Initiative #2: Ward 12 Deserves Value for Tax Dollars: Asset Management, Improve Economy, Spend Smarter
I am prioritizing this Value for Tax Dollars platform as an immediate priority in my first 100 days as your new Councillor. It is time to spend smarter and rethink how we use our tax dollars. It will be incumbent upon the new council to do the hard work of pushing for the savings that Calgarians are demanding while making wise investments for the future.
Not feeling like you are getting value for the taxes you are paying to The City? You are not alone. For the past 10 years, we have watched our property taxes steadily increase and now our City services are visibly on the decline — our confidence declining in tandem. I will work hard as your Councillor to ensure residents of Ward 12 get the highest possible value for their tax dollars.
Evan Knows - A Four-Step Action Plan to Improve Value for Your Tax Dollars & Manage Assets Better
I am prioritizing this Green Line platform as an immediate priority in my first 100 days as your new Councillor. The Green Line is one of our best tools for immediate economic recovery and, with potentially 9 new council members taking seats in City Council, it will need a leader who already understands the history, opportunity and potential to continue defending and championing it. Ward 12 residents and business need someone who will waste no time keeping the plans going.
Evan Knows - A Four-Step Action Plan to Keep Green Line on its Tracks
These are trying times — economically, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Calgarians simply cannot afford an extended learning curve or discord among a mostly new City Council. Evan Spencer is ready to step into the role of Ward 12 councillor today. His leadership experience, hands-on City of Calgary knowledge, and community perspective make him Ward 12’s best choice for Councillor.Read more
Our infrastructure in Ward 12 is top notch! We have stellar facilities such as Seton YMCA and Calgary Public Library, South Health Campus, New Brighton Athletic Park, Resident and Homeowners Association buildings and amenities, proximity to major traffic arteries — the list goes on. We have a lot to enjoy. More can be done to ensure Ward 12 improves its livability year after year... but it will be hard to make a business case for big infrastructure projects. So, that means spending smarter going forward.
Keeping committed infrastructure costs on track will be a priority for me as your Ward 12 councillor. We know that delaying projects, as seen in the Green Line history, costs epic overruns which trickle down to you. We cannot have that anymore. Decisive commitment keeps costs lower now than they will be in the future on already engaged projects. However, this does not mean there won't be requirements to spend or money to do so... we must spend smarter and constituents have multiple small spend projects in mind that will be important over the next few years.
I am pleasantly surprised by how many people in Ward 12 have our trees or “urban canopy” as a priority. The comments range from the lack of care and watering to a strong desire to see more trees planted.
The City has been finding places to cut the budget and our trees have taken on some of that impact. For example, The City used to be more involved in paying for injections for our Elm trees that are fighting a common condition called European Elm scale. Elms can get a tiny parasite that feed on the sap of a tree and also rain down tiny droplets of the sap that can coat cars, sidewalks and even you when you are out for a walk. The treatments cost $150-200 dollars and that has some residents feeling abandoned if they are on a corner lot with 6-8 of these trees right around them.Read more
As our young communities have grown up have our public spaces kept up? Once youth move past splash pads, swing sets and slides and that age where they take ownership over everything ("mine, mine, mine" is often the refrain), do all of our Ward 12 communities have enough of, and the correct, features and activities to keep them engaged in their spaces and take responsibility for them too?
Our parks and public spaces are such an important and valuable element of thriving neighbourhoods. They are where parents and kids make first friends in their communities. It is where families find deeper value in the places they live. It is where bonds of community are formed. Community bonds can help improve quality of life, attract a healthy housing market, keep people safe, and lower costs when citizen engagement is high.
Unfortunately, when spaces don't grow up with their population, sometimes a sense of ownership and responsibility for those spaces diminish.
While the southeast neighbourhoods of Calgary's Ward 12 have SO much to offer, there are some concerns residents and busiensses would like to address as well. One issue that intermittently drives us mad are the strong odours that can interrupt an otherwise perfect evening on your patio or force your t-shirt over your nose when you are out for a walk.
Yes that is right. The southeast has some unique smells.
Blamed most frequently is the Shepard Landfill but they have been operating under strict procedures for years. The actual problem is that there are likely multiple culprits.
Ward 12 has seen pet owners devastated by the impacts of a recently deregulated weed called Foxtail Barley that is spreading rapidly in our southeast communities. Those who are the most impacted have had to pay local vets thousands of dollars for surgery with no guarantee that their beloved pup will recover.
As your City Councillor, I will work alongside The City, local developers, and community groups to address this important issue that is impacting the livability of Ward 12 residents. Short term strategies to head off the propagation of this plant before it goes to seed need to be a joint effort between all stakeholders.
Ultimately, Foxtail needs to be put back on the list of Provincially regulated weeds by bringing forward the appropriate information and impact studies through the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry ([email protected]) or a Notice of Motion needs to be brought forward through City Council for The City to regulate it locally and address the negative impacts this plant is having on so many Calgarians.
Evan Spencer, a former LRT on the Green member and city council staffer, is celebrating great news regarding the Green Line infrastructure. Funds have been released! With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Calgary to announce this news, alongside an elated Councillor Shane Keating and Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Ward 12 residents and Calgarians throughout the City should look forward to 20,000 jobs once the project gets under way and more than 400 permanent jobs.
Evan has been and advocate and involved committee member for a portion of the 10 year history of this project. He has learned the extensive level of passion, commitment and advocacy it takes with all levels of government, stakeholders, business and residential communities to gain infrastructure buy-in and approvals. With this experience, Evan is prepared to step into the role of councillor on day one! And on day one, Evan is prepared to keep the pressure on to get shovels in the ground to start the Green Line project and then see it through as intended today, and funded to expand. The mission is to avoid costly overruns, costly delays, costly decision-making processes. But for today, we celebrate the first major milestone. Congratulations Ward 12!Read more
Ward 12 is fortunate to be rich with businesses of every kind and size from unique commercial, warehouse, industrial, not-for-profit businesses, and more in Shepherd Industrial area.
Evan Spencer's mission is to ensure businesses in Ward 12 are aware of, and can access, resources to shift out of pandemic survival into thriving. Evan also wants to ensure new businesses have awareness of resources and opportunities to start and grow.Read more