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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 8:09 PM
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Decision 2010: Calgary Municipal Election

I thought I'd make a new thread about this topic. Everytime you read a local online news article, bronconnier and his city council crew get hammered. First the pedestrian bridges to "encourage" [encourage: a word used in planning which really is meant to say force], people to take transit and drive less. But then buys the cecil for $10M, with plans to build a parkade - at essentially the other end of one of two $25M pedestrian bridges...IMO spending is out of control on City Council's behalf. Let's not forget about the raises each council member gave themselves during an economic downturn

Another area of concern is taxation. We're going through a recession and the only thing this council can think of are ways to take our money: recycling tax, red and green light camera taxes, making people pay for parking at transit stations. I do not plan on voting for bronconier next election. And for the first time I'll admit, I'm going to pay attention to the platforms of potential aldermen in my ward.

The next municipal election for Calgary is in October of 2010, it's going to be heated and current members of city hall going to get torn up
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 8:25 PM
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I kind of wonder why the provincial goverment isn't getting "hammered" over raising Calgarians taxes about 6% through the increase in the education property tax.

City does it: hell to pay
Province does it: don't pay any attention
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 8:34 PM
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Nevermind.

Last edited by frinkprof; May 22, 2010 at 2:27 PM.
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 8:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Wooster View Post
I kind of wonder why the provincial goverment isn't getting "hammered" over raising Calgarians taxes about 6% through the increase in the education property tax.

City does it: hell to pay
Province does it: don't pay any attention
Check today's ctv poll:
How would you rate the provincial budget?
Great 3%
Good 13%
Fair 26%
Poor 58%

So what one should take away from this, at least people in this province don't approve of onerous taxes. Other cash grabs like the speed/red light cameras aren't going to help these politicians either.
     
     
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 8:48 PM
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Originally Posted by frinkprof View Post
I think it's way too early for myself to make any decisions. Lots of things to think about though. Will Hodges call it a career? Will Chabot's ward be nixed? I think Ward 1 will be the most interesting one to watch, regardless of whether Hodges retires or not.

Good idea for a thread.
Hodges has got to go. His opponent in the last election came quite close, I bet she could go over the top this time if Hodges doesn't retire.

Last election finally showed that you can be vulnerable as an alderman - with people like King and Burrows losing.

It's hard to say whether Bronconnier will run again and if he does whether someone like McIver thinks he has a shot to beat him. It's a bit risky, because if you decide to go for it and lose, you're pretty much out of luck for being mayor, and you don't have your aldermanic seat anymore.
     
     
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 8:49 PM
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Originally Posted by korzym View Post
Check today's ctv poll:
How would you rate the provincial budget?
Great 3%
Good 13%
Fair 26%
Poor 58%

So what one should take away from this, at least people in this province don't approve of onerous taxes. Other cash grabs like the speed/red light cameras aren't going to help these politicians either.

I think people are always going to generally disapprove of a big deficit budget. But I have yet to hear much specific comment about the tax hike in Calgary. Where's that same rage that was directed towards council, for pretty much exactly the same thing?
     
     
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 8:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Wooster View Post
I think people are always going to generally disapprove of a big deficit budget. But I have yet to hear much specific comment about the tax hike in Calgary. Where's that same rage that was directed towards council, for pretty much exactly the same thing?
I think the issue with city council is that they always find ways to take more money and then theres public outrage over what they spend that money on. Many people dislike the pedestrian bridges, and almost all are united against the raises the aldermen gave themselves during these times.

I'm sure there are spending items on the provincial budget I don't like, but I assume people are appeased by spending on major projects like the ring roads. Plus Stelmach won with 71% I believe, this is conservative country, perhaps he can get away with stuff like that..
     
     
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 9:00 PM
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By the way, the Province approved the funding for the pedestrian bridges, through it's transfer agreement with the City. There's also a lot of people as well that support the pedestrian bridges -it's a democracy - if people don't like the stuff that their politicians do, they are more than free to vote to try and get them out. The current council isn't really acting or governing any differently than the previous council or the council before that. But they don't municipal turnout continues to plummet.
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 9:04 PM
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Nevermind.

Last edited by frinkprof; May 22, 2010 at 2:26 PM.
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 9:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Wooster View Post
By the way, the Province approved the funding for the pedestrian bridges, through it's transfer agreement with the City. There's also a lot of people as well that support the pedestrian bridges -it's a democracy - if people don't like the stuff that their politicians do, they are more than free to vote to try and get them out. The current council isn't really acting or governing any differently than the previous council or the council before that. But they don't municipal turnout continues to plummet.
The city approved it, they should manage their money better. That way they wouldn't have to introduce all these taxes.
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 9:17 PM
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Whether the bridges were a wise expenditure is a matter of opinion. I'm of the opinion that it will pay for itself many, many times over for not only its practical value, but also the value as a selling piece for the city. I'm quite certain that it will probably grace almost every tourist brochure and marketing piece for the city for decades. Whether old farts in Calgary realize it or not, young people who are considering moving or visiting the city see things like quality architecture, design and iconic structures as important symbolizers for a place. This bridge alone will not change people's minds about Calgary - lots of stuff needs to happen including downtown and inner city reurbanization - but this bridge WILL contribute to a change in people's perceptions of Calgary as a city that is actually starting to care about what it looks like.

In my opinion, the reason why the city has to constantly increase taxes (along with every other municipality in Canada I might add) is because we rely so heavily on a fundamentally flawed taxation system - property taxes, which doesn't automatically keep up with economic growth, like income taxes do. I'm not defending all expenditure as prudent or wise - much of what the City of Calgary prioritizes I think is total bullshit - but I understand why tax rates from property goes up.
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 9:19 PM
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Taxes are for operations only. In no way could not funding a capital asset in this years budget keep this years taxes down.
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 9:21 PM
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Nevermind.

Last edited by frinkprof; May 22, 2010 at 2:26 PM.
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 9:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korzym View Post
I think the issue with city council is that they always find ways to take more money and then theres public outrage over what they spend that money on. Many people dislike the pedestrian bridges, and almost all are united against the raises the aldermen gave themselves during these times.
City council didn't vote themselves a pay raise. Their salary increase is tied to the average salary increases of Albertans between a certain time period. The economy during that time was strong, the cost of living was increasing.

http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server....mpensation.htm

The whole point of the Independent Compensation Review Committee was so that aldermen couldn't vote themselves a pay raise. They didn't and can't vote themselves a pay raise. The media spin on the issue suggested otherwise, and the general public accepted it.

I would imagine that the next time this issue comes up it will result in a decrease of salary given the economic situation.

I'm not defending all of city council's actions as I feel that fearing the voters is often a good thing. But in this case, the media whipped people into a frenzy with misinformation. Sells more papers and gets more viewers, I guess.
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 9:30 PM
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The rumour is that Bronco is leaning more towards staying. That's probably a good thing, since Council already is suffering from a right-left split exacerbated by grandstanding over meaningless symbolic issues, and an ideologue running the show would only make matters worse.

Re: taxation, Council is taking heat because taxes and user fees have generally been on an upward trajectory beyond the rate of inflation for quite some time. Comparatively this latest budget (which does suck by the way) is the first tax hike of any kind in quite some time. Also, the Province is sort of hiking taxes by stealth - since most people equate Provincial tax with income taxes - while people consider municipal taxation to be property taxes. If anything the masses will blame the city even more because they're too dumb to understand that the education portion of their property taxes goes to the Province.
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 9:46 PM
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Decision 2010: Anyone but McIvor.

That pretty much sums up my feelings.

I almost feel like I have to applaud the critics and media that have spun the pedestrian bridge issue into the big deal that it is. It seems like everyone I talk to is an expert on that situation
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  #17  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 10:01 PM
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I just hope McIvor doesn't get elected and come in to scrap those bridges in some chest thumping idiocy. I realize a contract has already been signed with Calatrava for the design, but does that ensure it being built?
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 2:47 PM
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Yup, agree with the above two posts. I'm not a huge Bronco fan but he is preferable to the likely successor.

I can't see the bridges being scrapped as long as the process is far enough along by then - this is after all 18 months away.
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 8:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korzym View Post
I thought I'd make a new thread about this topic. Everytime you read a local online news article, bronconnier and his city council crew get hammered...

The next municipal election for Calgary is in October of 2010, it's going to be heated and current members of city hall going to get torn up
Have you forgotten where you live? Bronco and Council will stop passing big ticket items prior to the elections and appease the citizens in other ways (i.e. not making them care about Municipal politics) and all will be forgotten. In a way, Municipal politics in Calgary is like the Leafs in Toronto.


Quote:
Originally Posted by korzym View Post
The city approved it, they should manage their money better. That way they wouldn't have to introduce all these taxes.
While Wooster touched on this (below), I'd like to go further. The main reason why Municipalities appear to be Nickle N' Diming it is due to the fact that they are limited to Indirect Taxation as they have no power to Direct Taxation. Worse yet, although they have a large number of taxes and fees, these combined amount to less than 15% of all taxes paid in Canada.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wooster View Post

In my opinion, the reason why the city has to constantly increase taxes (along with every other municipality in Canada I might add) is because we rely so heavily on a fundamentally flawed taxation system - property taxes, which doesn't automatically keep up with economic growth, like income taxes do. I'm not defending all expenditure as prudent or wise - much of what the City of Calgary prioritizes I think is total bullshit - but I understand why tax rates from property goes up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wild wild west View Post
Yup, agree with the above two posts. I'm not a huge Bronco fan but he is preferable to the likely successor.
I've always voted against Bronco but so far out of everybody that has hinted they might run for Mayor, he'd be my choice.
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2009, 1:05 AM
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Direct taxation..it was introduced as a temporary measure but then later regimes decided to break the promise, in Canada. The point is income tax is not "normal", but introduced to pay off war time debts. I suggest reading this for understanding: http://www.infowars.com/how-freedom-was-lost/ I'm not sure why anyone would believe the city could ever have a remote claim to part of your income. Budgets are about sacrifices....this city council only knows how to spend and ask for more money.

Mark my words, whoever gets elected in 2010 will be someone that wants to spend money more wisely. Seriously some of the revenue could have been put aside for rough times so that projects could be cheaper.
     
     
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