Our community has made significant progress in many areas over the past four years, but we still but we still have serious challenges to address and emerging new opportunities to pursue together. If you choose to renew my mandate to serve you on October 16th, I will continue to work with our community, Council and City staff to effectively strengthen our city in the following themes throughout the term:
Citizen & Community Safety
Red Deerians have identified crime and public safety as their priority concern, so it is imperative that additional strategies are undertaken to ensure crime prevention and enforcement efforts are effective to respond to the safety challenges Red Deer is faced with. If re-elected as Mayor, Tara will continue to actively work to:
- Ensure that local community policing priorities are established and enforced through the RCMP’s annual policing plan.
- Strengthen the integration between municipal enforcement units and the RCMP to ensure common objectives, efficiency, and quality of service in all delegation of duties.
- Prioritize reduction of organized crime, persons crime and property crime in the policing plan.
- Identify consistent service standards for non-emergency calls to police.
- Reduce the case load per officer and improve officers to population ratio by supporting the addition of new officers.
- Reinforce enforcement allocations to foot patrols downtown and in the parks system.
- Support the safety continuum from crime prevention through to emergency enforcement.
- Increase citizen reporting to help inform crime analysis, intelligence-led policing and patrols.
- Establish a strong local and regional regulatory response to the Federal Government’s legalization of marijuana.
- Advocate for additional Crown Prosecutors to prevent criminal charges from being “stayed” because of capacity issues at the Red Deer Courthouse.
- Hold the Provincial Government accountable for drug needle debris causing general community safety risks.
Fiscal Responsibility & Stronger Economy
Alberta’s recession has affected everyone in our community, and sound financial decision-making of City Council is essential to protect the stability of our local economy. If re-elected as Mayor, Tara will continue to actively work to:
- Protect the affordability of living and/or doing business in Red Deer through responsible capital and operating budgets.
- Preserve recently established financial strategies such as: the reduced debt ceiling, the capital savings plan, and competitive industrial and commercial tax ratios.
- Ensure budget transparency through citizen input and by adopting operating budgets aligned to service standards.
- Resolve the current price elasticity challenge to improve citizen access to City services such as recreation and transit.
- Ensure City policy is business friendly and enhances our regional & provincial economic competitiveness.
- Pending provincial legislative amendments, use new municipal tools to incentivize business attraction in areas of the City needing revitalization.
- Position Red Deer for economic development & diversification by actively pursuing grants from other orders of Government, supporting the revitalization of existing community assets, and leveraging upcoming major events to maximize economic spin-off.
- Solidify work underway with community partners to establish a strategic means of securing tourism and economic development opportunities for Red Deer.
Citizen-Focused Government & Service Improvements
The City’s daily purpose is to build quality of life for all Red Deerians. Citizen-focused local government & continuous improvement of City services for Red Deerians are strong priorities for Tara. If re-elected as Mayor, Tara will continue to actively work to:
- Pursue the next phases of core public service improvements in areas such as (but not limited to): snow and ice control, transit route efficiency, and transportation integration and efficiency.
- Proactively communicate to increase accessibility and transparency of local government.
- Purposefully engage with citizens to ensure public feedback informs Council decision-making.
- Modernize government services to make interactions with City government easier for citizens.
- Support strong maintenance of existing City assets as an ongoing priority.
- Build upon Council and City staff commitment to find operational efficiencies, innovations and savings that improve service to Red Deerians.
Protect Our Natural & Built Environment
Red Deerians are proud of the fact that we are a city in a park and that we accept responsibility for environmental stewardship. If re-elected as Mayor, Tara will continue to actively work to:
- Support environmental modernizations and efficiencies throughout City operations.
- Elevate Red Deer’s capacity to respond to extreme weather events by resolving the storm water infrastructure deficit.
- Identify key areas for environmental protection before development conflicts occur.
- Support the extension of the park system through trail development and winter clearing.
- Emphasize food and water security in general and for citizen emergency preparedness for extreme weather events.
Build Community Life
The City’s primary mandate is to provide foundational services to our fellow Red Deerians, but the Mayor is also expected to build partnerships with and for our community in general. If re-elected as Mayor, Tara will continue to actively work to:
- Build on our City’s prime geographic position by actively promoting Red Deer to fulfill our potential for business start ups, retention & expansion as well as trade & meeting, culture & heritage, and nature, sports & adventure tourism.
- Work with indigenous community to implement municipal aspects of Truth and Reconciliation.
- Work with community partners and the Provincial Government to mitigate the emerging risk to Red Deer’s net affordable housing stock and integrate related support services.
Advocate Our Community Needs
As Alberta’s 3rd largest City and region, Red Deer has critical infrastructure imperatives our community needs the Provincial Government to address. If re-elected as Mayor, Tara will continue to actively work to secure:
- Expansion for Red Deer Regional Hospital
- Polytechnic University status for Red Deer College
- Addictions Treatment and Emergency Shelter capacity
- Re-purposing of vacated Michener lands and the former Valley Park Manor
- Protection of regional ambulance dispatch service and Advanced Life Support ground ambulance service.