Fair & Responsible Fiscal Policy
As an urban planner, Ashley understands the direct link between planning and development, and responsible budgeting and spending. Execution matters, infrastructure lasts decades. and we need to think carefully about making every dollar count. We can no longer ignore the costs of sprawl and must focus on maintaining and improving what we already have to deliver on the core services and quality of life Edmontonians expect.
Smart Investments in Infrastructure
Let’s prioritize right-sized projects that deliver long-term benefits to our communities.
Edmonton has a history of pursuing costly large-scale projects that have left many Edmontonians dissatisfied and skeptical. Execution matters, and the expectations of residents have not always been met. Smart management, accountability, transparency and stewardship are required to ensure city-led projects, as well as redevelopments (ex. Bonnie Doon Mall and Northlands), respect the community, increase our tax base, and fight climate change. At the same time, we must reinvest in our mature neighbourhoods and promote right-sized, cost-effective projects that deliver tangible benefits to community members.
Focusing on the Fundamentals
At the end of the day, the nuts and bolts of local government are about making sure the city runs well and is a good place to live, work and play.
Let’s focus on the fundamentals that drive economic growth and support a high quality of life: well maintained infrastructure, a competitive business environment; responsive emergency services, an efficient public transportation system; affordable family-friendly housing; high quality public spaces; arts, culture, and recreation; equitable access to services, and a low cost of living. Delivering on these fundamentals will strengthen our ability to attract talent, capital, and good paying jobs to Edmonton in a 21st Century economy.
Delivery of Core Services
Every dollar the city spends must contribute to a higher quality of life for current and future residents, job creation, and a more resilient, diverse economy.
Edmontonians have endured tax increases for 23 of the last 24 years. Inefficiencies, urban sprawl, and short-term thinking has meant these dollars have not delivered value for the residents of Ward Métis. Many wonder what they’re paying for as potholes grow, sidewalks crumble, snow is left uncleared, and local amenities like schools, rec-centres, grocery stores and local businesses disappear, while new ones are being built at the fringes. For example, Ward Métis has seen 13 of the 24 school closures in Edmonton. You deserve a return on your investment into our community, not declining service quality.
Efficient Budgeting and Planning
Making thoughtful long-term decisions requires us to consider the present and our desired future.
We can not continue to ignore the costs of sprawl and must focus on maintaining and improving what we already have. Our sprawling growth patterns have resulted in 11,000 lane km of roadways to maintain, totalling $9.6 billion in replacement costs every 25 years. Inefficient development is simply deferred future taxes. Responsible planning supports compact development, re-investing in our mature neighbourhoods, and accommodating all growth within our existing City boundaries. That’s the objective set out in the City Plan, and it will result in 8% cost savings (a 5% residential tax reduction) compared with business-as-usual.
In the short term, to deliver the service levels Edmontonians expect, we must take a hard look at our budget’s largest line items to determine which are producing a high return on investment (ROI), and what may need to be reallocated to better serve all Edmontonians.