Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Torch is passed to the "Dream Team"

Mayor’s Final Task Force Report June 20 2011.

Well last night I attended the presentation of the Mayor’s Final Task Report, the task force and council was all there with by my estimation 150-200 local residents.

The Mayor gleefully informed us at the beginning that his council was now known as the “Dream Team”. I love dreams the only down side is when you are just really getting to enjoy one, you wake up and realize it was just a dream and now you have to deal with reality.

The Mayor put a lot of emphasis on the Task Forces member’s great wealth of expertise (no argument) and their many connections to the Crowsnest Pass. I think some how trying to distant the initial public reaction to the fact that there was no “locals” named to the team, but any way the report is here now and needs to be addressed.

Did I hear anything really new? No. I have always taken the position that there are many good ideas here in the Crowsnest Pass, the issue then, now and in to the future. Is embracing the ideas, implementing them and eventually the most important part of the equation paying for them.

Therefore, what did I hear from the report:

1. One unified community,

2. One Crowsnest Pass Fire and Rescue Department with one chief and multiple substations, one library system with multiple branches.

3. Hiring an Economic Development Officer

4. Clarity on the timing and route for the Highway 3 realignment

5. Establish a Community Economic Development Advisory Committee

6. “Crowsnest: Mountain Freedom” branding and put in place gateway signage

7. Establish a grant and funding process to support specific economic development projects

8. Full time Tourism Coordinator Position

9. Implementation of a Tourism levy as part of the hotel rate structure as well as a 1 cent/litre gas tax to fund tourism/community marketing.

10. Review and re-develop Rum Runner Days/Thunder in the Valley, establish a community committee to run this weekend, and develop a financial model that is transparent regarding sources and uses of funds and results in profits to the Municipality, local businesses and the event.

11. Seek investment or partner to add chair lift to the Pass Powderkeg Ski hill.

12. Work with historical partners to expand the Crowsnest Museum

13. Demolish and remediate the former Crowsnest Centre site and issue an RFP to developers for proposals to redevelop the site.

14. Investigate opportunities to re-appropriate the Bridgegate River Run property.

15. Work on a Centre for excellence in Field Studies

16. Develop strategy to attract new development.

17. Develop and maintain relationships with major employers.

18. Build community pride to increase support for local business

19. Explore feasibility of a regional Truck stop/Bulk Fuel/Tire Sales along Highway 3

20. Enhanced services and activities for retirees and seniors

21. Enhance amenities for families, community recreation centre

I have not listed all the recommendations, a lot of them are similar these are the ones that jumped out at me. The tricky part as I stated previously is going to be the implementation and paying for these great ideas. To that end the Mayor informed us that Council will be coming back to the public in early fall with a strategic plan.

How do we the public measure the success of this report? A couple of ways, 29 recommendations, 15 of them have a timeline of this year attached to them. Budget 2012 will be here before you know it.

Note: Just received a call mentioning to me that at this time we all need to keep in mind that these are the recommendations of the Task Force, Council does not have to accept them all, or any for that matter. Right now this is one of those famous political trial balloons so for my readers if you wish to influence where this report or any of its suggestions go. You need to speak to your members of council.

Randy thanks for the call, your right. 


Anonymous said...

I sent this to Brian Gallants blog today:

If council and the CAO are planning to “re-appropriate” (re-claim) the river run land, they had better be prepared to reach deep inside the municipality coffers. Alot of investors lost their futures, retirement, homes, etc in this fiasco and financial crime. I’m sure they will not give the land back freely. Please do not re-victimize these people by taking what they have left away from them without paying them out.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment point #2 one library system with mulitple branches.
Do they plan on opening another branch?

Anonymous said...

I like the last one, build a rec centre at no cost to the taxpayer.I think we should build 3.LOL.

Anonymous said...

I loved the idea of getting rid of the towns and becoming "Crowsnest Pass".

Anonymous said...

The time for status quo or doing nothing is over.

Council and the community should get on the same page and get committed to these action plans.

Time to look to the future.

Anonymous said...

Now I understand why Decoux used an outside group to make these recommendations. Lots of these ideas were raised by previous councils. The self interest groups went wild when these ideas were suggested by last council. Now because they are brought forth by a wise group of outsiders. They are real steps to move our community forward. LOL
Case in point the Crowsnest Centre.

Anonymous said...

I just had the pleasure of reading this on Councillors Gallants blog.

"The community needs to get involved, to be positive, and stand behind the work that needs to be done. It is really easy to bicker in coffee shops about why things won’t work, to write damning letters to the editor, and to spread ill-will and innuendo on blogs. Although satisfying to some, it does absolutely nothing to build a community. If you want to build a community, you need to get out there, get behind something, and stand for positive change".

Somethings never change in the Crowsnest Pass, is Mr Gallant suggesting that one is not allowed to have a different opinion. That some how we should not have the right to free speech, or the right to disagree. If I want to write a letter to the editior by God is that not my right. Or should council "censor" anything they would perceive to be negative?
Do not, ask questions big brother is looking after you.


Anonymous said...

Who the hell does Mr Gallant think he is.

Anonymous said...

something old, something new. as noted a lot of this has been brought forward by previous councils and did not elicit enough community support to make things happen.

It takes expert advice to bring these shortcomings to the electors attention.

(Expert: someone for out of town)

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that Mr. Gallant is absolutely right.

Now is the time for this community to move forward and showcase all the positive things about this place we call home.

If the population here continues to dwindle, taxes will be going up just to maintain the services we have now, let alone any improvements.

Anonymous said...

Great expectations have been created. Now lets fill them without taxing us to death.

Does anybody have any idea what all of this will cost.

Anonymous said...

Every one of these issues was raised previously.
What makes anybody think they will go any where this time??????

Anonymous said...

maybe all the naysayers need to see the numbers.

ISS School

decline of 27 students next school year

decrease in funding of $318,688.80

projected enrollment numbers show that this is not a one-year drop

source: ISS school website, parent council meeting April 18,2011

anyone think something needs to be done to attract families to our community?

Anonymous said...

on a positive note

the Crowsnest Community Trail signs are being installed.

They look great.

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

4:33 I don't think anybody questions the numbers now!
I sat on council for two terms warning about the reality of these numbers. I was told again and again that I was fear mongering. I remember having the debate about two arena's and being told that the numbers were going to turn around at any time, six years ago.

I agreed with a lot of the recommendations here, the issues which already as been stated by previous commenters is where will the money come from? will the taxpayers pay more? High Property taxes versus the Elk valley communties? what about the seniors? when will all this "Grant" money be found? Gas tax? tourism tax? what about the various special interest groups? there will be some intense lobbying? which recommendations will council accept?

Look at the crap this community went through to get rid of an old hospital that was half full, of people and mold?

I have stated again and again there are lots of good ideas just figure out how to pay for them.

Maybe the excess dollars that council put into reserves this year could pay for some of this stuff?

$100,000 this year you will be lucky to get a "good" EDO for that price.

peter rosner said...

Just wondering did the task force suggest anything on the need for public transit or bussing for the community Pete

Anonymous said...

Good luck you people down there in the Pass will be so over taxed nobody but weekenders will be able to afford to live there.

Anonymous said...

Paying for all this stuff is easy. They have 2.5 years before the next election who will remember the tax increases????

Where are they going to put all these people I thought the office was full????

Anonymous said...

Just in advance I want to thank everybody for the affordable transportation and Indoor swimming pool. For all you people that slammed me before I don't give a dam if my rent goes up $20 a month so what.
Here looking forward to great things in 2012.


Anonymous said...

I am no accountant but I just finished reading the Municipal financial statement on their web site. It does not show alot of extra money kicking around.
Plus I noticed the Muni spent almost $5 million on wages last year, now you say there is five more jobs on top of that.

How can they do all these new things?

Anonymous said...

Dean there really is plenty of great stuff in this report. We also live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Don't we just need to get this community discovered by the rest of the world?


Anonymous said...

Denise, Sorry there will be no affordable transportation.This was not even mentioned in the report.Rental properties usually go up by the 50s.

Anonymous said...

Good Article

Anonymous said...

They can not even afford to keep a library open, Then they can not even decide if it should be closed or not.

Wait until they have to make tough decisions

Anonymous said...

I thought Mr.Tully was leaving June 15. If you call the municipality and ask for the CAO they put you through and you get Mr Tully's voice mail....maybe they should change it???

Dawn said...

Nothing to do with your post but I thought you might be able to help spread the word.



Anonymous said...

At the election forum Decoux stated that he would strike up the Task Force immediatly after his election which would then report within ninty days. No names until what February.

June 20 we finally get the report nothing new just a bunch of ideas that have floated around here publically or in other various studies for years.

Yes the report was put together nicely would you expect any less from the group of people he had mustered for this exercise in telling the public everything they want to hear.

Now around town its like two months before Christmas all the kids are excited because they have been to the mall. Spoke to the real Santa who tells them that they will get everything they want this year.

Christmas morning rolls around the kids are so disappointed Santa did not discuss with the parents how much "money" they had for Christmas, so he came up a little short.

In a moment of quilt he tells the children not to worry Santa will put together a plan to get the money so the kids can have everything they want for next year.

Mom and Dad wink at Santa knowing full well they do not have the money but maybe, just maybe the great provider in Edmonton will disregard all those other kids (municipalities). So extra Christmas money can go to the Pass.

Please do not lead the people to think that they are going to live a life of luxury, when this town can not even afford to run a small librart in Bellevue.


Anonymous said...

Sorry for sounding negative, but do they really think implementing a tourism levy (tax) is going to help attract tourists? Would residents be exempt from paying this tax on fuel. I realize 1 cent/litre isn't much, but that's not the point I'm trying to make. I suspect many would not be happy about this and would gas up in Pincher, once they are finished their shopping.

Anonymous said...

We already pay a tourism tax 4%.
Straight to the Alberta Govt.


Anonymous said...

Isn't the 4% paid to Travel Alberta which in turn is used to promote and market the province?

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

Speaking to a local gas station owner today, asked him what he thought about the report.
Thirty minutes later when he had finished sharing with me his real feeling about what a major truck stop on Highway 3 would do for his life time investment.
On the bright side we had a brief chat about the weather.