Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas to everybody that takes the time to check out my Blog.
Please everybody have a good time and be responsible, cherish the time with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 18, 2009

Response to Chasing away Business in The Crowsnest Pass

The following is a letter I sent to the Editor, in response to the article referring to the pine beetle crew that wanted to stay at the Crowsnest Centre.

Regarding the latest controversy of “Council chasing away business”. I was very surprised that this article did not present a fair and unbiased view of the issues and that councillors with opposing views were not interviewed and given the opportunity to comment.
First, Council members indeed were approached with the opportunity to provide accommodation to an enterprise for 50 people; 25 rooms for 52 days with access to an office and meeting areas. The Municipality would have been paid $16500 for those rooms. This works out to $12.69 per room per day for two people. The public has been told that the Centre does not compete with the commercial sector. The majority of Council believes that we have a hospitality industry in the Crowsnest Pass that has to pay taxes, pay staff, pay their utilities, make donations to various causes and make a profit. The majority of Council believes the hospitality industry should not have to compete unfairly with a subsidized Municipal facility. There is a good reason why hotels charge more than $12.69 per room.
Second, the majority of Council took the position that there are lots of rooms available in our community; our local commercial taxpaying hospitality industry. If only this enterprise had taken the time and effort to research the availability of rooms in the Crowsnest Pass. This enterprise demanded that their crew be accommodated in one location. I quote the president: "We can’t be moving our people form [sic] one under equipped hotel to another (my people will just quit) and we can’t be chasing them 4 times a day between multiple locations from BC to Frank". Their position was that having their crew scattered all over the Crowsnest Pass did not work for them. However, in the last letter from the contractor he stated: “We will house 16 of our crew in Longview in less than perfect accommodations. We will move the rest of our crew to Pincher Creek except for 10 people that we have in B&B’s in Coleman.”
The point that the majority of Council was trying to make was that we have a hospitality industry in the Crowsnest Pass that does not need to compete unfairly or at all with a subsidized Municipally owned facility supported by taxpayers dollars.

And to the lady from the local hotel that called and the B + B lady that approached me at the Bank, Thanks for your kind comments and support. (And yes I appreciate that they never called your establishments for rooms)

If you are interested in voicing an opinion on this issue you can either leave a comment here or go and vote on the local papers On line Poll at the following address.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Corporate Review in the Crowsnest Pass,

As a result of the release of the Corporate Review I posed the following question, I was a little surprised with the results.

Corporate Review for the Crowsnest Pass did it address the issues we are facing as a Community?

Yes very well done
12 (38%)

Yes but it should have gone further
15 (48%)

No it did not address the real issues
1 (3%)

No it was too critical
0 (0%)

No it was a waste of time, effort and money
3 (9%)

Only 9% of the votes felt it was a waste of money, and 48% felt the report was good but it should have gone further.
The question I am being asked by most people is when will something be done with the report? We directed our Administration to come back to us the first Council meeting in January with recommendations as to how we will implement the changes suggested in the report.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Further Questions regarding the Crowsnest Centre

In response to my last post I will present questions that I have been asked and the answers to the best of my ability.

Good post Dean, and thanks for keeping us informed and up-to-date on this ‘dirty’ business. I hope you send this in as a letter to the editor. The public needs to be made aware of these latest developments on the Centre's 'profitability', as expounded on by the Chairperson of the board who stated “we do not need financial assistance from the municipality for 2009”. Another $30,000 plus in unpaid bills you say, along with legal bills to date passing the $50,000 mark. In addition, by the time the lease/relocation business issue is dealt with, all told, this whole ‘rotten business’ will most likely cost our local taxpayers’ in the neighbourhood of several hundred thousand dollars. All because a certain group did not want to let go and respect the wishes of a duly elected majority of council. And let’s not forget the “Block of three on Council” involvement in this sordid affair. How can a mayor and councillors be so cavalier with taxpayers’ money? How could these three be so intransigent in their position that the public purse be damned?None of these people should ever see the inside of a board again, never mind sitting on council, for such poor management in the public interest, and lack of due diligence. I'm sure at least one newspaper will print it, whereas, the other will most likely have issues with 'liability', which is their standard lame excuse for not printing what they don't like, or they find potentially damaging to them personally, or their 'friends', and/or their cause.The people involved in this whole fiasco should be held liable and accountable. The blatant disregard for the public purse cannot, and must not, be tolerated. It is time this type of governance came to an end!
November 25, 2009 2:20 PM

John very good comments, and I agree with you on most of what you had to say. You know better than most how politics work in this town.

Why are you saying this nonsense?
Of course the Center is making money its been full every weekend.
The bills you talk about must be a mistake.
November 25, 2009 3:29 PM

Well that's what I have been hearing for the last year, in council chambers, in the media everywhere you go. Well somebody made mistakes.

We have 2 community centres?
November 25, 2009 5:50 PM

Yes we do the Crowsnest Centre and the MDM facility

Please send a letter to the editor of both papers...
The truth has come out!
November 25, 2009 5:10 PM

I sent a letter to only one local paper because the other has taken a position that they are not going to be involved in this debate

Turn the power off, turn the gas off, turn the phones off. I know you probably can not do this.What a shame that such a small group can cost the majority so much money.I wish there was an election today because the mayor and his group would be out on their ears.Maybe then we could move forward.
November 25, 2009 4:45 PM

I know where you are coming from and understand your frustration, but we have been receiving legal advice that we need to follow, the municipality has already been exposed to enough liabilty due to the actions of others.

What have we paid out on legal costs?
November 26, 2009 4:58 PM

Council was supplied figures a few weeks back, it breaks down to the following:
Cost to hold plebiscite $13,355.18
Costs regarding the petition and injunction $25,703
Cost to deal with Leases and CLC Bylaws $30,353.30
Total of $69,411.48

I think if any business stopped paying their bills that they would show that they have a positive cash flow (at least temporarily). However, that doesn't make them ‘profitable’. I'm surprised that so many people have bought the line of bull that they are selling. To me it was an obvious sham. The week before the plebiscite they were requesting $$$ from the municipal budget, the week after... they're profitable. Their claims to profitability are a poorly disguised desperate attempt to keep the Centre open.
November 27, 2009 9:39 AM

I don't see a question in here more comments, but I certainly understand and appreciate your comments. Last year much fanfare over a $30,000 profit in the media but no mention that 25% of their income ($100,000+) was municipal grants.

WHY is there such a problem getting the books for the center? FOIP is not a reason when the municipality owns it. Council has to do whatever it takes to have them audited. Enough of the BS!!!
November 27, 2009 8:19 AM

I agree totally with you, I have always had a problem understanding why a municipal owned facility, subsidized by the taxpayers is not accountable to the taxpayers through their elected representives. We have two other areas that are ran by societies for various reasons (Swimming Pool, Ski hill) but unlike the centre all of their financies must pass through the municipality. Our finance department can tell us at any time what is happening in those facilities. I am yet to hear that "I can not tell you who the tenants of the MDM are due to FOIP"

Do yu not answer questions put to you??
December 1, 2009 6:25 AM

Look above I have given it my best shot