With over 25 years of direct involvement in Alberta municipal matters, I bring a wealth of experience to City Hall. I worked as a planning and development lawyer with the City’s law department for eight years and in private practice for over 19 years. I have seen the development process from all sides. I fought for homeowners and local communities against poor development plans and a sometimes interventionist City Hall. I acted for developers and property owners, as they brought their vision of community building to life. My experience inside and outside of government has given me a balanced perspective ‐ knowing that while good development is always necessary, not all development is necessarily good!
My family are 3rd generation Calgarians. I served as a volunteer and board member on numerous not for profit agencies (including the City’s planning commission), arts organizations, service clubs and condominium boards. I continue to pay taxes and manage a payroll at my own firm where I work in the areas of municipal law, real estate and expropriation law.
I have lived in Calgary most of my life, much of it in Ward 8. My wife and I recognize that the diversity and vibrancy within Ward 8 are an example for all in Calgary. At the heart of Canada’s youngest major city, the vitality of Ward 8 and its residents are a critical part of jump‐starting Calgary back into our leadership role.
VALUE FOR TAXES
I will treat Calgarian’s tax dollars with respect, cut wasteful spending, slow the rate of growth on new spending, and look for ways to improve core services without hiking taxes on Calgary families.
I understand the importance of a tax program that not only delivers quality services from our local government, but that prioritizes responsible spending and keeps life affordable for hard‐working Calgarians.
SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS
I will stand up for small businesses in Calgary. I will ensure we see the elimination of business taxes, reduce burdensome red tape, and make Calgary the best city in Canada to start and grow a new business.
I support Calgary’s business improvement areas (BIAs) and their important role in promoting their members’ businesses and attracting Calgarians to their districts. I will not support any new initiatives by City Council to manage or control these independently funded and managed organizations.
TRUST & ACCOUNTABILITY
I will work to rebuild trust between City Council and everyday Calgarians, throw open the doors of City Hall, and work with a new generation of municipal leadership to stamp out a culture of entitlement that has taken hold at City Hall.
I will support the elimination of texting and smart phone use during public hearings of City Council. I will move to get public business back in front of the public, with the elimination of closed door meetings for all matters other than personnel items and sensitive contractual issues.
I will ask that Council review its governance role on many of the boards, committees and commissions where it currently has representation or membership. Independent oversight of these agencies may be compromised by this continued direct participation by Council or its members.
With over 27 years of municipal development experience, I know that local communities are best positioned to provide meaningful input on what kind of development is right for their neighbourhoods. While Council has to make the final decision on land use matters, I will reform the local consultation process so that it puts neighbourhoods first. Recognizing that all cities must evolve, planning of cities should not be all “top down” ‐ it should be a collaborative process where the local citizens’ voices matter.
MOVING CALGARY FORWARD
Calgary and Calgarians have a history of rebounding from setbacks. The downturns following the Turner Valley boom in 1914 and the doldrums of the mid‐20th Century were followed by periods of tremendous growth. We may not see a similar dramatic turnaround over the next four years, but we must take steps to prepare for it. The current 30+ per cent downtown vacancy rates and abundance of residential housing are an opportunity for growth. Calgarians need experienced and visionary leadership for the next four years.