Mayoral candidate McKenney promises more transparency in mayoralty

Catherine McKenney promises to consult the public earlier on the city’s budget, make it easier to read and ensure council committees reflect all parts of the city if elected mayor on Oct. 24.

In a platform board titled « A City Hall We Can Trust, » McKenney pledges to make City Hall operations more transparent, starting with the budget.

« A budget under my town hall would be clearer, » McKenney told reporters on Wednesday. « We would also go out a lot earlier and ask people what their priorities are before the budget is finalized. Today we get the budget and then we go out [for consultation]but we know there is no room for changes in this budget. »

When asked how they would react if the consultation showed that people were more interested in, for example, fixing their own roads than expanding the cycle network – one of the platform’s key promises of McKenney – the candidate said he was also interested in improving the roads.

« I have no doubt that the priority for a lot of people is better roads, better sidewalks, fixing our potholes, making sure we invest in maintaining all of our infrastructure, » he said. McKenney said. « It will always be part of the budget, and we will listen to people. »

Among other financial promises, McKenney would make fiscal anchors — fiscal rules that dictate council decisions — clearer and easier to understand, such as city debt limits. They said their first tax anchor would commit to an « annual property tax increase approach » of 3%.

The candidate said he would release his full financial plan next week.

If elected, McKenney will also ensure that city contractors pay their workers a fair wage. It’s unclear how many city contractors this would affect.

They would also review security measures installed outside council chambers earlier this term, which McKenney had objected to earlier.

Consulting earlier on the budget, making it easier to understand the city’s financial plans and hiring a chief architect are part of mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney’s plan for how to improve the internal workings of City Hall. (Jean Delisle/Radio-Canada)

City Architect, Best Committee Composition

McKenney also promises to create Ottawa’s first-ever chief architect to « create better-designed buildings and public spaces, including parks, while improving the City’s procurement process. » They say the city needs to develop from more than just a « land-use planning perspective » and that more attention needs to be paid to building quality, resource optimization and « good public and social ».

A chief architect’s office — New York City has one — would be tasked with challenging « the profit-driven facilitation of real estate investing we see at City Hall, » according to a statement from McKenney.

McKenney also promises to balance geographic representation and gender representation on board committees and boards, which was an issue last quarter.

« When you have a planning committee that doesn’t include councilors representing your entire city, decisions are made that aren’t in the best interests of the city hall as a whole, » McKenney said.

McKenney said people might not know the specifics of how the committees work, for example, but « they know that on the whole, town hall just hasn’t worked for them. »


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