Posts Tagged ‘nenshi

With no real race for mayor, Nenshi wades into ward politics

- September 24th, 2013
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Calgary Mayor, Naheed Nenshi with Ward 7 alderman, Druh Farrell at City Hall as candidates intending to run in this year’s general Election filed their completed nomination papers during Nomination Day in Council Chambers at City Hall on in Calgary, Alta. on Monday September 23, 2013. Darren Makowichuk/Calgary Sun

Quick question: Can any of you remember a time in municipal politics when a sitting mayor offered letters of endorsement to his fellow members of council?

Bet you can’t.

It’s not against the rules, but it sure looks odd.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi, with no real race to replace him, has taken the strange step of getting involved in ward politics.

He has offered — after being asked, supposedly — letters of support for all his council colleagues.

So far, just one member of council, Andre Chabot, has said he’s not interested.

People do what they have to in an attempt to earn votes, I suppose, but I would like to see incumbents win or lose on their own records and not on the mayor’s popularity.

Because this isn’t about a record of accomplishment. It’s about how big NN is with the people.

Is this an indication that incumbents are worried about the challengers they’re facing? Some of them should be.

What do you think? Is this an example of they mayor using his bully pulpit? Wading in where he shouldn’t?

Nenshi’s budget

- October 26th, 2011

The selection process for Calgary city council committees isn’t the most scintillating of subjects, but in advance of the fall budget talks, one move speaks volumes.

Two committees are being amalgamated and the Mayor Naheed Nenshi is taking the reins. This will either prove to be a very shrewd move on his part or make him a direct target if the budget displeases Calgarians.

From the story:

But the mayor said he wants to make sure he has direct oversight of critical and financial matters.

“The most important thing that city council does financially is crafting the budget, every three years and then review it every year,” he said.

The chair of the finance committee has been erroneously called in the past the “budget guy” or the “budget czar,” said Nenshi.

The mayor said work on preparing budget takes place mostly around council and his office and not on finance committee.

For people curious how Nenshi is going to put his stamp on the city’s finances, after watching him campaign as a fiscal conservative who will do away with waste at city hall, this should give a pretty clear indication. He may not like the term “Budget Boss,” but as chair of Priorities and Finances, and the city’s highest ranking politician, it’s not a stretch to take the view the buck stops with him.

City has to get act together

- October 3rd, 2011

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Nearly a third of Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s first term is done, and while he remains popular with some segments in this city, some of us have been left wondering.

Where are we with the bold agenda he set out in the election? Here’s hoping he rolls out a checklist around the anniversary, because we’re wondering.

But beyond the mayor, our aldermen have a lot to answer for as I mention in this week’s column. A year later,it doesn’t feel as if anything has changed.

And things really need to change.

The 16 Ave. bungle

- July 20th, 2011

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After a year of controversy surrounding the audit process, we’re right back into the muck again.

The Sun’s Rick Bell has been all over this story and it was the subject of my weekly column.

And while I suggested the whole mess is not surprising, given what was revealed in previous audits, I am surprised some members of council are that cavalier about the problems. Ald. Gord Lowe doesn’t call them mistakes, and Ald. Druh Farrell suggested that all is OK because lessons were learned.

Given the cost and the scope of such projects, I would expect better than $90-million lessons. Wouldn’t you?

Maybe Bob was right

- June 22nd, 2011

This doesn’t instil confidence.

Not because we have to take out insurance on the runway tunnel. Well, based on what Rick Bell has written on the subject, maybe it’s also the insurance.

But thinking back to the fall election, the current price tag of the tunnel gives us pause.

It was none other than Bob Hawkesworth, the free-spending NDP hanger on who gave up his council seat for a run at the top job, who warned us the price tag would be too high. A half-billion dollars, as he said at a late-campaign rally:

“Personally, spending half a billion dollars for this tunnel that will run under the new north-south runway … is not the right priority for Calgary. It would be nice if we had provincial or federal funding, but we don’t. It’s something the city would have to pay for all on its own.”

Hawkesworth, whose campaign was unable to gain traction, eventually dropped out. And while he may not have been right on a lot, he is being proven very sage on the tunnel price tag, given the added expense of interchanges and other extras, like $1 million a year in insurance.

When it’s bundled all together, is it the most cost effective use of our money?

That appears not to matter, now.