Hello, my name is Anton Ovtchinnikov, and I am seeking your votes to be your Ward 14 councillor.
Election is an expensive process. I will not be actively seeking any PAC’s support because I want to be able to say proudly that I have support of and answer to the people in Ward 14 and Calgary. My goal is to reach every resident of the communities that make up Ward 14 with my message and I need your help to achieve that goal. If you would like to help me move Calgary FORWARD, please use pay pal button below or send an E-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your contributions will mainly go towards flyers and lawn signs and , may be, some doughnuts and coffee for volunteers. I do not believe in hiring expensive campaign managers or renting expensive offices to run my campaign from. Your help will be very much appreciated and your contributions will be used wisely.
You must be resident of Alberta, and as per the rules, I will not accept any contributions from corporations or unions. 5000.00 limit on individual contributions.
I was born in the City called Ufa, in what was Soviet Union at the time in 1980. In 1998, after a very long wait, our family was finally given an opportunity to move to Canada. My parents chose Calgary as our first stop and we fell in love with this city. My parents, my sister and myself are still proud to call Calgary our home today.
My career path started with washing dishes at a local Boston Pizza and I went on to working my way up to management.
I married my wife Krystlle in 2003, we moved to McKenzie Lake in 2004 and we welcomed our daughter Sofiya into this world in 2006. In 2014 we moved to Chaparral, where we still reside. In 2019, after many years of being begged by Sofiya, we decided to get a dog - Ray, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. He is a great addition to our family!
After my daughter's birth I decided to make some changes but I just could not leave the restaurant world completely. I took a position with a company that sells commercial kitchen equipment to Food and Beverage and Hospitality businesses. My first hand experience of working in the kitchens and on the floors of restaurants helped me to have a very successful career to this day.
Back in 2012, I was infected with a "volunteer bug" and cannot really imagine my life without this aspect. Currently, I am proudly sitting as director on two local community boards.
My volunteering experience has allowed me to meet and converse with many people of different backgrounds, to hear different perspectives and to have discussions about things that are important to our communities and businesses, both small and large, in our great city. I also, have some experience taking part in the provincial election process as CFO on Calgary SE CA Board.
All these experiences have taught me to think critically, to look for different approaches to situations and try to find solutions quickly and efficiently. After all - we cannot keep doing things the same way and expect different results.
I am hoping to bring my professional, personal and volunteering experience, to City Hall to help me serve you to the best of my abilities.
We spend way too much without any incentive to do better. It seems that we budget expenditures and then look for revenues to cover them. Or we suddenly find some money and we rush to spend it. There must be a better process. Let's start with implementing a new budget process (i.e. zero base budget) More specifically - I would like to scrutinize the process that comes with the NEED to spend our money at the end of each fiscal year. Being in sales I hear horror stories about mistakes being made that cost the taxpayer. Erroneous rushed last minute purchasing decisions in fear of losing this money in the following year’s budget.
I am not against spending money smartly, but the spending cannot be this reckless. I will support a forensic audit of major City expenditures.
“Bureaucracy is expanding to meet the need of the expanding bureaucracy” – one of my favourite quotes about any government. It describes what I have seen over last 8-10 years. Every time I hear “We need to cut the red tape”, “we need to work on simplifying the process” – all I hear “We have too many people overseeing the process and are wasting too much time and money pushing the same pile of papers from one desk to the other”. Let’s cut the red tape and finally throw it away, instead of trying to sew it back together after every successful election cycle. I would like a committee to start looking at regulations and questioning the need of the said regulations.
In the current economic environment with the plummeting downtown real estate coupled with fiscal mismanagement and unbalanced tax structure we have residential taxes and taxes on small business, non-profit and service organizations increasing drastically. In some cases the rate of increase is astronomical. I will be working with other councillors and the Province to make sure that we can come up with fair, working and acceptable solutions and not just a set of Band-Aids to catch up with the City's spending.
Your help will be required to solve this issue. Do we go ahead with the Green line the way it is projected right now??? Do we try to find a good way to modify the existing project to take it all the way to the South Health Campus??? Do we abandon it all together and instead find a way to connect our airport to the rest of the LRT network like we should have done years ago??? Or do we start from scratch and see if there are any other newer alternatives like catenary-free (no overhead wires) or a rail-less options that we can start adding to our existing infrastructure???
With the calls for densification of communities, I personally encountered that our beautiful City is in danger of losing smaller pockets of green spaces in and around the communities that we all enjoy. Growth is good, but there should be a balance. A storm pond does not replace a playground for the children, a bench at the edge of a parking lot does not replace a green meeting place for the neighbours. I would like to propose some changes to the existing process and requirements for the new “infill” communities, to make sure that we keep the city green.
I love the art, I love the idea of unique structures and eclectic feel of different projects. But we must keep this program local. Promote local creators and allow Calgarians the opportunity to decide the place for the installation.
High salaries – I would review higher level salaries and will support a pay freeze but I will not support unnecessary layoffs. I will question pension pay out structure. I will not vote for a raise for the council and mayor during my term, but if approved in – I will take that portion of my paycheque and donate to various local charities every month.
Term limits – To paraphrase another councillor - Winning the election should not be treated as a lottery win. I support limited terms for the Councillors and Mayor. These positions should be treated as privilege, not a career.
Transparency – Limit the secretiveness and increase open communication from the council. I will demand less "in-camera" meetings, unless they are absolutely necessary.
Expenses - I will ask for clearer and more specific guidelines for Councillors expenses. Expenses should be more detailed and visible on the City’s website and a break down of submitted expenses to be easily accessible to the constituency, after they have been approved.
These are just a few things that are on my mind as a taxpayer and a proud resident of Calgary, but remember - I am here to represent you. Please use the small chat bubble to the right to send me a message with your thoughts, questions and ideas. We MUST work together to move our wonderful city FORWARD!!!