Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crowsnest Centre Bylaw Amended and Passed by Council on July 22, 2008

Below is the bylaw that was passed on July 22, 2008 by the Council at their meeting. This is what the taxpayers will be voting on Sept 8 (Advance) and Sept 22 (Regular Poll).
Controversy at the meeting because some of council wish to keep the bylaw as vague as possible. We all know that I have been strongly opposed to maintaining the Centre and unlike some people I do not flip flop on issues to satisfy the vocal minority. But a group went out with a petition, the petition was ruled valid, so even though I disagree with that petition I respect it. So the bylaw was designed to determine if the Crowsnest Centre should be maintained for the next ten years, by the taxpayers of the Crowsnest Pass.
Logic behind the bylaw I shall explain;
Part 1 represents the wishes of the petition to maintain the land in question "for public and community purposes as a Community and Learning Centre and for providing other municipal services".
Part 2 further enhances and ensures the continuing existence of the above, how?
2a For years I have heard that we have put too much pressure and burden on a unpaid volunteer board to run the Crowsnest Centre, I agree volunteers come and go what would happen if the board resigned tomorrow it happened prior to the last referendum, it would jeopardize the future of the centre as a Community Learning Centre.
The employees, I have heard many times over the years that other municipal facilities are maintained by our employees that the Centre is at a distinct disadvantage by having to hire employees for budgetary reasons at lower wages. As the building becomes older to ensure its survival as a Community Learning Centre we need to provide adequate labour to maintain it.
We should not be counting on volunteers to clean up mold, that should be done by paid employees.

2b In October 2007 council received a report from Hirano Heaton regarding the state of the Crowsnest Centre, the report outlined many problems with the Centre it also gave Council four options to maintain the Centre moving into the future. If the taxpayers decide to keep the centre then we need to move forward on these options, that should happen, that is how we ensure the long term future of the Centre as a Community Learning Centre.

2c On December 5 2007 I asked the question of the head of the Crowsnest Centre Board "Do you feel over the years the Centre as been underfunded?" The response I received was "Yes Grossly" If the taxpayers of the Crowsnest Pass choose to maintain the Centre as a Community Learning Centre, then I say we must pay for it. Do not allow the politicians an easy way out by allowing it to be properly funded somewhere down the road. If you go out and buy a house the bank will tell you what it will cost you and when you will start paying for it. You don't get to have the house and pay for it when you like.

If the taxpayers want and support the Crowsnest Centre why would they have a problem with the above. The measures above will if the taxpayers so choose ensure the continuing existence and operation of the Crowsnest Centre Property as a Community and Learning Centre and for providing other municipal services.

Once again I would like to say that I "will not" be supporting this bylaw, I have consistently argued that we as a community, one don't need two community centres and two can't afford them.
And that is exactly why the opposition to this bylaw is so opposed, because they know if the public knows the real cost of maintaining this site the majority will vote against it to. Lets give the public all of the information available and allow them to make a "informed" decision.


BY-LAW NO. 766, 2008


WHEREAS, pursuant to Part 7 of the Municipal Government Act, being Chapter M-26 of the Revised Statutes of Alberta, 2000 and any amendments thereto, the electors of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, on May 23, 2008 presented a petition to the Municipality requesting Council to bring to a public vote a Bylaw ensuring the continuing existence and operation of the Crowsnest Centre property (Plan 731227, Block H, containing 3.51 hectares) to be used for public and community purposes as a Community and Learning Centre, and for providing other municipal services;

AND WHEREAS, on June 19, 2008 the Chief Administrative Officer of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass declared the petition sufficient and presented his declaration to the next regularly scheduled Municipal Council meeting on June 24, 2008;


1. That the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass ensure the continuing existence and operation of Crowsnest Centre property (Plan 731227, Block H, containing 3.51 hectares), be used for public and community purposes as a Community and Learning Centre and for providing other municipal services.
2. To enhance and further ensure the continuing existence and operation of the Crowsnest Centre as a learning and Community Centre, and to have the ability to provide other municipal services the following steps must be taken;
a) The operation of the entire facility will be administrated directly by the municipality, and will be maintained and operated by municipal employees.
b) To provide the citizens of the Crowsnest Pass with a facility functionally able to provide municipal services such as a Community and Learning Centre and any other municipal services deemed necessary. Administration shall determine and report back to Municipal Council by no later than December 31, 2008 the most viable option outlined in the Hirano and Heaton report of October 2007.
c) Municipal council will place into the 2009 budget all funds required to upgrade the facility as per the Hirano and Heaton Report of October 2007.

This Bylaw shall come into effect upon final reading.

Read a first time this day of , 2008.


Chief Administrative Officer

Read a second time this day of , 2008.

Read a third time and finally passed this day of , 2008.


Chief Administrative Officer

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Great weekend in the Crowsnest Pass

Come on down to the Crowsnest Pass this weekend, see all the great events we have scheduled for "Rum Runner Days". Many different groups, many people put a lot of hard work and time in to making this a great weekend. Events from Friday to Sunday, check out the whole weekend at the following address If you looking for something to do and have a few spare moments check out the underground mine in Bellevue, or the Muesum in Coleman both well worth the time.
See you in the beautiful Crowsnest Pass this weekend.

One Councilor's Response to issues in the Crowsnest Pass

Have not blogged for a while, have been very busy but it is time to speak, in response to my fellow blogger’s from the Crowsnest Pass, in addition to comments I have received from the public at large, lets jump around to the various issues.

Change do I believe in change? Of course, is change happening fast enough? Does it ever! Change is going to take the full commitment of many different people. Yes, it has to be more than just talk. It needs to be about action.

Due to changing demographics, Facilities that were required years ago may not be required today. To change, first we have to admit that the community is different; Census Canada for the last twenty-five years has shown that our community is getting older; school enrollment numbers shows the same thing. However, we have people in leadership positions who believe that we are getting younger.

Economic development, first we have to admit that we have a problem. Look, around we made the mistake of putting all of our eggs in one basket. The majority of Council took the position that expansion of our community would solve the problems. I agree to a point, development brings new money into the community creates new assessment, the only problem we have is development should be part of the solution not all of it. Drive around look at our new developments, see how much infrastructure as been put in place, how many basements poured, how many lots sold. It is scary.

Secondary Industry; There are people in this community that believe we are wasting our time pursuing secondary industry that nobody will come here. I still strongly believe that Council, Economic Development and the local Chamber of Commerce should be working together to achieve this goal. Does this get back to leadership of course?

Leadership A key factor for any community, does our leadership need to change? Keep in mind the last election, out of 2100 votes for the Mayor’s position the challenger received 43 per cent of the vote not a solid endorsement of the incumbent by any means. Change of leadership can happen in several ways.

At the ballot box, which it will eventually, or from within? Council’s direction can change if the will of any four or more councilors so wishes. How does that happen, by individuals willing to stand up to the ways things have always been done? What holds people back from standing up for change? The following issues.
Anybody that has ever sat on a council knows several things; those that have been in power for a long time will not relinquish it freely. Vocal self interest groups that have been looked after for years by that leadership will also fear a change of direction. I have seen on more than one occasin a politician change his position because he received half a dozen calls prior to a vote from that vocal minority.
The public image; how many times do you hear or read comments from feeble mined people, that don’t have a intelligent counter argument on a issue so they resort to all they have left, running around town making statements “what’s in it for him” or try to create an aura of suspicion about a person that opposes their views.
The lust for power, anybody that has been around political circles knows that the moment somebody sees them selves as the appointed successor he will work closely with the one doing the appointing. It is almost comical, to hear a councilor, who as voted the party line on most major issues in the last term, suddenly take exception because a majority of council with similar
view’s on an issue comes together to opposes his view.

What does it take to bring councilors together, to move in a different direction? Issues, that forces those same councilors to stand up and take a position. This is where you find out who the real people are, those that will not vote a certain way because the vocal minority exerts pressure, and believes it knows what is best for the rest of the voters, those that will not be swayed for future gain. We have that opportunity today in the Crowsnest Pass with the Crowsnest Centre four councilors have stood up and said that we do not need this old, under utilized, worn out building. There begins an opportunity for a change to the good old Status Quo.

Tube Park; it is true as you can see in my recent blog of June 27th should we look at options to bring something new in, yes but we do have to be very cautious that we don’t jeopardize our ski hill.

Albert Stella Arena; Council knew back during the budget process that the arena would not open until January 1st. All of a sudden because user groups have come forth with concerns some of council will find an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon.

Community Enhancement; Do we have a duty to improve the appearance of our community? Of course, we do, the Crowsnest Pass is one of the most beautiful places in the world and ninety percent of our residents look after their homes and businesses. Leadership needs to lead on this issue and work with other groups to futher enhance our community.

Change; will happen one issue at a time initially, until people realize that change is not such a bad thing that it is possible. Western civilization will not end because a program is altered, or a facility is no longer used in the Crowsnest Pass.