On Monday, July 25th, 2016, I brought forward a Motion Arising to direct administration to begin work on design and subsequent construction of a pedestrian overpass across 14th Street at 90th Avenue SW, with the goal of having it completed for the opening of the full SW Transitway BRT. Council approved my motion.
The overpass will make it easier for residents in Haysboro to safely access services at Glenmore Landing, the Calgary Jewish Community Centre, and the planned SW BRT station. Pedestrians currently need to cross six lanes of traffic which poses difficulties for seniors and children. This overpass will increase connectivity between communities and amenities, promote walking and cycling, and increase safety.
This pedestrian connectivity is something residents have raised consistently, and something we’ve been talking about for while. While the City will be doing a lot of work in the area, we can take advantage of the construction that will be going on and integrate it into the SWBRT. Coordinating these projects in conjunction with each other saves tax payer dollars and construction headaches.
The exact cost of the overpass still needs to be determined. Administration will report back to Council in the fall with an estimated cost and funding mechanism. Generally, pedestrian overpasses cost $6 million.
On Monday, June 27th 2016, City Council considered our 2017 operating budget and gave direction to City Administration for developing next year’s budget. The direction that City Council gave was to create a budget with a 1.5% tax increase, and a tax rebate for the final 1.5% so that it will be a 0% property tax increase in 2017.
We used a variety of tools at our disposal, including the use of one time reserves to achieve a 0.0% tax increase. But, it does include a small amount of service reduction across the city. City staff will work on minimizing the impacts of those service reductions and will come back to City Council in November with what cuts are in place at Budget Finalization.
I heard from many people in response to my last budget email asking for your input. I will use that input to share with administration as they look for budget savings across the various departments. I truly appreciate the thought and consideration that so many people gave to me. A majority of people were interested in seeing their taxes be as low as possible, but were concerned about the impacts on service. There was generally a strong desire to see services maintained across the city. I am collating that information now and will be using it in a submission to city staff to help direct them in developing the city budget.
Police and Fire: Many residents believe they should not be exempt from budget cuts.
Council Members: Many residents believe Council salary should be decreased. Please note that Council salary is determined by a Citizen Committee.
City Staff: It’s about half and half between those who believe this budget should be maintained or decreased.
Transit: It’s about half and half between those who believe this budget should be maintained or increased.
Waste: Many believe the budget for waste collection should be decreased – to stop or postpone the Green Cart Program or to make collection bi-weekly for all carts.
Parks: Many residents expressed that they would volunteer to be the caretaker of their local park.
Thanks and I will keep you informed as we move forward with developing next year’s budget.
We ‘re excited to inform you that Realzim eSociety is organizing the first annual Kite Festival at Shaw Millennium Park, on Saturday July 16, 2016 with the support of city of Calgary. Realzim eSociety is a flagship product of Intellizim corporation- a Calgary innovation that offers a SMART Engagement Network for purposeful engagement for things that matter.
The Kite Festival is being held to foster citizen participation and share the rich and vibrant culture of different countries and ethnic groups. The day is packed with a variety of fun activities for the whole family. The event is also in support of “Stop the Drop” campaign to help kids stay in school.
Please join us to celebrate purposeful community engagement and multicultural heritage. Together, we can make this event a celebration of valuing cultural diversity of the Calgary Spirit – making it from the best city in the world, to the best city “for the world!” Let’s give flight to our ideas!
You can visit our website at: www.calgarykites.com.
I’m attaching the Kite Festival flyer as well as the brochure of Realzim network. If you are interested in participating, please contact us to discuss further details. We look forward to hearing back from you.
Lead Administration Executive
Provide feedback on the Land Use Bylaw wording for sports ramps
In June 2015, City Council directed staff through a sports ramp notice of motion to talk to Calgarians about their opinions on skateboard/sports ramps on private residential properties. Project outreach and communications have been promoted to the public through a number of media sources, newsletters and face-to-face opportunities. We now have engagement summaries and information updates available at calgary.ca/sportsramps. We’ve also added independent representative telephone survey results completed by Harris Decima. This survey reached a representative demographic of all Calgarians and has a ±4.4 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level. An executive summary is available in the report and you can also refer to a high level summary of this representative telephone survey.
On June 1, 2016, skateboard/sports ramps were discussed and recommendations were approved at the Standing Policy Committee meeting on Community and Protective Services. From here, Council will consider the proposed amendments to the Community Standards Bylaw (noise) in Attachment 1 of the report and the proposed Land Use Bylaw regulations as set out in Attachment 2. Once directed by Council, Land Use Bylaw amendments will be presented to the Calgary Planning Commission on September 22 and then tentatively to City Council for a public hearing on November 7. Links to the report and attachments follow:
Cover Report CPS2016-0229 -Details on the sport ramp proposal
Attachment 1 -Proposed amendments to the Community Standards Bylaw (noise)
Attachment 2 -Proposed Land Use Bylaw regulations
Attachment 3– Summary of Public Engagement
Attachment 4 – Letter of support
2016 June Preliminary Land Use Bylaw Wording – Sports ramps on private residential properties – for discussion purposes.
Action Item: We would like your feedback on the Land Use Bylaw wording to implement into Attachment 2. A meeting for this discussion has been scheduled for June 22, 2016 from 5 to 7pm at City Hall. If you would like to attend, please email Loretta Sequeira and include your contact information. Once you have emailed Loretta, directions and information on the meeting room will be forwarded to you in a meeting notice.
Questions about sport ramps? Visit our sports ramps Notice of Motion page, sports ramps engagement page, or contact 311.
Calgary Growth Strategies
Planning & Development
The City of Calgary | Mail Code #8117
P.O. Box 2100, Station M, Calgary, AB, T2P 2M5
T 403.268.2249 | F 403.268.3542 | www.calgary.ca
Dear Haysboro ,
As we enter into discussions for the 2017 budget, we are faced with some important and difficult decisions both as City Council and as a community. I attempted to explain that last week through a number of media interviews and as often can happen, particularly in print media where space often overrides context, some meaning got lost.
So, I would like to give you an understanding of where I am coming from as we have this conversation. And indeed, it must be a conversation between you, me, and the rest of the City. These types of decisions require us to consider the desires and needs not just for ourselves but also for our fellow Calgarians.
Developing a budget is always a balancing act. Essentially, with our taxes and fees we are buying services. Garbage collection, clean water, emergency response, parks and recreation, and libraries, to name just a few, are all services we receive as a result of taxes. Delivering those services is balanced by what we can afford and our revenues.
The original tax rate for 2017 set out in our 4 year plan two years ago was for a tax increase of 4.7%. Since then, with ongoing work by city administration, we have identified that we can maintain service levels as they exist today with a 3.2% tax increase for 2017. Over the past two years, city administration has found $86 million per year in efficiencies. That was a $50 million reduction in 2015, a further $36 million in 2016, and now they have committed to finding another $15 million in 2017. That is $100 million per year of efficiencies without impacting service.
Council received that information earlier in June and subsequently asked Administration to bring us back scenarios for tax increases ranging between 3.2% down to a 0% tax for 2017. To achieve a 0% tax increase we would need to identify about $66 million in cuts from our budget. With the already achieved $100 million in efficiencies, there are limited options left.
$66 million is not a small amount. To put that number into context, the funding for the Public Library is $40 million per year. Our snow clearing budget is $35 million per year. From a property tax perspective, the impact of every 1% increase results in an $18 dollar per year increase on the average home (today that is a home assessed at $480,000).
As well, property taxes go towards the operating budget and not the capital budget. So our construction projects around the City, from roads & bridges, to bikeways and BRTs do not affect the property tax. An example would be that the construction of a fire hall is not paid for through property taxes, but the firefighters in that hall are.
A second piece to consider as we look at our overall operating budget, primarily funded through property taxes, is that the majority of the City of Calgary’s labour force is unionized. As such, wages and salaries are determined by collective agreements across several bargaining units. These are contracts that were negotiated in good faith by all parties. 2017 marks the final year of many of the collective agreements across the City, so we can definitely anticipate a different negotiating environment leading to the next agreements.
As well, City Council wages have been determined by policy to be adjusted by the average change in weekly salaries of Alberta workers. If the average wage across the province goes up by 1%, Council salaries are adjusted accordingly. If the average wage goes down, which is where we are right now, then Council salaries will go down the same amount. I am a firm believer that City Council should not be adjusting or setting their wages themselves. That is why I support the formula established by a committee of citizens who examined Council compensation and determined the manner in which compensation is adjusted.
I very much would like to get the tax increase as low as possible. I want to have the discussion of which services we could see less of. I am certainly not advocating that we close our libraries or eliminate our snow clearing program. We will need to look across all departments & services to consider where we find the cuts. It has been typical of Council to exclude police and fire from budget cuts. With those two areas being among our largest budget spends, that increases the impact on other departments such as transit, parks, community and neighbourhood services, and recreation.
I would like to hear from you. Which areas would you be willing to reduce service in? Which are the most important to you to maintain service? How do you feel about exempting Fire and Police from budget cuts? What level of tax increase would you be willing to accept? (Understanding that we would all prefer a 0% increase!) As part of this conversation around the Council table, I need to hear your voice and be able to share your concerns and desires.
Please let me know your thoughts on this.
Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you soon.
Councillor, Ward 11
The City of Calgary
Address: PO Box 2100, Stn M. #8001A, Calgary, AB T2P 3M5
On April 20th, next Wednesday, a report is coming to the Transit and Transportation committee with an update on the BRT Program across the city. You can find the full report by clicking on this link.
The alternative of either doing nothing or to expand our existing roadways is neither acceptable nor sustainable. In some cases, roadway expansion demands the expropriation of homes. In order to attract better services and jobs to our communities, we need to invest in infrastructure that is more inclusive and the best possible allocation of taxpayers’ dollars. Investment in public transit provides a service to those who use it, in the form of transportation options, and those who don’t, in the form of less traffic. Everyone benefits from improved transit, which is why cities invest in it.
The BRT Program
The BRT Program, technically referred to as “Program 566”, includes the SW BRT, and is one of four BRT projects that the city is working on. Together, these routes connect the four corners of our city to our LRT lines, to our educational institutions, to our downtown core, and to important services and cultural attractions. The BRT Program offers a fast and reliable service between communities and activity centres. Think about an LRT level of service that can be accomplished with a bus. Please see the attached Primary Transit Network map.
The SW Transitway BRTThe SW BRT will bring an increased level of transit to residents along the SW corridor, who currently don’t have access to a baseline level of service. Please see the attached Transit Service Coverage map. We must support young families moving back to our inner communities, and assist seniors who choose to retire in them. Currie Barracks will attract an additional 14,000 people to live and work along the SW Corridor in the very near future. New communities south of Fish Creek Park will add more vehicle traffic to 14thStreet, even with the addition of the South West Ring Road. For both new and existing residents in Ward 11, the provision of multi-modal, multi-rider transportation networks is paramount. The SW BRT is very important for the future quality of life in Ward 11, and I fully support it.
While I fully support this project, it does not mean I believe it shouldn’t be conducted prudently. In learning through the report that the updated cost estimate for the SW Transitway BRT is higher than the original estimate set out in the 2010 functional study, we need to understand how a significant change could occur, even though the cost escalation can be accommodated in the overall budget for the BRT Program. We require an explanation for the cost escalation and how it may impact the other routes; we need a detailed understanding of the phasing and timing for this project; we need to understand how work on this project is being coordinated with ATCO; and, we need to understand the interaction of this project with commercial and residential developments that are coming forward in the SW Corridor. We will work with administration to ensure that these questions are answered at the Transit and Transportation Committee meeting on April 20th.
Councillor, Ward 11
The City of Calgary403-268-5056 (Office)403-268-8091 (Fax)
Mail Code: 8001A
March 15th meeting at Carriage House is Cancelled
Online forum will be online at City of Calgary website soon.
The Importance of Reporting Crime
Did you know that a substantial amount of crime isn’t reported to police?
There are many reasons that people choose not to report a criminal offence. They may feel that it is too minor in nature or that nothing can or will be done. They may feel that it’s not worth the time or effort or that police have more important things to do.
The Calgary Police Service pays close attention to reported crime statistics within communities and across areas of the city. In fact, statistical analysis can be a driving force behind how our Service chooses where and how to deploy resources.
Analysis of reported crime allows police to identify ‘hot spots’ of activity and also helps to measure and pinpoint emerging crime trends. A lack of accurate data makes identification of these locations difficult and unreliable.
So-called ‘minor’ crimes such as car-prowling (theft from vehicles), vandalism and other property related crime can be an indicator of a larger problem in a community. An increase in these types of crimes can indicate that an offender has moved into an area, that additional police resources are needed, or that something else has changed within the community. Becoming aware of each of these factors is important for police to move forward in addressing community concerns.
How to report a non-emergency crime
The emergence of technology has made crime reporting much easier and faster, and allows police to obtain an up-to-date glimpse of what is going on in the community.
- Online – www.calgarypolice.ca
- By phone – 403-266-1234 (police non-emergency line)
- Walk-in to your local District office
If there is an ongoing situation within your community, you also have the option of contacting your area Community Resource Officer (CRO) through your local District office to make them aware.
How else can you help?
- Encourage your family, friends and neighbours to report crime or suspicious activity within your community.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If something or someone seems out of place, there is likely a good reason for this. Report any suspicious behaviour to the police.
- Lock it up! Don’t provide offenders with any opportunity – secure your vehicle, garage and home (including closing windows when you are away and at night).
Cold-Weather Vehicle Theft
Vehicle theft is an ongoing concern within the city of Calgary. Each year, as the weather cools, the Calgary Police Service receives an increase in stolen vehicle thefts, targeting unlocked vehicles left running (warming up). With this in mind, please consider:
What can you do to prevent vehicle theft?
Remember, a few minutes braving the cold with your vehicle can save you from a headache down the line.
Dear Haysboro Community Association:
We are writing to share information about a City project your members may be interested in knowing more about and participating in. The Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment project fulfills one of the 27 recommendations of the Expert Management Panel on River Flood Mitigation. The focus of the project is to develop a comprehensive list of flood mitigation measures for the city of Calgary. As part of the project, we are gathering community input which will help inform recommendations to Council.
We are creating a Community Advisory Group for this project. The aim of the Community Advisory Group will be to work collaboratively with The City’s team to evaluate and analyse flood mitigation measures in Calgary communities. Applications from are welcome until closing on Feb 24, 2016.
There are many opportunities to get involved and to share input in addition to the Community Advisory Group. For more information on the project, the Community Advisory Group and engagement opportunities, please click here.
In closing, we ask for your help sharing this opportunity. If possible, could you please put the following information on your community website or newsletter.
Carolyn Bowen M.Sc.
Program Manager, Flood Resiliency and Mitigation
Water Resources | The City of Calgary
Mail code #438 | PO Box 2100, Stn. M, Calgary AB, T2P 2M5
T 403.268.2509 | C 403.801.2074
Community Advisory Group - Get Involved
Building resiliency to flooding is a top priority for The City. Since the 2013 flood, we have repaired, restored and recovered from devastating and costly flood damage. With much of the recovery well on its way, our focus is to ensure we build flood resilience by implementing the 27 recommendations of the Expert Management Panel on River Flood Mitigation.
Now, we are advancing further by developing a comprehensive suite of mitigation measures for Calgary through a consultative, citizen-focused approach.
The best decisions involve community input
In the upcoming months, The City will be meeting with citizens, stakeholder groups, community organizations and orders of government. The input gathered will be used to develop The City’s comprehensive suite of flood mitigation measures for the Bow and Elbow rivers.
Join the Community Advisory Group (CAG)
The City of Calgary is looking for community members from 2013 flood-affected and non-flood affected communities, business and interested representatives to participate in the Flood Mitigation Measures Community Advisory Group.
The Community Advisory Group will provide input concerning flood mitigation measures to The City, who will then make recommendations for decisions by Council.
Join us in developing the comprehensive suite of flood mitigation measures which will protect citizens, properties, critical infrastructure, vital services, communities and downtown from future river flood events.
To learn more about the selection process and to participate in the Community Advisory Group, please click here.
There are many opportunities to get involved and to share input in addition to the Community Advisory Group. For more information on the project, the Community Advisory Group and engagement opportunities, please visit calgary.ca/floodinfo.
Haysboro Community Hall 1204 - 89 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2V 0W4