Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, reflecting back and looking ahead to 2011.

Looking back on 2010, I will be the first to admit the election did not go quite the way I expected it to. Certainly in my mind the taxpayers in the Crowsnest Pass made some mistakes, time will prove me right or wrong.
I served the community for the last six years standing up for what I believe to be right, could I have done some things differently that would have hurt less politically? You bet.

Over the last six years I had the pleasure to work with many different types of people, on council some of the people I worked with were very good people that cared very much about this community, people that had the “balls” to stand up for change, those people I have much respect for. It would have been easy to just line up behind the Mayor and carry on doing business the way it has always been done in the past.

The municipal staff, I know at times some of the public sees them as a group of pampered, Monday to Friday employees that put in a minimal effort and collect a good pay cheque.
While I’m sure just like any employer there is a few of those, over the last six years I learnt that the vast majority of your municipal staff put in a honest effort day after day and really care about this municipality and their jobs.

The media, looking back over the last six years I will let the reader decide if I was treated fairly.

The positions council took in 2010, we could have done what previous councils have done, “nothing” in an election year but instead we choose to do our job to the end.

In 2010 I was proud that council achieved the following:

We passed a budget with a 3.2% tax increase, with a goal of rebuilding the municipal reserves, a $450,000 surplus was slated to go back into those reserves.

When the year end financials come in I anticipate that 2010 will be the third year in a row that thanks to sound financial management the municipality will show a surplus, compared to the previous six years it was a strong change in direction.

We froze hiring, government does not need to get larger through the recession of the last few years, the private sector became leaner and more efficient to survive, government
needs to learn the same lessons.

We froze overtime with the exception of emergency situations, if the truth was known that saved a lot of dollars. If government employees are working overtime for reasons
other than an emergency, then the administration should be looking at more efficient ways to do things.

We finally resolved the issue of running two half empty community centers, the community now has a center that is full. What’s really interesting, is I have not met a tenant yet at the MDM that does not prefer being there.

The River Run issue, many mistakes were made, one good thing that came out of it was a policy was put in place that development like this will never happen again unless adequate security is in place.
Over the last six years Council was mislead on this issue, at times by foolish dreams and exaggerated promises, at times by people that were strong advocates of this group, and at times by people that should have known better.

Community Standards was in my mind a huge issue, as far as moving this community forward. The days of having “twenty three” old junkers in your drive way and the God given right to live like a slob while everybody around you is trying to make their residence presentable needs to come to an end. This was a first step in that direction.

Administration, council chose to make changes, were they all dealt with perfectly. I recognize a better job could have been done. But what every politician knows at times processes are manipulated to get the outcome certain people desire.
I’m not going to debate the merits of those changes that were made here, but they are done and now history, anybody that would like to debate those changes should take the time to read the Cuff report, it was fairly clear about some of the issues the municipality had to move forward on.

Over all I believe that council achieved a lot in 2010.

Looking forward to 2011, for me personally I’m not going away the Crowsnest Pass as been my home for 27 years and will be for the rest of my life.
I hope to stay involved I have put my name forward for a couple of committee’s (SDA, and the York Creek Seniors) hopefully I will be given fair consideration by council.
If I’m not successful I will attempt to get involved with other areas that need help in the community.

Looking at politics for the next year, what direction will the new council take with the following issues will indeed be very interesting:

2011 Budget-Will spending increase?

Tax Increases-We all hope it stays low!

Water Meters-Conservation yes, cash cow No

Hiring Freeze-Bigger government is it really necessary?

Overtime-Sure a water line freezes, or we get 30cm of snow on a weekend when else?

Duplication of services-Wait until they get into the politics of this issue!

River Run-I remember a member of the previous council telling us “It’s not a big deal just take a cat and push the piles back into the holes”, It will not be any where near that simple.

Crowsnest Centre-This issue will be talked about a long time after I’m gone, if they decide to fire it back up, where does the dollars and tenants come from for this money pit. If they try to sell it, various expectations are going to be way beyond reality that building is a huge liability for any prospective buyer.

Community Standards-will the new council carry on with what was started, will they back off and soften the bylaw?

Affordable Housing-Everybody agrees the need is here, the golden question how do you
achieve it, the last developer that expressed an interest was also building a 5000 seat arena at the lakes.

New Recreation Centre- great idea, where do you put it? How do you pay for it? How do
you carry the future burden.

Infrastructure-this issue will never end, the problem the administration and the politicians
know that there are lots in the ground to be done. However the public wants to see the visible infrastructure see above.

Anyway here’s looking forward to a great year in 2011 for the Crowsnest Pass.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

For any of my readers that work at the Coal Mines

Interesting situation in Australia right now, certainly would expect for the next while that the demand for canadian coal will be greater than ever:

Teck anticipates to ship at least 25 million tonnes next year, at a price increase of 20% that would be $45 per tonne or $1.125 billion. WOW

Issue with water Meters-make them affordable.

When you cut through all the issues on water meters what it really comes down to short term is cost.

What administration proposed was to put in 560 meters a year for the next five years at a cost of $280,000 per year. ($500 per meter)
How would that be paid for? the municipality would pay for the meters up front, and the resident would pay the municipality back over a year on their utility bills.
Not very complicated except $500 divided by 6 utility bills equals $83.33 per bill, that's a lot for somebody on a fixed income.
Here's a different solution, why not buy the meters with dollars in the reserve fund, allow the residents to pay for them over a five year period, two things happen then the resident only pays an additional $16.67 per utility bill much more affordable. Second the only thing the municipality loses is the interest they would be making on that money at today's rates they are lucky to be getting 1.5% which equates to $4200 a year.
I'm sure $4200 a year could be cut somewhere else in the budget to make up that lost revenue.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Update on municipal advertising (Crowsnest Pass)

Note: Council Meeting of Dec 21,2010.
After reviewing my notes I realized I missed some critical information on the advertising issue.

During the discussion on the draft advertising policy Lynne Cox the Director of Legislative services and Human Resources. Mentioned that the dollars in the proposed budget for advertising presented to council were based on providing one page of advertising in each paper at the rates set forth in the present contract $180 per page.
She also stated that she only had one quote from a local paper at that point, that would provide advertising at a 30% reduction of their regular rates.
The last time I checked the local papers were charging somewhere between $7-800 per full page at a 30% discount that would put them somewhere between $490-$560 per page. At a minimum a 270% increase over what the municipality is presently paying and then double it, based on duplicating the advertising in two papers.

Crowsnest Pass, Budget will spur debate? Maybe

Well so far local politics have been fairly mellow and laid back since the election. I don't say that in a critical way because that's normal, new councilors getting familiar with the job, what administration does, the various programs and services the municipality provides it all takes time.

Ultimately unless you are going to have seven people sit in a room for three years and just play follow the leader, debate will come its bound to. Take any group of seven people you are going to have different goals, objectives, agendas etc. If you are not going to have debate over various issues then you may as well leave six people at home and let one person make all the decisions.

So anyway to the point of my post, I feel that debate is coming especially after reading Councilor Saindon's blog. Then refreshing my memory with what the various councilors had to say during the election campaign, this leads me to believe that their are indeed some issues that are going to create quite a lot of debate over the next month or so, in both council chambers, and out in the public.

Three issues I would like to discuss at this point that I feel are very pressing and relevant based on the various positions taken during the election.

1. Duplication of services.
Previous council had to deal with this issue regarding the duplication of Community centres and arenas. Maybe this council will take a different position than we did and restart the Crowsnest Centre, or put ice back in the Albert Stella? We shall see.

But if they are going to deal with this issue, they will at some point have to look at Town Shops, Fire Departments, Equipment Fleets, even arms lengths groups. Everyone of them very political contentious issues.

2. Water Meters, tough issue 560 meters a year for the next five years. Is the municipality going to charge two rates for water based on having a meter or not? Would that be fair, somebody that wastes water with a meter pays extra, somebody without a meter could waste water for free for up to the next five years. What about commercial users, will they be metered? tough on a business like a car wash? etc.

Cost $500 a meter paid by the owner of the residence over one year, half our taxpayers are seniors, administration as already proposed to increase utility bills. Now seniors are going to have to pay an additional $80 on every utility bill that's tough on a fixed income.

There is no question that we use a lot of water in the Pass, three times the provincial average.
Something as to be done from a conservation point of view, but I believe that by the time this issue makes it through the local coffee shops it will become too hot of a political potato and probably put aside for future review.

3. Spring cleanup, I read with much interest Councilor Saindon's comments on this issue, from what I have seen over the last six years, he is right this is the kind of luxury service this community can not afford. What will be interesting is to see where the rest of council stands on this issue, especially Councilor Mitchell every time this debate came up in the last three years he supported our former Mayor in maintaining this service, in fact if my memory is serving me well he even supported maintaining two cleanups. (Spring and Fall).

Three things that I hope are considered during the debate on the cleanup, Public Works are requesting an additional 1.5 positions in the workforce. If you took the man hours that are used on cleanup it would come to more than those 1.5 positions even in the most efficient years.
Second in the last six years on I was on council I would estimate that well in excess of a million dollars as been spent on cleanups, money that should have been used to buy new equipment that administration is now recommending that the municipality go $550,000 in debt for.
Third how many other jobs were put aside while our public works crew was busy on cleanup, and how much overtime was incurred to get those jobs completed in a timely fashion.

Anyway I think budget will spur some lively debate, lets keep in mind these are only the tip of the iceberg.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Update more info on Bridgecreek

This information comes from the site provided by from one of my commentors below.

Q & A
CV in Distress

Crowsnest Creek
This site is for information of investors in the Bridge Creek Mortgage Bond I and II. The site was established at the request of investors. The information on this page is password protected documents. The protected area is available only to investors who have registered via the registration form and contribution to the costs paid. You can register through the pages Log .
You can add the information on this website are no rights. Although we do our best information is accurate and complete representation, we can for the contents of the site is not responsible. If you have questions that can be directed to The questions will be answered as far as possible, combined on the page FAQ.

Only the last four news items below. Older posts can be found on the page Documents .
Bradley Becker and personal bankruptcy
Messrs. Bradley and Becker are reportedly at his own request, one week ago to personally bankrupt . We have contacted the administrator, but it has never delivered. This means that personal injury claims against the two men probably nothing will run.
It is unlikely that the receiver can mean a lot to the bondholders. For example, he will not actively engaged in the management of the River Run / Bridge Creek companies or the project itself.
It may be possible that Jon Mintoft as CEO of River Run through the receiver to have more information than hitherto on the Bradley and Becker did. This will hopefully facilitate the project to restart.

Website partly auctions
It appears that shielded files on the documents page in the Bridge Creek site were accessible through a cumbersome way. We then screened all the documents removed. Is now working for a better and safer solution. It is expected that by the end of this year ready.
Because this is too long is also working on a temporary interim solution. Hopefully that will soon be ready, so we all connected bondholders back safely to inform.

Meeting of bondholders
On October 12 a meeting will be held as of the bondholders, who joined the initiative have joined CVinNood. All bondholders received message, but only those who have registered and have paid, to attend the meeting. You can register on our site or page Join or this PDF Registration Form .

Dismissal Bradley and Zinner!
Bill Bradley and Gabor Zinner take effect immediately resigned as a director of Bridge Creek Corporation. The ownership of the land will be the order of a court in that company are located. An outsider is appointed to sort things out.
We will of course liaise with the new management. It is good news that are probably in a constructive manner and based on real data about the project can be provided. Also it probably had a better answer to the question where the money of investors remained.

The only problem with this is it only speaks to the personnel bankruptcy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Crowsnest Pass Council Highlights for December 21.

Crowsnest Council meeting Dec 21, 2010

Call to Order 7pm

Public Hearing None

Adoption of Agenda
Councilor Mitchell moved item #3 under other business to In Camera plus added one other personnel item to In camera
Councilor Gallant added to other business item #9 Affordable Housing Committee
Motion to accept the agenda as presented passed unanimously.

Adoption of previous minutes
1. Motion to accept Dec 7, 2010 Council with Larry Mitchell being added to attendance at the AAMDC convention in March (Missed in previous minutes) passed unanimously.

2. Minutes of Special Budget Meeting Dec 13, 2010 were not dealt with.

Delegations None

Administration and Agency Reports.
Sergeant Scott Howard from the RCMP presented his quarterly report, which includes detachment activity for the months of June, July, and August.

Business arising from the minutes
1. Draft advertising Policy
After much debate, it was decided to table this policy until January, but to commence advertising in both papers as of January 1st. Motion passed unanimously.

1. From Hector Goudreau-Regarding property legislation.
Motion that a letter be written thanking the minister for the information, also requesting that any further information coming from this legislation is shared with the municipality. Passed unanimously

Committee Reports
1. FCSS Minutes for October 27, 2010 passed unanimously

Bylaws None

Notices of Motion
Mayor Decoux informed council that he will be bringing forward a Motion in January to create a permanent Policy Committee that will be made up of himself, the CAO and the legislative Secretary. In addition members of the public or municipal departments will be included as deemed necessary.

Other Business
1. Adoption of 2011 Interim Budget
Motion was made to adopt one of three options presented by administration council attempted to move option 2 which would have accepted the budget as presented by administration with the issues of new hiring and water meters put on hold until council received further information. This option was defeated then a second motion came forth to carry on with 2010’s budget as an interim until council as the opportunity to pass a new budget. The second motion passed unanimously.

2. Contract Extension with Enmax, this will not be ready until the end of April will be brought back to council at that point

3. Subdivision Development authority Board appointment. Surprisingly this was moved to In camera, usually and according to the MGA only issues regarding Land, Legal, or Labour, go In Camera.

4. Subdivision Development Appeal Board Appointment. Motion was made to appoint Rupert Hewison to the board, passed unanimously.

5. Appointment to the Municipal Heritage Board. Under the terms of reference of this board a member of council sits on the board to represent the SDA board, a motion was made to appoint Councilor Mitchell to this board, which passed unanimously

6.Request to lease Municipal Lands for Parking. This was regarding Mohawk Excavating application to lease the MDM lands for another year to park their equipment on. Councilor Gallant excused himself due to a conflict of interest. Councilor Gail made a motion to have administration attempt to find a site in the Frank Industrial park that could be fenced, lighten, and power supplied for commercial equipment to park on. This motion was defeated by a tie vote.
A motion was then made to deny the applicants request, this was passed unanimously.

7. Business Appreciation Certificate, Motion was made to accept Councilor Gallants recommendation passed unanimously.

8. Oldman Watershed Council support request. Motion was made to support this group to the tune of $1724 per year (30 cents per capita) passed unanimously. Second motion made to send Councilor Saje to the AGM of this particular group. Motion passed unanimously
Pending Coferences. Motion was made to send Mayor Decoux, Councilors Mitchell, Gail, and the CAO to the AAMDC in Edmonton March 21-23. In addition Mayor Decoux and Councilor Saje to the FCM in Halifax June 2-6. Motion was passed with Councilor Saindon opposed.

9. Affordable Housing Committee. Councilor Gallant requested that all information regarding this committee be brought forth to council at the G+P meeting on Jan 11,2011.

Council Member reports
Comments revolved around the following issues: Municipal Heritage board not meeting since April. York Creek Lodge expansions and renovations, in addition the municipality will be required to provide land for the future expansion.

Public Input None

In Camera- One personnel issue, and the SDA board appointment

Business Out of Camera

Motion by Councilor Mitchell to reject the recommendations of the SDA board for appointments due to it being made prior to the closing deadline for board applicants.
Motion passed unanimously.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Inflation rate for Alberta

Interesting information today from the Canadian Government on the rate of inflation for November Alberta is down to 0.1%
That bodes well for the residential taxpayer that is anticipating tax increases to keep in line with the rate of inflation.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Surprise Surprise Development in the Crowsnest Pass

I use the word surprise for two reasons:

First of all Bridgecreek is going (gone into) receivership according to a very good source "The Pass Herald" see their front page story this week at the address below.

Second the article in the Herald states that former Councilors Ward, Cole, Salus, and Macleod made the right decisions regarding the municipalities involvement with this group. WOW

Does anybody know anything about this new CEO Jon Mintoft?

More to follow on this story

Friday, December 17, 2010

Crowsnest Pass G + P meeting Dec 14, 2010

Governance and Priorities Committee Meeting Dec 14, 2010

Call to order @ 7:10pm

Adoption of agenda
Councilor Mitchell added two items under Topics for Discussion
#4 Absenteeism on Committees of members at large
#5 Municipal Liability Insurance for Councilors traveling out of town

Motion to accept amended agenda accepted Unanimously


1. Allied Arts Overview
Good presentation by Jean Bailey on behalf of our Art Gallery in Frank, everybody should check this out, a lot of rural communities do not have this luxury.

2. Lethbridge College Overview
Kathy Brown gave a short presentation on what the College is doing at the MDM, the types of courses they have to offer, and how happy they are with their new location

3. Mohawk Excavating
Bill Ogertschnig owner of Mohawk Excavating leased a piece of land from the municipality on the MDM property to park his equipment on. The lease was only for one year, he requested that council renew the agreement for one more year. One neighbor spoke in opposition to this, feeling that this was not an area to park industrial equipment.

Topics for Discussion:

Business Appreciation Certificate
Councilor Gallant raised the issue of giving businesses a Appreciation Certificate that do upgrades to their present properties, Administration did not feel this would creat a substantial work load increase so the Committee accept the motion to recommend this to council Unanimously.

Stake out Policy
Administration recommended that this come back to council when the revisions to the land use bylaw are brought back to council at a later date. Accepted Unanimously

Pending Conferences-2011
Determined that Mayor Decoux, Councilors Mitchell and Gail would attend the AAMDC Convention in Edmonton March 21-23 2011
Mayor Decoux and Councilor Saje will be attending the FCM Convention in Halifax June 2-6 2011

Absenteeism on committee’s members at large.: Councilor Mitchell raised the issue of a member on the Subdivision Board missing several meeting to go down south every winter, was asking if the municipality had a policy regarding this, Mayor Decoux requested that it be discussed further during the In Camera session.

Municipal Liability Insurance: This issue was raised by Councilor Mitchell are Councilors covered by Municipal Insurance when traveling out of town on municipal business, Administration stated that they are.

Note: Councilor Saindon was not present.

Committee went to "In Camera" after a short break.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Crowsnest Pass Proposed Budget Increases 2011

This is only proposed at this point:

Taxes 5.5%
Water + Sewer 10%
Water Meters to be placed in 560 homes a year for the next five years, to be paid for by the resident $500 to be paid over one year, $40 per month.
Debt of $540,000 to purchase a Grader and an Excavator
Almost all the new employee positions that previous council rejected are back.
Spring Clean up will be drastically reduced.
Reductions in FCSS funding for external groups

Added Dec 16th Policing costs for Rummer Runner Days weekend administration was notified by the province that this will be increasing from $10,000 to $40,000

Funding for external groups from the FCSS will drop from $100,000 to $90,000.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Budget starts In the Crowsnest Pass 2011

Monday @ the municipal office starting at 4pm.

Just a couple of what I believe to be relevant information from the election campaign now this process is beginning.

As a councilor, I will not vote for any increase to property taxes for any reason - period! It is time to take a hard look at the services we have and the way business is conducted by the municipality.

My many years of experience in operations within large corporations reveals to me that we have a huge opportunity to take these cost reductions and use them to keep our tax increases at or near 0%.

First comment there is no possibility of miss interpretation of that statement, the second comment what is near to zero?

Never Ending story-Advertising in the Crowsnest Pass

It really is a never ending story.

Some facts to think about:

Some councilors can not understand why the advertising budget dropped so drastically from 2008 to 2010.

I will answer it again and hopefully it gets through, in 2008 the municipality was paying up to $800 a page two times a week. Simply put 2 x $800 (1 page each paper) equals $1600 per week.
Thanks to a competitive tendering process 2010 $180 per page, one paper equals $180 per week.

Certainly explains to me the drop from 2008-$66111 to 2010-$8444 does it not?

Why did previous council not focus on radio? first of all we only have one local radio station if we were going to allow non local radio stations in to the bidding process should we also have allowed the Prairie Post in to the paper process?
Second of all the advertising budget in 2008 was $87057 of that amount $13158 was radio or 15% of the overall expense. The local papers were 76% of the total cost, paper advertising took five times as much taxpayers dollars as radio.

Several members of council talk about enhancing the flow of communications to the public!
That's nonsense anybody that's looking for announcements on bylaws, public hearing etc will check the municipal web site or the paper that has the contract for the year, or contact the office.

In the last year and a half the number of complaints the municipality, or council received about having difficulties finding out municipal information due to the fact that it was only advertised in one paper? Zero

Council members this week spoke about other ways of getting out information to the public, Facebook, Twitter, Municipal web site, etc. (Maybe the taxpayers would be glad to advertise on blogs?)
Silly question, if these suggestions work, would it not make even less sense to advertise in both papers?

You can make all the arguments you want but this advertising in both papers as been done for one reason and one reason only, because some people are feared by the flack previous councilors took in the local media over the last couple of years.

Interesting to hear one of the councilors refer to how he heard at the convention, the importance of maintaining good relationships with the local media.

Dec 7th they did.

At least thats the way I see it!

Crowsnest Pass Council Highlights for December 7.

Council Meeting of December 7, 2010

Public Hearings

Bylaw 810 (Passburg) Rezoning to Group Country Residential.
Nobody spoke for or against

Bylaw 811 and 812 (Frank) Road Closure.
Nobody spoke for or against

Bylaw 813 (Passburg) Road Closure
Nobody spoke for or against

Adoption of agenda: No additions Motion passed unanimously

Adoption of previous minutes: One slight amendment Motion passed unanimously

Business arising from the minutes:
Advertising Review-Advertising to stay with the Promoter until year end then will be advertised in both papers, to be administrated by administration according to a new Policy on advertising to be brought back to the next council meeting.
Motion to accept passed unanimously

1. Letter from Hector Goudreau regarding MSI Communications activities
2. Municipal Planning Orientation- to be provided by ORRSC on Jan 13 in Cowley
3. Pass Powderkeg Operating Grant-$12,000 from Alberta Lotteries, Motion to send to letter of thanks passed Unanimously

Committee Report

G + P Meeting Minutes from November 9 Motion to accept Passed Unanimously with one minor wording change.

Bylaw 810 (Rezoning Passburg) Passed 2nd reading Unanimously Passed 3rd Reading Unanimously
Bylaw 811 (Road Closure Frank) Passed 1st reading Unanimously
Bylaw 812 (Road Closure Frank) Passed 1st reading Unanimously
Bylaw 813 (Road Closure Passburg) Passed 1st reading Unanimously
Bylaw 814 (Land Use Bylaw Amendment) Passed 1st reading Unanimously
Bylaw 815 (Short term Borrowing, New Snow Groomer for the Ski Hill $180,000) Passed 1st reading Unanimously, Passed 2nd reading Unanimously, Passed Consideration for third reading Unanimously, Passed 3rd reading Unanimously

Notice of Motion: Mayor Decoux changed this to a motion, that administration goes back over the last six years of council minutes to determine which council resolutions were never implemented. Motion to accept passed Unanimously

Other Business

1. Financial Statement presented to council Motion to accept passed Unanimously
2. Business Appreciation Certificate Motion to defer to G + P meeting passed Unanimously
3. Subdivision and Development Appeal Board Appointment, Motion to accept Rupert Hewison passed Unanimously
4. Special Budget Meeting Dates, Monday Dec 13 @ 4pm and Tuesday Dec 14 @ 3:30pm Motion to accept passed Unanimously
5. Cancellation of the G+P meeting for Dec 28th Motion to accept passed Unanimously
6. Council Retreat Meeting date set for Jan 6, 2010

Council Member Reports
Council members spoke about their experiences at the AUMA and AAMDC conventions.
Several comments that jumped out were:
Establishing good relations with local media.
The possibility of the Municipality selling its “Carbon credits to create a new revenue stream”
Reference to Premier Stelmach’s less than optimistic comments regarding the availability of provincial funding over the next few years.

Public Input: None

Incamera: (Personnel Issue)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Crowsnest Pass, Investors in Bridgecreek, Good News

Here's your chance folks, all of those people that have had so much to say about Bridgecreek, River's Run, Trouts Landing over the last number of years.

Somebody is looking at doing a big story on this, it will not happen unless people step forward, want to be anonymous that's fine. Call the following number 403-563-0425 if you have information, step forward now is not the time to go quiet.

We all know there were people around here that were on the inside of this thing maybe now is the time they will step forward and do the "honest" thing.

On the good news side I was reading Brian Gallants blog available at

Paying special attention to his comments regarding the AUMA convention:

"All I can say so far is “wow”! I am having a great experience at the AUMA convention. Beyond the educational component we are all making great connections and contacts. Here are just a few of the highlights for me."

"We had the opportunity to talk with the Minister of Transportation regarding the ongoing issues with Hwy 3. He did not have much time as every MLA had 100 people trying to get their ear but he did say that he understands our challenges as a community. He wants to meet with us in the near future."

" I made a number of contacts from a variety of industries. One of our education sessions talked about a potential revenue steam and one particular company is perfectly situated to help us make it happen. A win-win arrangement and I am keen to know more. More to come once I have the details. I have a pile of brochures to deliver to our administration. There are people out there who can help us save some money. "

I felt the same way at my first AUMA convention, but after a couple I started feeling like they were a waste of the taxpayers money. Its true when an MLA or Minister comes out on the floor they are swarmed by many different people looking for something. Have a discussion today with a hundred different people and see how many you remember tomorrow.

The highway 3 situation, over the last six years if they had paved one foot of highway for ever meeting we had the road would have been done by now.
Anyway not that long ago we met with Darryl Camplin and another senior manager from Alberta Transport, they committed to putting traffic lights at the turn off into Blairmore by Tim Hortons, and at the Highway 40 turn off in Coleman in 2011.
In 2012 they were going to deal with Intersection in Frank by the Industrial park and the Intersection by the Volker Stevin shop in West Coleman.
Both of these projects were subject to dollars coming forth from the province at the time we last met with them there was no money approved.

On the new contacts with industries and generation of new revenue streams, I and a lot of other residents are looking forward with great anticipation to new industry coming into town, and anything that will lessen the burden on the residential taxpayer.