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Admin
21-09-2010, 03:48 PM
This thread is to ask questions of Candidate Bryan George Kapitza – Councillor Ward 6.

All members are asked to allow the Candidate to post first in his or her thread. This is to allow the Candidate ample opportunity to introduce their background, platform, and any other information they may feel is pertinent to this discussion.

All decorum expected of members in the C2E Ask Forums will be expected here. An addendum is that posters may ask as many questions as they wish, but they are also politely asked to follow any instructions on posting or reply timelines that the Candidate expresses.

Thank you to all for participating in the 2010 Connect2Edmonton Election Forum!

Bryan Kapitza
23-09-2010, 01:51 PM
Hello everyone,

Please check out my website at www.communitiesfirst.ca
It contains a descriptive platform page with fresh ideas on property taxation, sustaining renewal, arena financing and more.
I look forward to your questions

Sincerely

Bryan

RTA
23-09-2010, 02:05 PM
Mr. Kapitza,

Thanks for participating on this community. I'm not in your ward, but I like your platform from your website, and would be very likely to support you if I did.

I would like to ask what your thoughts are on cycling infrastructure in Edmonton. Would you say the current plan for expanding Edmonton's cycling infrastructure is sufficient? What other ideas might you have for improving cycling in Edmonton, and getting more Edmontonians to consider cycling more in place of driving?

Thanks for your time.

Bryan Kapitza
23-09-2010, 02:19 PM
I'm a big active and public transportation supporter.
If we are to encourage people to move away from their cars we have to make other forms of travel not only more convenient but make them the priority when we build or renew communities. Next to an arterial road, not on the the road, but next to the road or one road over, there should always be a bicycle roadway. Not a lane, not a path but a roadway, that is just for bicycles. in the downtown this could start be 103 ave. from churchill all the way to 124 street.
Is the present active transportation plan sufficient? No. Its a start, but more can be done and we, the new council, could actually fully fund it as well.

glasshead
24-09-2010, 08:47 AM
Hi Mr. Kapitza

I think I saw you at the Westmount Community Garden workshop earlier in the week. Good to see you out at community based events.

I am very impressed with your platform, but I was hoping you could perhaps speak to or clarify one of your platform issues:


Our taxes keep increasing because of the infrastructure costs connected with urban sprawl. By encouraging families to move into mature neighbourhoods we can maximize the use of our existing infrastructure and keep our taxes under control.



Could you please share your thoughts how you think you and council could champion the cause and eventually achieve this considering the many challenges.

Thanks and good luck.

Bryan Kapitza
24-09-2010, 12:12 PM
Yes it was me at the garden workshop
I am attending as many events as possible. Should I be chosen as your councillor it is my commitment to the leagues to attend your league meetings and events whenever possible. This is the best way to stay in touch with residents.

We can encourage families to move into mature neighbourhoods in three ways:

Property tax reform. By taxing homeowners on infrastructure costs and not housing market rates people living in mature neigbhourhoods should see, in the short term, tax bills that do not increase as quickly or do not increase at all because homeowners are utilizing existing infrastructure. In the long run tax bills should come down as density increases. This makes living in a mature neighbourhood more affordable. Additionally, since land is now be taxed on infrastructure all the parking lots in boyle street become expensive to own, future profit that may generated by a land sale is eroded by higher taxation. This means the owners have to develop the land in order to make money. So we solve our run down neighbourhood problem by getting the land owners to do improvements for us.

We also need to change our zoning bylaws so that any new developments in mature neighbourhoods include a percentage of family friendly units. Presently the condos that are being built are for single or dual income professionals with no children. Developers still expect families to move to the suburbs. This has been a big issue between the EFCL Planning and Development Committee & Board, Developers and the City Planning Department. From my point of view it really seems that developers run the show. That has to stop. There is an EFCL family friendly design workshop tomorrow at Queen Alex Community League from 9 am to 1pm. It will help the EPCL P&D committee finalize a position statement that will be adopted by the board and presented to council.

Finally, council can stop approving the zoning of land for residential purposes at the city borders. This will force the developers to look into the city for places to develop/improve.

A lot to say. More detail on the website as well. Thanks

Sonic Death Monkey
24-09-2010, 01:19 PM
Hi Bryan,

Re: property tax reform, would that not be under the mandate of provincial legislation?

Bryan Kapitza
24-09-2010, 03:43 PM
My first answer disappeared
Here it is again
Yes property tax regulations are in the Municipal Government Act
There are a number of ways to proceed with reform
The city can charge more for the land that is further from the core since infrastructure costs more to install. More up front, less the tax burden overall.
The city has the power to levy special taxes to cover costs of improving infrastructure. This should be done to reflect the actual cost of fixing infrastructure. Since the density is less the further you move away from downtown your burden of the repair cost will be higher.
Our property taxes are a combination of a number of assessments including the linear property assessment (roads, sewers, lights) which is provided by the province. The formula for calculating our property taxes is up to the city, hence, we can change the weighting of certain elements.
Ultimately, the city needs to work with the province to move away from Market Value Assessments.

Bryan Kapitza
25-09-2010, 11:52 AM
The role of Government is to provide the framework in which individuals express their freedoms and maximize their capabilities. Our civic solutions however have always been big project oriented. The Boyle Street Renaissance Project is an example.
Social agencies also have a role to play but by their nature they categorize individuals and provide a certain type of solution to address a certain type of distress.

City Council needs to move the solution down to the level of the individual. We need to create the framework that empowers individuals to self-determine their future and allow the community to build itself and determine its own way forward. That is, in brief, the philosophical rational behind my Micro-Financing idea (please visit www.communitiesfirst.ca for details). By getting individuals to invest in themselves, in their communities, a sense of ownership emerges that propels the individuals to invest more.

Similarly, solutions to crime are not to be found in continually funding requests for more police. The solution rests in people taking ownership of their communities. Particularly by getting the alienated and disenfranchised, i.e., those responsible for crime, to view themselves as part of the community, by welcoming them into the community as human beings. By organizing and running a neigbhbourhood watch program, or a community foot patrol, by erasing graffetti as it appears, by getting to know your neighbour, by employing people that live in your neighbourhood and building that sense of community many undesirable activities can be curtailed.

East McCauley
01-10-2010, 07:15 PM
As a Ward 6 resident, I'll ask you the same question as I asked Chris: should the decision to put the West LRT down Stony Plain Road be revisited by the new Council in favour of taking another look at the 87 Avenue route?

Bryan Kapitza
01-10-2010, 08:22 PM
Sorry can't be done
The corridor down stoney plain road is firm.
The only outstanding issue, and this may already be decided, is the alignment of the rail: either center or north side. center will probably win because the cars cross the tracks less often.
So why can't the decision be changed?
Resolution accepting the corridor passed by council. Contracts are attached to the resolution. Rules of order: cannot rescind resolutions that are encumbered by contracts.

Bryan Kapitza
03-10-2010, 02:10 PM
October 1, 2010

Ward 6 Candidate Bryan Kapitza released his inner city social platform today.

“I am impressed by the social awareness of our inner city residents,” stated Mr. Kapitza. “We need to listen to what they have to say and act on the solutions that they have provided us.

“Transportation is a major issue. If you can’t afford to take the bus, you can’t go to job interviews or keep medical appointments. The ETS Donate-a-Ride program hasn’t been able to meet the existing transportation needs of the community. A simpler, more effective solution would be to provide inner city support agencies with ETS bus tickets that they could distribute to their clients as the need arises. The cost to the taxpayer would be minimal and the social benefit significant.

"Trying to keep yourself clean while living on the streets is a challenge. Many residents simply replace their dirty garments with new ones from organizations such as the Mustard Seed. The community has made a reasonable request that the city work with support agencies to provide a facility where people could go to wash up and do their laundry. It is an excellent idea; one that the city could quickly implement.

"Hunger within the boundaries of our city is a reality. The Food Bank and other groups do their best to meet the need, but often fail to satisfy demand. We all recognize that it is a human right for people to have access to food, but we haven’t committed ourselves to addressing this problem. We, the citizens of Edmonton, can certainly afford to support public benefit organizations, either through direct or indirect funding, to ensure that there is always a meal on the table for every citizen in need.

"But what really affected me was the courage that our fellow citizens had in facing stark realities. It is time that we take on a major challenge and provide a much needed service. Safe injection sites are needed in Edmonton. By establishing such locations, in cooperation support agencies, we address a serious public health issue, protect users and remove needles from our streets and parks."

approved by the committee to elect Bryan Kapitza
contact 780-450-8539
www.communitiesfirst.ca

East McCauley
04-10-2010, 03:42 PM
Sorry can't be done
The corridor down stoney plain road is firm.
The only outstanding issue, and this may already be decided, is the alignment of the rail: either center or north side. center will probably win because the cars cross the tracks less often.
So why can't the decision be changed?
Resolution accepting the corridor passed by council. Contracts are attached to the resolution. Rules of order: cannot rescind resolutions that are encumbered by contracts.

I'm not impressed by this answer. West LRT is still at the concept planning phase. There is no funding (or contracts) in place to even proceed to the preliminary engineering phase, let alone detailed engineering or construction.

If you support 156Street/Stony Plain Road for West LRT that's fine (we'll agree to disagree), but why try to mislead Ward 6 voters into thinking it's too late for the new Council to reconsider this route?

Bryan Kapitza
04-10-2010, 04:00 PM
Sorry you don't like the answer
I work with the information I have
not trying to mislead anyone
last time i spoke with the administration this is what i was told

East McCauley
04-10-2010, 09:12 PM
Sorry you don't like the answer
I work with the information I have
not trying to mislead anyone
last time i spoke with the administration this is what i was told

I'm assuming the City will honor whatever remaining contractual obligations it has to the consultants involved with the concept planning phase of West LRT. Beyond this, what contractual encumbrances would preclude the new City Council from reconsidering the West LRT route?

etownboarder
06-10-2010, 03:51 PM
Mr. Kapitza,

After reading the article from the CBC website below where you suggest lower taxes for people living downtown, why would you exclude people who make a conscious decision to live in places like Century Park (TOD)? Don't you think these people should also be rewarded for their choices?

Thank you.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2010/10/06/edmonton-ward-6-downtown-tax-proposal.html

Bryan Kapitza
06-10-2010, 05:31 PM
Dealing with the media has been an interesting experience.
They tend to get part of the story.

My proposal is to base property tax assessments on the value of the infrastructure that the city provides to a lot. Where ever there is higher density the taxes should be lower because you are sharing the cost of building and maintaining that infrastructure with your neighbours. This more accurately reflects the cost of living where you choose to live

These changes don't happen over night.

Over time, because downtown residents maximize use of infrastructure their taxes should go down. Century park residents would see a decrease as well. People who live in the sprawling suburbs would see a gradual increase.

It encourages people to move to higher density areas, slowing sprawl and making better use of tax dollars.

Presently, the city grows, taxes go up, services struggle to meet demand
Under the new system, the city shrinks, taxes go down, and services improve

This is not a new idea. Our present tax system is a historical development. This "new" system is in use in other jurisdictions: denmark, new zealand, hong kong, singapore and a few american states out east.

check out the media release on my website www.communitiesfirst.ca

noodle
06-10-2010, 05:55 PM
I firmly believe in this idea Bryan and I applaud you for bringing it to people's attention. You certainly can count on my support come Election day.

kcantor
06-10-2010, 07:57 PM
^
^^
except that's already the way things work isn't it?

property taxes are assessed on the land value and on the value of the improvements. the first of these is fixed.

if there is one unit on the site, it will pay for all of the tax assessed on the land plus the tax assessed on the improvements.

a duplex would see each unit pay half of the land tax plus the tax assessed on their individual unit.

a fourplex would see each unit pay a quarter of the tax assessed on the land plus the tax assessed on their individual unit.

a building with 100 units would see each unit pay one percent of the tax assessed on the land plus the tax assessed on their individual unit.

all the city needs to do is ensure that all land in the city is appropriately zoned for highest and best/most appropriate use and the system as it stands should already properly incent those that elect to live in denser housing forms.

parker
06-10-2010, 09:22 PM
You've got my vote -- nothing gets me all hot and bothered like tax reform.

I've vouched for something similar to what you're proposing, called Land Value Taxation. Read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_value_tax .

It's a greatly simplified version. No need to create some man-made formulae about shares of infrastructures, etc, which becomes cumbersome to communicate, implement, defend against appeals.

Tax only the land value, not against any improvements. That empty lot in Boyle you speak of will see a requisite increase in its taxes, incentivizing the owner to either develop the lot or sell it to someone who will. A homeowner taking the burden of improving their home (and therefore their community) will not be punished for doing so.

Keep fighting the good fight Bryan. No issue is less 'sexy' to the media/public, but no issue presents as much potential to be a powerful agent towards densification and cost containment for the city budget.

Fundamentally improved results demand fundamental changes, not mere tinkering with current policy.

Bryan Kapitza
08-10-2010, 11:49 AM
I had the opportunity to talk with the LRT project managers yesterday.

The west LRT corridor, 104 ave/stoney plain road, has been approved by council and written into the transportation system bylaw. The administration is using this as the guideline for moving forward in fulfilling the vision set out in the transportation master plan. The upcoming open house will be to decide alignment and station locations in this corridor.

Can council change its mind? Yes it can. That would require that council rescind the evaluation criteria used by administration to determine the corridor and rescind the bylaw.
Is this going to happen? No.

I support the 104 ave /stoney plain route. It touches many important locations and is close to many others (Norquest, Grant Macewan (2 campuses), Oliver square, the 124 street intersection (great for businesses there) and all the businesses on stoney plain road). Additionally, this route is within easy walking distance (3 blocks or less) for many more residents than the 107 ave route.

It will significantly reduce traffic on 104 ave and with proper traffic control excess traffic can be moved to 111 ave avoiding congestion on 102 and 107 ave.

Big thumbs up.

Bryan Kapitza
08-10-2010, 12:01 PM
People always want a simple answer.

Airport open or closed?

Closed.

East McCauley
09-10-2010, 01:33 PM
I had the opportunity to talk with the LRT project managers yesterday.

The west LRT corridor, 104 ave/stoney plain road, has been approved by council and written into the transportation system bylaw. The administration is using this as the guideline for moving forward in fulfilling the vision set out in the transportation master plan. The upcoming open house will be to decide alignment and station locations in this corridor.

Can council change its mind? Yes it can. That would require that council rescind the evaluation criteria used by administration to determine the corridor and rescind the bylaw.
Is this going to happen? No.

I support the 104 ave /stoney plain route. It touches many important locations and is close to many others (Norquest, Grant Macewan (2 campuses), Oliver square, the 124 street intersection (great for businesses there) and all the businesses on stoney plain road). Additionally, this route is within easy walking distance (3 blocks or less) for many more residents than the 107 ave route.

It will significantly reduce traffic on 104 ave and with proper traffic control excess traffic can be moved to 111 ave avoiding congestion on 102 and 107 ave.

Big thumbs up.

Thank you for acknowledging that the West LRT route decision is reversible by the new Council. Whether this happens depends on who gets elected to the new Council. At least one of the other Ward 6 candidates wants Council to reconsider the SPR route.

Medwards
10-10-2010, 03:46 PM
Bryan,

What are your feelings about the Capital Region Board? Is there enough being done here, or do we need to further look towards a better way to coordinate our regional land use framework?

http://www.capitalregionboard.ab.ca/

Bryan Kapitza
10-10-2010, 06:44 PM
The Capital Region Board is still in its infancy.
Land Use is the most contentious of issues.
We can and have made some progress on other softer issues, namely transit.
Housing is just starting to be discussed with Homeward Trust trying to develop a community plan that takes into account regional perspectives.
So, short answer, continue meeting, try to find common ground. Eventually this board will become much more important as the capital region communities start to blend together.

Rainer
10-10-2010, 08:42 PM
Hi Bryan,
I have enjoyed reading your views on the many issues affecting our community. The other Ward 6 hopefull's seem to be a bit off target or are just pushing a personnel agenda. Thanks for the fresh ideas and informed perspective.
You have my vote.

Thomas Hinderks
13-10-2010, 09:45 AM
The Alberta Aviation Museum Association, in 2006 a small community museum now the 3rd largest aviation collection in Canada, is a feature tourism attraction in North Edmonton currently serves (5) veterans organizations, (3) Heritage organizations, (2) Youth organizations as well as a series of (6) modern aviation volunteer organizations such as the Civil Air Search And Rescue Association. The Museum also has the most advanced K-12 aviation education programming and is currently an operationally self sufficient not for profit operation that receives no operational funding from any level of government.



This is a facility that currently receives over 150,000 individual uses per year and attracts visitors from around the world.


What do you, as a candidate commit to specifically doing to insure the ongoing success and expansion of the Alberta Aviation Museum with the closure of the City Centre Airport and the damage it will cause to the facility?



I have been directed to ask on behalf of the boards of this facility.



Thomas Hinderks
Executive Director
Alberta Aviation Museum

Bryan Kapitza
13-10-2010, 12:05 PM
hello thomas
the aviation museum will remain where it is, it will remain open, protected from any future construction and I will ensure that it has adequate room to expand its exhibits.
regards
bryan

DEESGOODWORD
13-10-2010, 02:06 PM
^ Bryan how can you make a statement like this? You can't guarantee any of this statement that you've made can you, and if you can please tell me how you would? I think you are making "election promises" you haven't got the power to keep.

Yes this museum is a great addition to Edmonton but could this museum not exist in it's entirety some place else? Why do you think it needs to stay in this physical location?

Bryan Kapitza
13-10-2010, 02:13 PM
this is what i would work towards.
the aviation museum stays where it is because of its connection to the land.
this is not uncommon for historic resources.
we have a rail car at the end of the CPR line in strathcona for the same reason.
a statue of gretzky by the coliseum as well
nor will we move rutherford house from the UofA
its a great location for the aviation museum, even when the rest of the land is developed

Sonic Death Monkey
13-10-2010, 03:48 PM
Hi Bryan,

With the Walterdale Bridge due to be replaced soon, what is your opinion of revisiting the alignment of Gateway Blvd through or under Sask Drive?

I think what spooked many people away from the last proposal was the unnecessary addition of a new lane for Gateway Blvd - it added fears of a dreaded freeway through Old Strathcona. I think eliminating that hairpin at Gateway Blvd and Sask Drive can be done without expanding the road.

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j110/smaximus/gateway_saskdr_new.jpg

Thomas Hinderks
13-10-2010, 04:47 PM
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your response.

Thomas Hinderks
Executive Director
Alberta Aviation Museum

Bryan Kapitza
13-10-2010, 05:12 PM
Yuck!
My immediate response is to divert traffic to 99 or 109 streets instead of going all the way down gateway to sask. drive.
Not nice no matter what is done.
I'd throw this to the administration, do a traffic study, present options, pros and cons, consult with communities on this.
Then make a decision, one that some people will like and other won't.

murphys
16-10-2010, 12:57 PM
Hello everyone,

Please check out my website at www.communitiesfirst.ca (http://www.communitiesfirst.ca)
It contains a descriptive platform page with fresh ideas on property taxation, sustaining renewal, arena financing and more.
I look forward to your questions

Sincerely

Bryan
Hi Bryan, I like your forum and look forward to voting for you on Monday!! :smt039

Martin Levenson
17-10-2010, 09:47 PM
Mr. Kapitza...the only thing holding me back from voting for you tomorrow is your support for the downtown arena concept. If an arena is such a great catalyst for development, why hasn't that happened at Northlands? The last thing I want to see is a few city blocks taken up by a facility that is mostly closed to the public; we already have too many city blocks taken up by institutions that provide no amenities from street level.

Please explain why you support the downtown arena concept.

Bryan Kapitza
18-10-2010, 07:08 AM
hello martin
i support the concept.
there are conditions
no taxpayer money, there are different funding options available and that is what i have tried to emphasize
but most importantly we need something more than an arena,
there has to be development surrounding the arena as well, hotels, apartments, commercial/retail, otherwise we just end up with another northlands, a hockey rink with a large parking lot surrounding it and right downtown which is what we don't need.
at this point we have only concepts, a sort of firm commitment on an arena and no commitment for anything else, not acceptable
i hope this helps
bryan

Bryan Kapitza
18-10-2010, 07:09 AM
Thank you everyone for writing and visiting the C2E forum.
I hope my ideas have interested you.
Please go out and vote.