The next city council could be asked to return fluoride to the city’s water supply. What is your position on this
I will be voting no to fluoride in the water.
Political/volunteer experience: 30+ years In various cities and organizations
What is your motivation for seeking a seat on city council?
I want to work collaboratively with other council members to make logical fiscal changes to the present financial structure at city council; specifically in the area of taxation of Calgarians. I believe I have the knowledge and a unique and diverse skillset to offer to this process. I also want to insert the voice of Ward 3 constituents at city council meetings.
Describe your leadership style:
I am an experienced collaborative leader with a high set of standards who asks questions, brings people into the discussion, listens, provides opportunity and direction for team members to learn new skills while empowering them in making smart decisions.
What do you consider the single most important issue facing Calgarians, and what should be done about it?
Overspending, which results in higher taxes. As an experienced manager and community leader, my approach to solving this issue is to actually first understand some of the numbers, as the public does not get the same information as the elected official. Right now, council gets a justified budget that has large numbers with explanations on why the departments want the money. I will push for more in-depth financial reporting to find out how and what the departments are spending their money on. Part of this will be to conduct an operational cost audit of every level of each department. It is estimated that another 10-20 million in efficiencies (savings) can be found.
I would also like to see councillors be given a portfolio so they can get granular in departmental spending habits. I would like public works. I have seen and heard too many stories of poor and complacent managerial decisions. The big ticket item would be to sell the generation component ENMAX; take the proceedings and pay down some debt, lower the administration fees to make life more affordable to Calgarians.
What are the three most important issues in your ward, and how would you address them?
- Having a strong, experienced councillor (leader) that takes the time to listen to their constituents. I would do this by responding to emails, answering questions and holding regular town halls to keep people up to date with what is going on at council. I will also do key vote surveys on important issues and make myself available to any responsible person no matter what their political view is.
- This community needs facilities, like meeting space and activity rooms for seniors and families, a dog park, a regional park, and more. I believe in community-based planning. In other words, I would plan from the bottom up instead of the top down like we have going on now. One of the ways to alleviate this shortfall is to have wards capital budgets to fund some of these items, thus removing council’s ability to cherry-pick what and who gets what unless it is above an agreed upon number.
- Transit. Because the Green Line won’t get up here anytime soon, the bus system needs to be rejigged to actually serve all 10 communities. I would do this by bringing the transit group into the ward for a series of community meetings to use the communites’ ideas instead of top down planning. I also feel there should be an east west connecter somewhere in Ward 4 to service the university and east side.
Do you support the city’s downtown revitalization strategy? Where should funding and programs be focused?
No I do not. The city needs to get its own house in order and make life and business easier and more affordable. Stop trying to nickel and dime everyone and start being accountable for the money that is being wasted. If we do this simple thing, businesses will come back and fund it themselves. The money would be better spent on maintaining the city’s infrastructure and keeping our taxes under control.
What innovative project or job creation measure can you propose to aid Calgary’s post-COVID economic recovery?
Turn a building into a hydroponic vegetable garden so we can be self-sufficient as a city and lower the cost of food for Calgarians.
* All candidate Q&As have been edited for clarity and brevity.
*Original article online at https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/brent-trenholm-ward-3-calgary-council-candidate-questionnaire