A Better Calgary in Progress

Post Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

[Today, I released a document called A Better Calgary in Progress providing an update on all of my 12 campaign promises--Better Ideas--from one year ago. You can download the full PDF document here. Here is the introductory letter from that document.]

Friends:

It’s been a year since you elected me to be your mayor. The opportunity is humbling, and I still wake up every morning excited at the chance to serve all citizens of this great city.

Better Calgary in Progress CoverWe’ve done much in the past year, and I’d like to share with you some of the highlights, as well as give you a sense of what’s yet to come.  And so we have this document: A Better Calgary in Progress. Here is some of the most significant progress we’ve made:

Building Better Communities
·         Created a new Community Investment Fund to build and maintain important community facilities including library branches, recreation centres, parks, and fire halls. Pending some participation from the federal and provincial governments, the first years of the Fund will lead to the creation of four new recreation centres and four new library branches, including a new Central branch.
·         Reduced the taxpayer burden by cutting in half the subsidies for suburban growth on the outskirts of the city
·         Launched the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative—a program to involve the entire community in thinking about how to build a better city for all of our neighbours

Keeping Calgary Moving
·         Commenced construction of the Airport Trail completion project —a critical piece of East-West infrastructure for all Calgarians
·         Launched direct bus routes to the Calgary International Airport from the NE CTrain and from downtown
·         Removed the $3 Park and Ride fee from CTrain and Bus Rapid Transit stations
·         Launched the Calgary Transit Customer Advisory Group to ensure Calgarians have a greater voice in the future of this important service
·         Brought credit, debit, and change machines to CTrain stations, and encouraged dramatically improved communication between Calgary Transit and customers
·         Approved the new cycling strategy

Transforming Government
·        Created video archives of Council meetings, so that you can hear exactly what your representatives said
·         Posted online my own expenses and a list ofeveryone I meet in my office
·         Launched the Cut Red Tape initiative and a pilot project on food trucks
·         Changed the tone of City Council to make it more collaborative and productive
·         Instituted zero-based budget reviews of every business unit at the City
·         Implemented a collaborative budgeting process in which some 20,000 Calgarians participated
·         Made significant leadership changes at ENMAX and the Calgary Parking Authority leading to a stronger focus on citizen service and the public good.
·         Passed a Fiscal Plan for Calgary based on holding property tax increases to inflation plus growth for the next three years and finding $140 million in efficiencies. This three-year plan also provides a direct line of sight toward our vision for a better Calgary.

I’m proud of what your new Council has accomplished. But much work remains. The core principle of this work is simple:  as your municipal government, we must constantly ask the question: “How does what we are doing make it better for people to live here?”

Together, we are building the better Calgary in which we all want to live and work—and it will be amazing.

Sincerely,

Naheed K. Nenshi
Mayor