attention to weather reports and warnings from Environment Canada. Sign up for Alert Ready for notifications.
  • Gather supplies in case you need to stay home during a power outage. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Create an emergency kit for your car: include jumper cables, sand, flashlight, blankets, water, and non-perishable food. Make sure to always keep your gas tank full!

Want more information on how to prepare for other emergencies? You can visit calgary.ca/getready to learn more.

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Feel free to contact me any time. The best way to contact me is by visiting calgary.ca/contactward14 or calling (403) 268-1653.

Sincerely,

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

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