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Nenshi rival Smith calls for four-year pay freeze for council, city bosses

Mayoral hopeful Bill Smith said he’d win back taxpayer confidence lost by a wasteful city hall by freezing council and executive salaries for the next four years.

In an opening campaign speech Wednesday, Smith said Calgarians are fed up with a deceptive and profligate city council and what he called Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s empty propaganda.

“Since this mayor was elected, residential property taxes have increased 51 per cent and for local businesses 70 per cent,” Smith told a rally at a southeast restaurant.

Under his leadership, administration will be directed to freeze tax hikes by seeking greater efficiencies, he said.

“We’ll start at the top — council and executive pay will not increase for the four-year term beginning when the new council is sworn in,” said Smith.

Nenshi, said Smith, has relied on propaganda to spin failure into success and slammed the mayor for a series of broken promises and scandals.

The mayor, he said, has misled Calgarians by claiming the city used criminals to vet Uber drivers and through promising residents of Midfield mobile home park their neighbourhood would be re-located.

And Nenshi, he said, vowed there’d be an improved public art policy years ago, a promise that crashed into the little-loved Bowfort Towers sculpture this summer.

“Our current mayor clearly has a problem connecting the words he speaks to the truth,” said Smith.

Recently, Nenshi has said he’s been working hard to lure online retailing behemoth Amazon to open its second headquarters in Calgary.

The mayor also said that during his two terms, the city’s realized $325 million in tax savings and efficiencies, partly as a result of the so-called zero-based budget reviews he championed.

Cutting red tape for businesses has also been a success, Nenshi has said, while claiming he’s pushed hard for a city charter that’ll give municipalities more power in better serving residents.

So far, six contenders are running against Nenshi in the Oct. 16 civic election.

BKaufmann@postmedia.com

on Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

 

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http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/nenshi-rival-smith-calls-for-four-year-pay-freeze-for-council-city-bosses