Mayor Nenshi's look forward to 2012

Post Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011
Mayor Nenshi in bowtie and scarf

2011 has been an amazing year. As we’ve discussed before, it’s been a very productive twelve months for your City Council, and for Calgary.

The new year is shaping up to be just as busy. City Council has set a very active direction for Calgary with the newly-passed budget and business plan and Council’s Fiscal Plan for Calgary. The excitement and optimism that defines Calgarians is also a foundation for the vital future we see ahead.

While I will continue to work on achieving the 12 Better Ideas I set out in the last election campaign, there are three specific areas I want to prioritize:
  1. Changing the rules of the game when it comes to the province and municipalities.I will continue to work with the province to change the way the City is governed, including consideration of a city charter. It makes no sense that we have the same rules governing Calgary as a small village. Changes in this area will also allow municipal government to take more responsibility for the projects we build and the taxes we collect rather than figuratively and literally passing the buck.
  2. Reforming the planning and development system at The City.
    I think it’s critical that we engage citizens, industry and the City Administration on how we can better build the city we've envisioned in ImagineCalgary and Plan It. Our goal is to simplify the Planning and Development process to make it more customer-friendly while maintaining the high standards called for in Plan It.
  3. Creating a comprehensive long-term plan for Calgary Transit to give a clear vision for where we are going and how we will get there.
    We need to have a cohesive long term capital plan for our transit system. I think it’s also important that we develop new operating and customer service strategies to create a higher performing system so that Calgary Transit is the preferred choice, and not the last choice, for Calgarians.

Making Calgary better, of course, is not just for politicians and City of Calgary staff. Every day, thousands upon thousands of volunteers give of their time and money to make their streets, neighbourhoods, and city better. If you’re one of those many volunteers, thank you for what you do--you are the inspiration for a new program created by another group of volunteers (the Mayor’s Civic Engagement Committee). 3 Things for Calgary asks all Calgarians to do at least three things that make their city better, but the real challenge is to encourage at least three other people to do the same.

During this holiday season, our minds often turn to giving. Why not have it turn to the three things you can do for Calgary? As I’ve met with Calgarians over the past few months, I have given them some homework (I used to be a professor, after all): to do three things and get three people doing three things as well over the winter. By spring, we might have just done over 3 million acts to make Calgary better.

2012 will be an amazing year for Calgary. We’ll be Canada’s Cultural Capital, and we will have a lot to celebrate, including the 100th anniversary of the City of Calgary Recreation, the Calgary Public Library, and (of course!) the Calgary Stampede.

In the meantime, enjoy your holiday season. I wish you time with family and friends surrounded by warmth and love.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and may the new year treat you well.

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi