Health & Wellbeing
Arts & Culture
2017 less than 24%of eligible voters voted 10976 total
73% of population are under the age of 50 in Airdrie
Median age of Airdrie citizens is 32.4 as of 2020. AB is 37.5 and Canada is 41.1
Democracy and Engagement
Double voter turnout and grow engagement
I am committing my focus to double our voter turnout from 2017, which would mean 22k will be voting this October 2021. Why is this important? I understand the voter turnout sets a baseline for the engagement for the next 4 years and Airdrie is better off with an engaged populace.
Cap election signs allowed in public spaces by all candidates to even the playing field and eliminate some of the chaos the signage can create, example 20 in public spaces and unlimited in private spaces. Have an independent committee to oversee that candidates abide by the bylaws as currently this is with Municipal Enforcement which works with council and potential with any of the candidates and this would eliminate any conflict this may cause.
-Introduce structures for accountability for council (PAR a report card for attendance and voting record on key issues) to improve public trust, quarterly town hall meetings to increase productive community engagement.
I would like to see an impact study on changing our taxation strategy. Airdrie has 3 forms of revenue, all are paid by citizens and business owners. Airdrie has always boasted about not having business tax, and charged a 2.5 business property tax instead. This charge is static to the property and regardless of revenue that the business is generating or not as witnessed during the pandemic. Going forward I would like us to look at spreading out the tax liability among all the businesses by reducing the property tax and introducing a low business tax which is revenue based. Based on the inflation rate, and substantial downloading from province and federal governments we will need to be creative. In the budget, we talked about a 75 residential to 25 business ratio in property tax and I could not see the method that was going to be used to achieve this based on where we are today. Fresh eyes at the table will ask more questions.
Policing makes up 35% of our budget and based on my understanding of the provincial and federal downloading that has occurred we are anticipating a shortfall of approximately 10 million. Which will mean we will have an opportunity to explore our community safety priorities. I found that the Province is conducting a study on Photo Radar practices in municipalities to ensure the practices are about safety and eliminate the entrapment aspect that plagues the practices. Once the study is complete I would like Airdrie to explore becoming the 28th city to bring in photo radar, and I would like to dedicate a portion of the revenue to invest in safety infrastructure like lit crosswalks, painted curbs near crosswalks and intersections. I would like us to consider looking at improving the parent drop off/ pick up set ups around schools as some of the set ups are not practical for safety.
Many things that impact us the most in our homes and communities are not within the municipal scope of responsibility, however I believe we need to discuss this at a municipal level to bring awareness to the issues and advocate for the changes needed to better serve our city.
-Advocacy for a hospital, not necessarily a tertiary hospital and we need to create the case for it regardless, because based on the timelines the province works within we need to push harder, more consistently and never let up.
Advocacy for our EMS response times to be addressed by AHS or to create the rural movement for municipalities to take managing them back.
-All advocacy issues could be given space at our quarterly Town Hall meetings I’m proposing for increased engagement.
I believe with consistent engagement from council with citizens where they are at, the city will have better direction on how we will move forward more cohesively. I’ve outlined in my platform actions to move us in the right direction with this.
PAR a live document Politician Accountability Record much like a report card so citizens can see how their council is serving them even when they do not see them engaged publicly. This is to build trust and credibility, providing the attendance record to board/committee commitments as well as vote record on key issues.
Quarterly town hall meetings allow council and citizens to invest time together to hear concerns and provide needed information for all to be informed and engaged.
Using technology to automate and increase engagement. While social media is free it is not reliable for information transfer and the engagement is hit and miss for being productive. I believe we need to harness the technology available to us to make it accessible on our smartphone to relay time sensitive information and provide value to local businesses and citizens. The point of it would be to make life easier and better.
Airdrie has the potential and capacity to attract industry and niche businesses that will fill the gap for what citizens actually want. We need to harness more technology to create smart simple automations that will leverage the City’s efforts without requiring additional manpower.
The no business tax attraction alone is not doing us any favours. With Telus’s investment in Airdrie and new industrial space to fill, we are an attractive place for headquarters, educational, training and testing facilities for highly employable certifications ( this is something Derrick Greenwood and I discussed and while we were on the same page I want to ensure he is given credit.) as and possibly tech companies to set up shop. What are we doing to provide value to the businesses that have decided to operate here? I have heard from numerous businesses that the permitting experience in Airdrie is more stringent than Calgary and costs businesses more to meet code to do business in Airdrie in some cases. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it is worth looking at to ensure when we say we have a reputation of being a city people want to do business in.
Health & Wellbeing
Social connection is one of the leading ways to improve the baseline of community mental health.
Connection doesn’t cost anything, and a municipal government is meant to foster and curate the community to ensure it is easy and barrier free for all to be included. Early evening parented classes for preschoolers and young children are needed to include working parents, libraries multi use function must accommodate a vast spread of demographics and provide space for varied social interactions.
-To ensure the health and wellbeing of Airdrie citizens, council be will required to present a stronger, consistent sense of urgency advocacy to province for a hospital that has a properly equipped urgent care, the capacity to deliver dialysis, antibiotics and other daily essential care procedures, resources for mental health, addiction counselling and hospice care.
This is more of a community health model than a tertiary hospital and by working with AHS to improve the rural ambulance response times we would have better well rounded protection. The Airdrie Citizen Action committee that I am a part of for the EMS issues for rural Alberta is already working with administration and other surrounding municipalities to see progress.
My vision for Airdrie is to honour growing responsibly and providing the infrastructure that enhances the experience of living here with a sense of urgency and sustainability.
Airdrie is no longer a bedroom community with lower cost for housing, lower taxes and a small town feel. The reality now is we are a growing city with comparable housing prices, lower taxes with a lagging infrastructure.
The Airdrie I envision is clear why we are here and who we serve, citizens feel heard and acknowledged and Airdrie City employees feel valued and empowered to take actions that move our city forward. Working together we can simplify our policies to reduce red tape when and where it makes sense, and introduce a framework for accountability.
Feeling safe in Airdrie, while we will be addressing a 5% shortfall for our policing budget, I believe we need to take on investing in more safety infrastructure.
The province is currently doing a study to ensure photo radar practices are safety focused and not revenue generation as that is where entrapment occurs and once complete and the freeze on photo radar equipment is lifted I would like Airdrie to consider becoming the 28th city in Alberta adopting this practice. We would dedicate a portion of revenue to enhancing our safety, by installing lit crosswalks, painted curbs by crosswalks and exploring improving the parent drop off/pick up set ups near schools. The city could look at engaging the local theatre groups to fund a safety focused production that could travel to schools in conjunction with the community RCMP.
Arts & Culture
The City of Airdrie is meant to support and facilitate the citizens and business owners of Airdrie to bring the arts and culture alive in Airdrie through events, festivals, workshops, concerts, art shows and tournaments. To encourage more events and festivals I believe we need a more seamless process and an event coordinator position that would walk the event organisers through from start to finish, providing an approved list of local providers that they may opt from or not.
Community spaces are needed to be low cost, geographically accessible by our youth and I believe we need to work with the Rocky View School Division and Calgary Catholic School Boards to explore creating drop in centres using the school gymnasiums in key locations for kids during the summer for rec sports and special interests. I had this growing up in my community, we had university students that ran the drop in centres and we only had access to gym and change rooms. Giving youth things to do is not a nice to have but a need to have and with our limited community spaces we are going to need to find a way.