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Charlie's Plan for Getting the Basics Right
$590 raised
9 contributors
3 Years running

It’s Time to Get the Basics Right




Saskatoon is a city of great neighbourhoods, but we need to do a better job of maintaining them. We must get the basics right for the quarter of a million people who live, work, and move around in our city. Roads cleared of snow and sidewalks in good repair. Good street lighting and well-maintained parks. Recycling and garbage picked up efficiently. Fast, clear, and helpful service at City Hall. Great on-line access to information. If we aren’t getting our basic services right, citizens won’t feel confidence in City Hall.


In my 10 years as a councillor, I have helped solve hundreds of problems related to basic services around the city. I know where our strengths are but also where we need to improve.


We should do everything we can to make service delivery more efficient and deliver better value for money. But at some point we cannot do more with less: the only way to become more efficient is to do things differently. Your taxes have been going up because the city has spread itself too thin and recent growth has not paid for itself. Existing neighbourhoods are showing signs of wear, but they wait in line because of the huge pressure to build roads and install services on the city’s perimeter where residents also expect and deserve quality civic services. The city has not fully planned for the costs of new projects and services over their life cycle.



Getting the basics right is my mega-project. I will work to make City Hall a leader in innovation and efficiency. We can do this by cutting red tape and creating a culture of service.  This is my plan to get it done:

1. Balanced Growth: Maximizing Existing Infrastructure. Walk the talk of balanced growth to provide the money to improve services. Reaching the goal of 50% of growth within existing urban areas saves half a billion dollars in new infrastructure spending. It also grows the tax base faster than the need for new spending because it uses existing infrastructure.

2. A Four-year Plan for Neighbourhood Renewal. Reinvest in established neighbourhoods, in streets, sidewalks, parks, and roads, balancing the investments being made in new neighbourhoods. These are people-friendly improvements that will improve the quality of life for all.

3. Foster a Culture of Innovation and Collaboration in City Departments. Employees are the heart of City Hall. One of the most powerful improvement tools is to work directly with our front line staff and ensure their ideas for how to improve our city services are valued and included. We should expand City Hall Innovation Teams across departments, building on the success of our street-sweeping program. Frontline street sweepers, the sign shop, parking officers and vehicle and equipment maintenance staff came together to brainstorm how to do their jobs better. They improved signage to inform local residents of schedules, extended the hours sweepers spend on the road and designed a new towing protocol. The result: sweeping was completed a full month earlier.

4. Reform Our Procurement Practices to Ensure Best Value for Money. Adopt the ‘Priority Saskatchewan Best Value Procurement Policy’ []

5. Smart Service: Improving Access to City Hall. We have outstanding information technology talent in Saskatoon at the university, at City Hall, and in the private sector. Let’s use it to make services better, faster, and cheaper. Eliminate paper forms, telephone calls, and standing in line. Log into the city website, key in your address on your smartphone, tablet or computer, and access all the relevant information you need about your home or business.

We should also learn from other cities in how they have adopted technology to monitor traffic flow, accidents in major arteries, and when there is congestion, divert the traffic onto different streets.

6. Smart Infrastructure. Build on proven successes such as truck-mounted sonar equipment to evaluate the conditions of our roads. This technology identifies emerging problems before they become serious. Like preventive health care, early intervention is both more effective and cheaper. This same technology can be used for sewer and water pipe assessment.

7. Cut the Red Tape Task Force. Establish a Cut the Red Tape task force to streamline application and approval processes, eliminate unnecessary duplication, reduce the number of steps, and shorten the time to approvals.

8. Build Renewables into Our Future. Implement green energy policies that will save the city money, save citizens money, create jobs and reduce power demands and CO2 emissions. Better-designed, energy efficient buildings are cheaper to operate because they reduce utility costs by incorporating renewable energy and other environmental innovations.

9. Reduce, Reuse. Accelerate the proposed Recovery Park, a one-stop site that turns waste into usable products and rescues valuable construction and other materials from the landfill.

I am Charlie Clark and I am ready to be your next Mayor! Together we will develop a model prairie city for the 21st century by getting the basics right, creating safe and inclusive neighbourhoods, and fostering growth and prosperity for all.

All of us want the same thing – to live in a thriving city that makes us proud.

We could be a model prairie city for the 21st century. We have the talent, we have the ideas, we have the institutions and organizations to make this happen. And we have an obligation to dream big. To do any less is a disservice to the opportunities before us, and to our city’s children and their future.

Saskatoon has outstanding thinkers and doers. We need to engage them in taking Saskatoon to a new level of economic, social, cultural, and environmental achievement. We have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of other cities that developed earlier.

If we do this right, we can have properly maintained roads and playgrounds in every neighbourhood, a diversified local economy with good jobs, well-designed growth in the core and the suburbs, and opportunities for people of all walks of life to reach their potential.

I want this to be a great city for all our city’s children to grow up in - for my own three children as well as the children from Kerrobert and Sweetgrass and Aleppo who have come here to build their dreams.

If you agree that it’s time for Saskatoon to be a model prairie city for the 21st century, please help me by making a contribution. I promise to use the money to share this message with as many people as possible so that, together, we can change the future of Saskatoon.


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