In what can only be described as a common sense realization, Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier has announced that the city will "freeze" levies imposed on the home building industry. I had touched on this in a previous post in February, and I am pleased that the City has agreed to amend this proposal.
Our fine Mayor cites "economic" reasons for his decision to amend the proposed increase. Really? I am at a loss to understand what has changed economically in this City from late February until now? Home sales are still down, new construction is at an all time low. The city is also pushing its "Plan-It" vision for future development, which generally calls for more inner-city homes, ( which will restrict the ability of home builders to build in the suburban edge) so why the sudden about face on this issue?
I may be reaching here, but if you look at the calender, we are less than 18 Months away from the next election. There are rumblings that Bronco could be facing some big name challengers for his job in October 2010. Perhaps this "flip-flop" is being made to appease the construction industry ( and their big donation base) in advance of his re-election bid? These challenging economic times will likely make fundraising difficult going forward and I would assume he would like to keep their donations flowing into his war chest and not over to his rivals.
If you look at his 2008 Campaign Finance Disclosure, you will see it is full of construction industry donations. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that...until you let the money influence your platform. Perhaps I am wrong? Time will tell.