Time passed by quickly and it feels like just yesterday when the whole city was thrilled to embrace a new mayor. Calgarians trusted you and you deserved it. If it were not for your dedicated service of the last 10 years, we would not be what we are today. Other than the long list of your accomplishments that had been acknowledged already, I would thank you very much more for those most people might not be aware of. Data show the fact, between your 9 years of 2011 – 2019 prior of the global pandemic, and your predecessor’s 9 years of 2002-2010, there are elephants passed by unnoticed:
Compared with your predecessor’s 9 years, your 9 years have been extremely conservative. Your predecessor had a few years of economic boom between 2003 and 2008, you also had a few years with oil price around $100 between 2009 and 2014. While you beat your predecessor in every major aspect by mostly huge margins regarding increase adjusted by inflation: 30.3% less per capita city expenses, 11.4% less per capita residential property tax, 29.1% less per business property tax, 2.8% less average city employee salary, 28.2% less average city employee vacation and overtime pay, 36.6% less City Manager pay, 93.3% less Council pay, 91.2% less your pay, 170.8% less debt. Many of these percentages means over hundreds of millions of our tax dollars.
Your 9 years have seen Council’s and your pay raise over 90% less than that of your predecessor’s 9 years, City manager’s pay raised 36.6% less than that of your predecessor’s 9 years. It’s not that you and the Councils’ less increased pay that had saved much, it’s the thousands of the other managers and directors of the City whose pay would otherwise hike along with yours that had saved us hundreds of millions in tax dollars.
Your 9 years have seen City’s per capita expenses increase of 30.3% less than that of your predecessor’s 9 years, which means $1.053 billion less spending in 2019, or $2,100 per household property tax in saving.
Your 9 years have seen City’s average salary increase 2.8% less than that of your predecessor’s 9 years, along with 23.9% less increase in the number of City fulltime employees, which means $475 million in salary and benefits saving in 2019, or $947 per household property tax in saving.
Should you increase Mayor pay with the same rate as your predecessor, you would have reached $460,000 in 2019, a number that is 28.6% higher than that of Justin Trudeau’s $357,800 pay.
There is no way if you would like to repeat your predecessor’s bold steps between 2006 and 2008 economic boom:
While if you did, or if you repeated that only once at any time of your three terms, your pay would have been at least 39% higher and reach $343,000 in 2019, council’s pay would be 43% higher and reach $220,000 in 2019, and city’s total expenses would be at least 39% higher to reach $5.44 billion, $1.53 billion higher than the 2019’s $3.91 billion. Had that extra $1.53 billion be added on our property tax, both our residential and non-residential property tax would be 58.5% higher than we had in 2019.
Should the City’s staffing keep the 2006-2008 rate of 18% along with the average 9% population growth rate per three years, at the time our population reaches 10 million, or 10 times of the 2007 population, the number of city staff would be 8.5 times the per capita level of 2019’s, which means an equivalent of 144,525, other than 17,003 city employees of the 2019 level, which means, by increased city salary and benefits alone, per household tax of 2019 equivalent would be added by $30,562. Should that happen year after year, at the time we reach 10 million population, at least 40% of Calgarians would be homeless. To many of our Calgarians and our future generations, you, as our Mayor, have made life-saving changes in multiple perspectives by deviating from the track of your predecessor’s and had thus brought us narrowly missed disastrous financial crisis.
Although you added $590 million debt in your 9 years, while it was only a 16.5% increase from $3.577 billion to $4.167 billion vs. your predecessor’s 187.3% increase from $1.245 billion to $3.577 billion. Should you increase the debt at the same rate of your predecessor’s, we would have seen $10.277 billion debt in 2019. I am grateful that you had saved us $6.11 billion debt, which means $12,187 per household or $127,632 per business less debt by 2019, or in another word, the $6.11 billion you had saved could mean your dreamed Green Line 1st stage.
Looking back at our history to the 1980’s, we had good days and bad days, no angel bears the burden to protect us forever, we have to save us ourselves. By the time of October, your mission will be accomplished, it will be the time for a break. I thank you, and for all the reasons above, every Calgarian owns you a huge thank you. To step forward and run this election for mayor is by no means of an indication of any disrespect for your 3 terms’ dedicated service, quite on the opposite, it is out of full respect and dear appreciation of you, your passion to serve and your remarkable accomplishments, and inspired by the same, that I bear the onus, assume the moral liability to grab the last chance you had saved for us to bring Calgary out of the mire.
We have no other choice and may we all be blessed.
The race may heat up quickly, and the focus are expected to lean a lot more upon issues than that of your long list of accomplishments, please accept my sincere apology if my focus from now seems to appear the alike.