Your Money

During his first budget debates in 2010, Peter Demong made it clear that he would not abide frivolous spending. Nothing has changed since then. He led the charge to have $52 milion in unused provincial tax returned, and his Budget Savings Account has resulted in nearly $100 milion in savings, and counting. Here are just some of the ways that Peter is making sure that YOUR money stays in YOUR pocket:

  1. The ‘Budget Savings Account’ gives city departments a strong incentive to find efficiencies in their day-to-day operations. Peter thought up and had the ‘Budget Savings Account’ concept passed at Council. The result is over $100 million in savings over two years, and that is just the beginning.
  2. In this economy, jobs in the private sector continue to be under the microscope. So too should jobs in the public sector. Peter successfully passed a motion to leave 700 currently vacant City positions unfilled during this time when the City of Calgary needs to dig deeper for savings. Read more about the Notice of Motion.
  3. In the spring of 2012, Peter was asked to Chair the Cut Red Tape Committee. The Committee sought to remove barriers to accessing city services, improve customer experiences, and make it easier for citizens and businesses to work with the City of Calgary.
  4. Peter is always looking for more efficient ways for the City to do business, especially when it comes to Calgary’s 311 system. Through a Notice of Motion, some clever allocation of existing funds, and promoting collaboration Peter is making the City more accountable to you. He is paving the way to real time updates on the progress of citizen requests, and far better service performance through improved efficiency. All of Peter’s work on the 311 process--from request to completion--has paid off. It has resulted in $681,720 in efficiency savings per year, and that is just for the roads department.
  5. One of Peter Demong’s first accomplishments as a Councillor was to have a Zero Based Review system implemented for all City of Calgary departments. So far they have uncovered $23.1 million in savings annually, and that is just for the first few departments. There are many more to come.
  6. Peter managed to get the consolidation of Calgary’s business tax embedded in Council’s future plans. Consolidation is now nearly complete, and it is saving time & money.
  7. Whenever the Province has opted not to take a portion of its share of property taxes Peter has voted to return them to taxpayers. He voted against the City always keeping unused provincial tax, He voted to give $42 million in 2011 back to taxpayers. He voted to give $52 million back to taxpayers in 2013, and he rallied thousands of Calgarians to let their voices be heard through his impassioned defense of the ‘Give it Back” option.
  8. As anyone who has owned a business will know, the City can present some major hurdles. Acknowledging just how important businesses are to Calgary is an absolute necessity, that is why Peter had the phrase ‘ where business can flourish’ embedded in City policy when referring to Calgary.
  9. Many North American cities have found themselves unprepared to deal with future pension liabilities. Peter brought a motion asking City administration to show how they are prepared to deal with future pension funding liabilities. Read more about the Notice of Motion.
  10. City Charters have been a hot topic for years now. They could mean more common sense decision making processes for Calgary and Edmonton, but they could also mean new taxing powers. What has been lacking in all of the discussion is the voices of average Calgarians. That is why Peter proposed thorough public consultation about the subject. Read more about the Notice of Motion.
  11. Bringing the common sense approach that a home or business owner would use, Peter played a large role in getting LED streetlights installed across the city. They will save taxpayers $50 million over just the upcoming 10 years.
  12. Alberta’s oilsands industry puts tremendous growth pressure on Calgary, and when times are tough it can leave a void that the rest of us need to fill. Peter proposed that some of the provincially collected oilsands royalties be allocated to municipalities to ease the burden that oilsands growth puts on property tax-payers. Read the Notice of Motion.
  13. Calgary is growing fast, and the need for the City of Calgary to be efficient with its workspace grows with it. Peter asked administration to find ways that it can more efficiently use the office space available at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. Read more about the Notice of Motion.
  14. Not all seniors can benefit from buying a senior’s annual transit pass. They just don’t use it enough. But almost all seniors have fixed incomes, and can definitely benefit from the discount that a specialty seniors pass can provide. That is why Peter bought forward a motion proposing a discounted single fare for seniors.
  15. Savings—in terms of time and tax dollars—can sometimes be found in the simplest of places: All you have to do is look. Many groups get involved when Council meets. Administration, the public, the media, and many others all have a vested interest in Council meetings. Everyone’s time is valuable and some of it costs taxpayers money. Peter proposed a motion asking Council to dig deeper for savings by reviewing Council’s schedule. Read the Notice of Motion.
  16. The City of Calgary is funded with your money, so you should be able to see where it is being spent. Peter has succeeded in having City of Calgary employee salaries disclosed to the public.
  17. Sometimes you need to take some flack for doing what you know is right. While some have expressed concern about the city’s plan for the new green carts and composting, Peter has remained consistent in defense and support of this wise investment. Not only will it save on the cost of the overall management of the Calgary’s waste, but it will cut the cost of the City’s water treatment, and produce a sellable product. It also means that more land can be used for the enjoyment of Calgarians instead of as landfills or waste water treatment plants. In the short term the savings will be in the millions; just imagine the long term savings.
  18. Under Peter’s guidance the Cut Red Tape Committee has evolved into a permanent incubator where innovative, cost-cutting ideas can grow into enduring assets for the taxpayers of Calgary.
  19. In an act of collaboration, Peter and Councillor Shane Keating proposed cost savings through the use of peace officers to enforce speed limits instead of the higher paid police officers.
  20. Peter knows the difference between a need & a want, which is why he proposed a motion to suspend public art funding until the economy turns around. Read about the Notice of Motion.

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