Is­sues here as var­ied as the com­mu­ni­ties within the ward

Lo­cal groups cite crime con­cerns, with tran­sit and taxes also on res­i­dents’ radar

Calgary Herald - - CITY - MICHELE JARVIE

From es­tab­lished sub­ur­ban neigh­bour­hoods to new ones on the out­skirts in south Calgary, the is­sues in Ward 14 are as di­verse as the com­mu­ni­ties within it.

Crime, lack of tran­sit and LRT park­ing, a need for recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, and high prop­erty taxes are some of the con­cerns cited by var­i­ous com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tions. But with a district that spreads from South­cen­tre Mall to the south city lim­its, the wants and needs are quite dif­fer­ent in Lake Bon­av­ista than Legacy.

“In terms of our com­mu­nity, I have to say the sin­gle most im­por­tant mu­nic­i­pal is­sue to­day is crime, specif­i­cally petty crimes like car prowl­ing, bi­cy­cle theft, van­dal­ism, the break and en­ter­ing of garages and even homes,” said Myles McDougall, pres­i­dent of the Lake Bon­av­ista Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion.

“The per­cep­tion is that these types of in­frac­tions have in­creased dra­mat­i­cally over the past cou­ple years and that there is lit­tle the po­lice can do to stop it,” he said.

Fur­ther out, in Lake Cha­parral, a 20-year-old com­mu­nity, res­i­dents are fairly sat­is­fied with school and tran­sit in­fra­struc­ture. Their big­gest con­cerns are crime and traf­fic.

“There’s speed­ing along sec­ondary routes and a lit­tle bit of cut­ting through. We’ve done a lot of work with coun­cil with rapid light cross­walks for ex­am­ple and with the traf­fic de­part­ment to prob­lem­solve,” said com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Lynette Java­heri. “We’re work­ing with the city on those is­sues.”

She said the com­mu­nity has, like many in the city, no­ticed an uptick in prop­erty crime, such as car and garage break-ins. “We do hear about that. Those things hit close to home.”

Ward can­di­date Ke­lash Ku­mar said he’s been hear­ing from res­i­dents about is­sues such as trans­porta­tion and recre­ation.

“Daily, I’m walk­ing the area. Bus­ing is a prob­lem and no recre­ation cen­tres. Legacy doesn’t even have a park,” said Ku­mar, 43, who has stud­ied elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing and fi­nance. He said he works as a con­sul­tant and is listed on­line as a direc­tor with In­ter­al­inx Group Inc.

Right up to nom­i­na­tion day, it ap­peared as if Ward 14 in­cum­bent Peter De­mong was go­ing to be ac­claimed. But Ku­mar threw his hat into the ring on Sept. 18. Ku­mar said that al­though he lives in Tus­cany in the north­west with his wife and two chil­dren, he has sev­eral rental prop­er­ties in the Ward 14 area and is there al­most daily.

De­mong was a long­time owner of a florist shop in Deer Run be­fore be­ing first elected in 2010. He lives with his wife and two daugh­ters in Legacy. He be­lieves most con­stituents are sat­is­fied with the state of lo­cal af­fairs as his sur­vey shows many are fo­cused on big­ger mu­nic­i­pal is­sues such as tax­a­tion, the arena, tran­sit and trans­porta­tion.

“It’s kind of in­ter­est­ing, com­pared to the last elec­tion when peo­ple were in­ter­ested in a lot of lo­cal is­sues like sec­ondary suites, speed­ing on roads, parks and green spa­ces.

“We’re see­ing far more in­ter­est in big­ger is­sues ... I think it’s due to the fact we have a very in­volved vot­ing base.”

De­mong says it’s not un­usual to see such a dif­fer­ence of opin­ion in his ward, as it cov­ers a lot of ter­ri­tory. He con­sid­ers it four sub-wards within one: com­mu­ni­ties south of 22X; es­tab­lished neigh­bour­hoods south of Fish Creek Park; es­tab­lished com­mu­ni­ties north of Fish Creek Park; and the new area across the river that’s been added to the ward — Dou­glas­dale and Lake McKen­zie.

“You cer­tainly see a slightly dif­fer­ent opin­ion in each.”

Ke­lash Ku­mar

Peter De­mong

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