Candidate for Councillor, Division 5, Rocky View County
Make Better Decisions
Over the past few years Council has reverted prior decisions that have cost the county millions of dollars. Hauling sewage at a loss, levies too low, and flooding are important examples because they are acknowledgement of the current councillors that the previous decisions were incorrect. This is not partisan politics where just I disagree but where council itself essentially disagrees with previous decisions and eventually (years and $millions later). As an Engineer with MBA I feel qualified not only to make better decisions initially, but I also pledge to make decisions more slowly so we can get them correct the first time. There is no need to rush developments and approvals through the system. The land is not going anywhere.
Reduce Debt and Spending
Rocky View's debt, spending, and staffing have increased far faster than the population. Over the past several years there has been a 1500% increase in debt, 250% increase in spending and 66% increase in staffing, while the population of Rocky View has increased by only 15%. Increased staff has led to plans for a vast new, 160 acre, civic campus that will cost many more millions. I will seek to transfer the debt to the private sector or other municipalities, reduce development oriented spending, and delay construction of the new civic center until absolutely necessary. Business taxes and development levies must be increased to cover the costs of development infrastructure.
Residents have consistently expressed the desire to keep the rural aspects of Rocky View. People that have chosen to live in Rocky View have not done so to be close to shopping centers, race tracks, or commercial developments. We choose to live in a rural setting away from the problems of city living and accept the trade offs of longer commutes to work, septic systems, and water wells. By any measure: water, sewage, emergency services, police, shopping, employment, and recreation the proposed "Growth Nodes" for Rocky View would be better as Calgary subdivisions than standalone communities in the middle of productive farmland. The place for urban subdivisions is the cities and towns with existing infrastructure.
Respect for Resident's Input
The current processes for input from residents make it difficult for residents to share their ideas with the county. In too many cases those ideas and opinions have been ignored. I would like to see council start with a mindset that our communities are ideal places for all those that have chosen to live there and the "burden of proof" for new developments must fall with the developers.
contact John at 403-935-2356 or firstname.lastname@example.org