Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bellevue Mine (Crowsnest Pass)

New addition to my Blog, check out under Interesting blogs the link to the Bellevue Mine one of the many attractions that makes a trip to the Crowsnest Pass well worth while. The folks up there do a great job of making you feel welcome.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Demographics in the Crowsnest Pass

Information on the changing demographics in the Crowsnest Pass.

According to the 2001 and 2006 census for Canada.

Our population in 2001 was 6262 in 2001 it was 5749 a drop of 8.2% which appears to be the largest drop of any community I can find in Alberta on a percentage basis.

Our population of 0-19 years old was 1450 in 2001 which represented 23.2% of our population, in 2006 that same age group had dropped to 1130 and 19.7% of our population

Our population of 55 years old and older was 1980 in 2001 which represented 31.6% of our population, in 2006 55 and older was 2115 or 36.8% of our over all population.

How do these demographics compare to the province as a whole:

Alberta 0-19 years old 26.4% of the population Crowsnest Pass 19.7%
Alberta 55+ 20.6% of the population Crowsnest Pass 36.8%

Anybody get a sense of what direction we are heading in? interested in more of this type of information check the 2006 census link on the left hand side of my blog.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Community Standards Bylaws Crowsnest Pass

Over the last twenty seven years of living in the probably one of the most beautiful places in the world, its been brought to my attention alot. That despite the fact that ninety five per cent or higher of the people that reside here. Work very hard to look after there homes and yards there is still that small percentage that have the belief that they have a "right" to live like slobs. This not only affects those hard working people that live around them, it reflects on our whole community. Is it time for us has a council to review our Community Standards Bylaw?

Available at http://www.town.crowsnestpass.ab.ca/services/bylaws-and-policies look close to the bottom of the page its bylaw number 534.

I hear lots of people talking about selling "Tourism" as our future, in my mind how we present ourselves as a community will have an impact on how well we do.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Latest Poll Results

Out of 36 people that choose to respond to my latest blog, "Which of the following areas should be cut to reduce the 2009 tax increase" Here are the results in order of preference.

Advertise in only one local paper 27 votes 75%
Eliminate part time position 22 votes 61%
Money into Marketing/Economic development 17 votes 47%
Thunder In The Valley Weekend 15 votes 41%
Corporate Review 15 votes 41%
Seniors Tax Break 14 votes 38%
Museum/Allied Arts/Bellevue Mine 14 votes 38%
Municipal Development Plan 11 votes 30%
Other 1 vote 2%

Thanks again for participating

New addition to my Blog

Under Interesting Blogs is the link to the 2006 Census for all kinds of information regarding the Crowsnest Pass

The big secret is out (Councilor wages in the Crowsnest Pass)

Over the last few days I have heard comments going around the community about it being a big secret as to how much a councilor in the Crowsnest Pass makes. Well I have "news" for those people its no big secret you can go right to the Municipality Web site look under Finance and all the numbers are there just check "Audited Financial Statements" they go back to 2002 just do a little math, like I did and the numbers are there for anybody interested.

Irwin 2002-2007 $113670
Taje 2004-2007 $51772
Ward 2004-2007 $40272
Stolarik 2004-2007 $38697
Chorney 2002-2007 $72320
Woodman 2004-2007 $37772
Sygutek 2004-2007 $31582
Salus 2007 $3490
Mitchell 2007 $2960
Cole 2002-2004 and 2007 $36440
Macleod 2007 $2750
Marra 2002-2004 $30290
Rejman 2002-2004 $31465
Stanley 2002-2004 $32035
Sterling 2002-2004 $30035

We should have the numbers for 2008 within the next six weeks at that time I will update the numbers above.

Budget Gap Closes in the Crowsnest Pass

I am now working on my fifth budget since I have been a councilor in the Crowsnest Pass. The annual exercise of trying to make to few dollars go to far. Every year we take dollars away from our various municipal departments, organizations that the taxpayers wish to assist. Then we nail our taxpayers with increases to fill the gap left over. All the time I have been arguing that we need to take a look at a number of areas where we duplicate services. One of those areas has been advertising all of our municipal business in two local newspapers. Despite some silly arguments that were presented:
Some people do not read one paper or the other- what about the people that read neither.
Not advertising in both papers may affect the business viability of one paper or the other-What if we had two bids on a water line could not the same argument be made?
One paper may be favoured over another-Its a tender process does anybody think our administration is going to recommend a higher bid?
The newspapers have different levels of circulation-Do we pick a contractor to pave streets because he paves more streets than his competition?
Well finally common sense prevails, the council of the Crowsnest Pass saw fit to go with advertising in one paper, the advertising will be tendered and hopefully we have some very competitive bids come forth.
This will close our budget gap by probably somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per year.
Just in the four and a half years I have been on council we have spent somewhere between $150,000 and $200,000 in duplicating our advertising.

That amount could buy a Grader for our public works department, support our allied arts contribution for 7-10 years, run our second arena for a year. Or take 2.5% of this years tax increase.

Also last night we decided to go one step further on the path to fiscal responsibility, we will no longer be advertising our utility bills due date. A practice that we were throwing away $3-4000 per year on.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Big Petition in the Crowsnest Pass / Crowsnest Centre

Have been asked by a number of people what is happening as far as the "Big petition" and the "Crowsnest Centre" legal opinion.

The Big Petition is with Municipal Affairs who appointed one of their staff to verify the petition itself, we are told we should know the outcome soon.

The Crowsnest Centre legal opinion we finally have in our possession and will be discussed further Tuesday night (March 17). I can not discuss it at this point because it is an "In camera" issue. I am hoping that after Tuesday's meeting it will be made public I can not imagine any councilor not being willing to share this document with the taxpayers.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Interesting Quote

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it.. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it --Ronald Reagan