After nine years at the helm, Dave Bronconnier decides not to run again
February 24, 2010
By Kim Guttormson, for the Calgary Herald
In an unexpected move that triggers a wide-open mayor’s race for the first time in a decade, Dave Bronconnier announced Tuesday he is stepping away from public life and will not seek a fourth term.
Bronconnier’s decision will see him spend his last months in office fighting to close the book on provincial infrastructure funding, while trying to keep aldermen — many now thinking about his job — focused on day-to-day business.
“Just because I’ve made an announcement today, I’m not going anywhere,” he said after delivering the news in his annual state of the city speech.
“There’s still many outstanding issues we’re going to keep working on.”
On a personal note, regardless of ones position on Bronconnier’s policies and approach to governance (the alignment of the West LRT and the pedestrian bridge are decisions, right or wrong, that will surely continue to crop up again and again over the coming years), his strong advocacy for the City at the scale of provincial resource allocation is undeniable. The departure of Bronconnier leaves many questions about the future direction of Calgary’s development, many which surely revolve around fiscal responsibility, but as Bronconnier’s experience shows, it will be vital for his successor to continue to engage upper echelons of governance in order to bridge the gulf between the City’s widening set of responsibilities and static sources of resource generation.
Of particular importance will be recent budget cuts made by the province
which will impede the development of important local infrastructures and impair the ability of Calgary to sooner realize some of the objectives that City Council unanimously passed in the latest Municipal Develop Plan (Plan-It)
in September of last year. Will Calgary’s next mayor be able to hold the province to account while sticking to the fiscally- and environmentally-responsible goals of the new MDP, or will he be overcome by the market-fundamentalist, growth-at-all-costs imperatives that are disproportionately (and sometimes unfairly) represented in Calgary’s planning and policy discourses? Stay tuned for more in the next municipal election this October.