Over the past four years as your Mayor, Tara has actively worked to accomplish her commitment to work with her fellow Red Deerians to make possibilities for our city become reality. The following are some of the key accomplishments of Tara’s 2013-2017 Mayoral term achieved in partnership with her City Council team, City staff, community organizations and fellow citizens:
- Determined local policing priorities for the RCMP through the Annual Policing Plan for the first time in City history as the new standard for delivering Red Deer’s police service.
- Strong enforcement of organized crime and crimes against persons.
- Reduction of property crime prioritized in the 2017-2018 Policing Plan.
- Established strong relationships with Alberta K-Division and ALERT to identify Red Deer’s specific crime and enforcement challenges.
- Review underway of non-emergency calls to police to improve future service for citizens. Extended service hours for non-emergency calls to also improve service for citizens.
- Strongly advocated for courthouse expansion in Red Deer in the interests of community safety to prevent criminal charges from being “stayed”.
- Supported the establishment of new strategies to improve downtown and park system safety such as police foot patrols and clean-up of drug debris.
- Strong proponent of the new local emergency notification system to ensure citizen safety during emergency situations.
- Lowest annual tax revenue increases in past fifteen years of City history with operating budgets closely aligned with the cost of inflation.
- Established a capital savings plan for future infrastructure investment.
- City’s allowable debt-ceiling lowered from 90% to 75%.
- Increased transparency to & Council influence over City budget process.
- Actively pursued grants to attract infrastructure investment in Red Deer from the Provincial & Federal Government.
- Supported a culture of innovation and cost savings in City operations without compromising services to citizens.
- Kept commitment to competitive commercial, industrial & residential tax ratios.
Environmental Leadership & Service Modernizations:
- Value for Money Audit completed on all City building & development processes to help build business-friendly local government.
- Implemented improved snow & ice control service standards.
- Implemented (long-awaited!) recycling expansion.
- Modernization of solid waste operations through adoption of City-wide cart system.
- Established & implemented plans to resolve transportation & storm water infrastructure deficits.
- Modernization of transit system through small bus pilot, automation, and fleet greening in addition to enhancements to regular and specialized transit service.
- Established whistleblower protection for City staff.
- Adoption of citizen engagement strategy to ensure citizen-focused Council decision-making.
- Established Integrated Housing Partnership project with Provincial Government to work towards resolving Red Deer’s affordable housing shortages.
- Adopted Red Deer’s first Social Policy Framework to determine City responsibilities in responding to social challenges.
- Worked with Indigenous community to adopt the historic Urban Aboriginal Voices protocol agreement as part of City commitment to Truth & Reconciliation.
- Strong proponent of 211 to streamline citizen access to government and community services.
- Responded to community requests to resolve local service gaps for Red Deer’s vulnerable citizens through interim daytime warming and studying shelter needs to recommend to the Provincial Government.
- Advocated to secure infrastructure funding from the Provincial Government for the Red Deer Airport runway extension and the QE2 Interchange to facilitate access to Red Deer’s economy & public safety.
- Advocated to the Provincial Government to keep Michener Centre open, to retain local and regional ambulance dispatch services, and to re-purpose the former Red Deer Nursing Home site for affordable seniors housing.
- Advocated to secure infrastructure funding from the Provincial Government for the Red Deer Justice Centre to protect community safety objectives.
Community Building Leadership:
- Secured major tourism and economic diversification bids for Red Deer such as the 2016 Memorial Cup and the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
- Worked with community members in an advisory capacity to help establish the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre in support of trauma informed care for victims.
- Active member of the Joint Steering Committee for the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre Assooahum Crossing project.
- Active representation at City Hall, in our community, provincially and nationally.
- Demonstrated strong accessibility in person and by using social media to engage with citizens daily, respond to issues and address operational concerns.
- Available for City business 24/7 throughout her Mayoral mandate.
- Demonstrated daily commitment to building citizen-focused local government and welcoming community life for all Red Deerians.