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Public hearings on Calgary budget could take all week: Nenshi

Budget deliberations could continue until the end of the week if
that’s what it takes, the mayor said prior to the start of this morning's meeting.

After releasing his own plan for the budget adjustments last night,
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he knows there will be some debate over his
proposals.

“I’m one vote of 15 and the members of council each have their own
priorities so we’ll see how the discussion goes and we’ll also see if
some interesting new ideas come up from the public hearing this
morning,” he said.

“I know there will be one or two things in my
package that are controversial. The whole thing is not going to pass
15-nothing. I know that there are at least two other very interesting
investment and cost cutting ideas that are coming up from different
aldermen.”

Nenshi said he and his staff have been working for the past 10 days
to create a comprehensive package that reflects what Calgarians have
been asking for.

“I think this plan is a very nice balance,” he said.

“It focuses on
the things that the public have told us are important; elimination of
the Park and Ride fee, cutting the proposed fare increase for Calgary Transit in half, freezing the fares for low-income people, preserving the
Access Calgary program for mobility impaired people and preserving
snow and ice control.”

Minutes after the meeting began, Calgarians lined up for a chance to
have their say.

“If it takes till Friday, it takes till Friday. Democracy takes time
and we got to do this right,” said Nenshi.

 
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