In an ideal place we pay no taxes and we worry about nothing, but in this world we need to pay our fair share of taxes. I was unpleasantly surprised when Calgary’s Mayor explained the raising taxes with “Other cities have higher taxes than us”. An elected official answering this way, with no other data to support it, it sounds disrespectful. We will always find some comparison that suits our needs, water is more expensive in Las Vegas, taxes are higher in Monaco, traffic is worst in Rio de Janeiro.
As an elected councillor for Ward 12 I will focus on improved transparency and accountability for my actions and for the City Council actions. In my opinion, the worst managerial decision for a budget shortage is to increase taxes and fire people. Show me one campaign where someone who seeks election says he/she will increase local taxes and fire half of the people? And yet, once in office, one finds it is ok to increase taxes with no explanation. Annual inflation? Our city is hurting and I doubt many Calgarians have had a salary increase in the last years, one is lucky enough just to keep the job in these challenging times.
It was a big uproar towards the councillors salaries/benefits and here we have a comprehensive report that sets all the numbers straight in a transparent manner – click for the report. I would like to see a similar report for the City employees and as an elected councillor for Ward 12 I will do my best to keep all the City costs down and to have a transparent way of dealing with public wages. A similar report for the City employees salaries is needed. A private company doesn’t have luxury to “increase taxes” when the times get tough, the approach towards balancing the budget is totally different. Why not learn from the private sector and blend everything together?