Friday, December 28, 2012

Have you had enough BS in 2012? The year of taking it with a grain of salt

Do you remember the Mayor’s Town hall meeting of June 23 the now infamous “Beef on a bun with lots of salt meeting” we had lights, we had cameras, we had action (RCMP earned their keep that night).
We had hoopla, like a carefully choreographed dance recital each councilor had a turn to stand up and recite from his particular part of the script. Remember Councilor Gallant clarifying the “silly” rumors one that pops to mind quickly was the gopher hunters. Remember Councilor Saindon justifying all the use of consultants to replace all our absence administrators. Let your memory wander back to all those senior managers fleeing our community to get married, or for the greener pastures of California and Fernie.
Then we had the main character in this theatrical production take over for the second half, we heard about the importance of putting together an Economic Development committee, about how the frozen situation at River Run is beginning to thaw, how he is going after our rich neighbors to the north to solve our financial woes. Then we reached the climax of this play the Crowsnest Centre site, the beautiful picture of what a hotel “could” look like. The building gone before first snowfall, the developer starting the hotel by spring I was so excited by the time I left, I treated the wife to a coffee at Timmy’s.

The BS was really served up in 2012 let us review a few of the yarns that have been spun in the last year:
1. As previously, mentioned the old hospital gone before first snowfall?
2. The hotel starting in Spring? Not without #1 happening very fast, I have heard just two more weeks and the deal will be in place at least a half dozen times?
3. The Quebec manufacturer I hope they are collecting air miles for all their trips out west?
4. MD of Ranchlands surprisingly it was never mentioned in previous discussions that it would take a minimum of 18 months to deal with this issue starting in spring?
5. Heavy Industry looking at the Pass in the first quarter of 2013, 700 jobs wow?
6. River Run, that’s going to be tied up in the legal process for years?
7. $1.5 million set aside for recreational purposes we now find out that it is waiting for the same recreational feasibility study that was discussed two years ago.
8. Then we have the Economic Development committee that was so important just a few months back, and yes I remember the Mayor stating at a council meeting that the Development Officer will be in place by Christmas. Now I read that this is being pushed back to at the earliest “May” this council will have four months left? What if the next council chooses to go in a different direction?

I understand has a politician you have to sell hope, but when you create expectations especially with timelines you better be prepared to meet them.    
Looking forward to 2013 let us hope all of the things listed above become real, and please stop trying to satisfy our appetite with so much salt.   

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Manager of Corporate services ? and a few other issues

Hopefully everybody had a good Christmas.

This morning I noticed on the Municipal Web site under the employment section the Manager of Corporate Services position is no longer listed.

In my mind this could mean one of two things either the position has been filled, or the ghost of fiscal sanity  visited council and administration Christmas Eve and showed them a glimpse of the future. Which led to a stalling of the drive to fill every vacant office in the municipality with an administrator.

If the position has been filled then contrary to what any politician claims we will have the largest bureaucracy in the thirty three year history of the Crowsnest Pass.
(CAO, Directory of Finance and Corporate Services, Director of Community and Protective Services, Director of Engineering, Planning and Public Works, Manager of Public Works, Manager of Corporate Services, Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief). Now repeat all of that without making a mistake.


Attended a Budget meeting just prior to Christmas, couple of issues of note interesting to hear that the money for the demolition of the Centre is still there for next year despite everybody brimming with confidence that the developer will be tearing the building down at their cost. Also that $1.5 million dollars has been set aside for recreational purposes (very general statement) no specific place for this cash it will have to wait for the out come of a recreational feasibility study. With less than ten months left in this council's term they better get that consultant in quickly to do this study or is this funding being directed towards this council's second term?  

Friday, December 21, 2012

For those that Can't wait. Mayor's Newsletter #67

 NEWSLETTER # 67    December 18th, 2012
At the time of this writing we are enjoying a warm December with little snow, however this is not deterring my neighbour who is in his backyard preparing his snowmobile.  Those who ski are readying their equipment and I see our people are on the hill making snow.
November has been an exciting month for several reasons.  The “petition” has been delivered and was deemed sufficient.  The Minister has forwarded a letter indicating a consultant or person from the Ministry will conduct an inspection “to support the role of the Council and Administration in providing local government services in the community” and this is fine- your Council welcomes it, and will seriously consider any recommendations made and stringently follow any directives given.  Democracy can be messy, which is a good thing.  We want our community engaged in the decisions we make.  Sometimes good leadership means making tough decisions that may make people unhappy and I appreciate that.  Clearly, we must work harder in the community to communicate the rationale behind the decisions we make.  We all want the same thing: a vibrant and prosperous Crowsnest Pass.  Council and Administration are determined to deliver on that work.  Some communication Initiatives that have been undertaken thus far are:
•                  After the election, I extended an invitation to the media to interview me after every Council Meeting.
•                  Recently we have given the media an opportunity, before the conclusion of the Council Meetings, to ask questions.
•                  Two of our Councillors provide personal blogs.
•                  We have ensured that Council minutes are placed on the Municipal Website at noon the following day.
•                  Council has instituted ongoing Town Hall Meetings.
•                  Our website is consistently being improved with a  major upgrade coming in the New Year.
•                  A Facebook page has been implemented.
•                  We have instituted a short five minute radio spot every Monday morning after the 8:30am news where I keep listeners updated on our current affairs.
•                  We have worked very hard to provide this newsletter in which I have the privilege of conveying on an informal basis “what’s going on” in local government and your community.
•                  I am always available for ongoing interviews with individual citizens and the media, as are our Councillors. 
Further, we have noted the growing popularity of ‘Shootin’ the Breeze’ and recently, the ‘Fernie Free Press,’ both of which are available in many local outlets free of charge.  The Voice, a web- based newspaper is also available, and in the future we will be considering these media in order to improve our communication.   On that note, I will be bringing up the notion that we need to televise our meetings locally so people can see “first hand” what actually occurs at a Council Meetings.   This could be done at very little cost and be of great benefit to our seniors and anyone who can’t make it to the meetings.  This broadcast could be streamed or replayed by those who wished to view the meeting later, I brought this up twice in the past two years; I am beginning to believe perhaps, our Councillors are just too bashful. 
Moving on from Communication, the manufacturing people flew out again, visited the site, took notes and left.  They did mention that it was their first experience where the CAO of a community asked them what “we” could do to help them, and they did thank him for his assistance.  We will wait (impatiently) until they decide, and if it falls apart, we will at least know we did everything possible.
The hotel/restaurant/truck stop legalities have made significant progress and are drawing to a close and we are planning a public session in February.  Initially it was predicted that they would not begin demolition until next spring but apparently they are planning to start much earlier.  I am told they are close to selecting a “flag” hotel chain. 
Last month I commented that a heavy industry has met with the CAO and I over the past several months  and they planned to make an official announcement towards the end of the 1st quarter or the beginning of the second quarter in the New Year.   It has now been moved up to January. 
The people from Quebec, the hotel developers and the representatives of the heavy industry have all noted the ratepayers petition and the resulting inspection.  I hope the inspection occurs as soon as possible to prevent any reactive concerns from developing on the part of these businesses.   
When one door closes, another one opens or so the saying goes.  Last spring when Devon announced it was leaving I began to think about the best possible use of that land and the surrounding area for our benefit.  At our last GPC Meeting I presented an idea for that land.  Our local media accurately reported on this presentation in more detail than I can cover here so if you’re interested please do pick up a copy.  In a nutshell, I indicated we need to acquire that entire land area from Devon regardless.  A portion of it could be utilized for recreation programs on an ongoing basis, perhaps year round.  I spoke of a summer music jamboree, rodeo, enduro race, shrine circus, mud bog, monster truck, a staging area for quads, a place for staging poker runs for snowmobiles and snowmobile drag races on the old airport in conjunction with a winter carnival and many other activities.  I see the area as a natural stadium where we could stage activities that Banff, Jasper and Waterton cannot.  This would of course be a Crowsnest Pass project that might take as long as a decade to accomplish adding a little more each year.  Such attractions could be coordinated to occur at the same time as local festivals thus bringing people to all communities.  I have done some research on this and professionals in the entertainment field that I spoke with indicated that this concept/project has the potential of becoming a “major Southern Alberta Attraction.”  We had invited them  to speak to us at the GPC Meeting regarding a jamboree next summer on some land in Bellevue as Devon would not be available for at least two years.  However that group, this past week determined that due to the ratepayers petition and the resulting inspection that they would decline meeting with us until the situation is clarified.  Depending on the date of the inspection, possibly three to four months away, and a final report,  I suspect we will be putting this major activity “on the shelf”. 
In closing, I will note that as your Council we have had to undertake some serious planning.  In following these plans we have had to make some difficult and unpleasant decisions for the long term benefit of our community and its citizens.  The “heavy lifting” is almost done and beginning next year we will begin to see the positive results of that planning and those decisions. 
Merry Christmas from myself and your Council.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas comes early.......Crowsnest Pass

Well just seven days before Christmas and we are all blessed with the best gift of all Newsletter #67 (has it been that many already) and my personal highlight “The Mayor’s Corner”.  Well here is my interpretation of what jolly old Saint Bruce has to say.

“Sometimes good leadership means making tough decisions that may make people unhappy and I appreciate that.  Clearly, we must work harder in the community to communicate the rationale behind the decisions we make.  We all want the same thing: a vibrant and prosperous Crowsnest Pass.

Well maybe they finally are getting the message that people are unhappy, working harder to communicate I have said it before they have done a better job of communicating than any previous council. Maybe it’s what you are saying not the fact that you are saying it.

“Further, we have noted the growing popularity of ‘Shootin’ the Breeze’ and recently, the ‘Fernie Free Press,’ both of which are available in many local outlets free of charge.  The Voice, a web- based newspaper is also available, and in the future we will be considering these media in order to improve our communication”

So does this mean they will continue to communicate in the present local papers, or is this the year end message that Randy, Lindsay and Joni keep reporting the news "accuratly". We do have alternatives.

“The people from Quebec, the hotel developers and the representatives of the heavy industry have all noted the ratepayers petition and the resulting inspection.  I hope the inspection occurs as soon as possible to prevent any reactive concerns from developing on the part of these businesses.”

Sounds like the laying of the groundwork to place the blame just in case things do not work out in any of these area’s, I guess a politically shrewd move.

However that group, this past week determined that due to the ratepayers petition and the resulting inspection that they would decline meeting with us until the situation is clarified.  Depending on the date of the inspection, possibly three to four months away, and a final report,  I suspect we will be putting this major activity “on the shelf”

Why the hell would a municipal affairs petition have any bearing on a “jamboree” being held in Bellevue this summer. Will everything that does or does not happen now in the Crowsnest Pass be blamed on the petition and the ratepayers?

“In closing, I will note that as your Council we have had to undertake some serious planning.  In following these plans we have had to make some difficult and unpleasant decisions for the long term benefit of our community and its citizens.  The “heavy lifting” is almost done and beginning next year we will begin to see the positive results of that planning and those decisions”

So we have got all the really crappy stuff out of the way, now all the good things are going to happen just coincidently in an election year. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Spoon fed the truth for Christmass….. Hallelujah

Available on Brian Gallant’s blog in response to Peter Rosners comments it looks like we are getting spoon fed the “truth” for Christmas. Available at the following address:

I would like to address Councillor Gallants comments, first impression for anybody that did not know better would be that everything is good in our little community:

  1. He addresses the volunteer boards issue, looking from the outside I would have the impression that everything with volunteer boards is good. Did it not take six months of advertising to fill all the boards and committee’s if they are indeed filled. Question for my readers does anybody think council would have backed down on the Pool authority prior to the petition, the authority had two letters from administration telling them they were done. Did council not know? Is this one of those cases of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing?
  2. He appears to place all the blame on the firemen because they walked out. What did he and the rest of council expect? What would happen at the mine if a Union President was fired on the spot. No suspension pending investigation, no external review by an independent agency.   
  3. Peace Officers have given almost no tickets for bylaw infractions (10 in the past six months) despite hundreds of complaints. That would lead me to believe that the community has been cleaned up? Very good. They have given a number of tickets to non-residents, so are our Peace Officers treating residents different to non-residents? I can speed on 20th avenue but not my friend from Sparwood can’t.. This will work well for community branding “Crowsnest Pass Alberta’s best kept secret home of a little piece of paradise and the non-resident speed trap”.   
  4. He speaks to Peter’s comments on the Municipal Inspection, still does not get it 2500 taxpayers are not happy, with the exception of the hundreds upon hundreds that were bullied and intimidated to sign.
  5. He addresses the “bureaucratic monster” has no substance. So it’s just a figment of everybody’s imagination at this point in time we really don’t have a CAO, Director of Finance and Corporate services, Director of Planning Engineering and Public Works, Director of Community Services and Protective Services, Manager of public works, Fire chief, Deputy Fire Chief, plus advertising for a Manager of Corporate Services. This is not a “bureaucratic monster” but then has councilor Mitchell very proudly stated a year ago, “The public should keep in mind that we now only have three Directors when we used to have four”.
  6. Tax increases no increase in 2011 and only 2.5% in 2012, yes Councilor Gallant puts all the blame for tax increases on the Provincial government and the seniors. Check out the mill rate bylaws in 2010 the Municipality collected $6,432,821 from the municipal taxpayers in that year. 2011 with no increase the municipality collected $123,000 more in general taxation than the previous year (0% increase maybe it was all those new houses going up, or our increased home values). In 2012 with just a 2.5% increase the municipality collected another $265,000 in additional general taxation (2.5% increase once again maybe it was all those new houses going up, or our increased home values). Lots of new homes and greatly increased property values I’m sure most home owners that are deciding to sell are doing well. Then lets not forget the additional tax increase (more commonly known as the Franchise Fee). Some will even attempt to argue that this is not a tax, 2010 it sat at $295,000 increased to $570,000 in 2012 and would have gone to $907,000 in 2013 had it not been for the uproar from the public. Instead, it will only jump to $682,000 next year being Christmas I guess we should be thankful that this little tax only jumped 231% in three years instead of the proposed 308%.
  7. Thinking about the Tax increases and the Franchise Fees I guess us Taxpayers should be thankful again, that the municipality as decided over the last two years to take less money out of our left pocket and more out of our right pocket.
  8. And now I will present the opportunity for anybody to comment on my points or to list for us all the good things that have been achieved.
  9. Being the Christmas season every time I drive by the Blairmore shop I get to say hoe, hoe hoe.       

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Community Peace Officers how the public sees it.

I received the following comment today at 10:11:

“Change of subject - I see the Peace officers wrote tickets to the tune of 13,442 in the month of November. All traffic violations. They did some bylaw work but I do not see any major clean up going on. 2 things come to mind. I think that they would have to write tickets to the tune of about 17,000/month to break even and probably even more. So I think we are losing money and not getting any major clean up done. Secondly, I think it will only get harder to continue to generate these revenues. The locals already know where the speed traps are and it is only a matter of time before almost everyone else knows too.”

This appears to be a reflection of what I am hearing around town, first unless somebody can prove otherwise I see no evidence of any major or for that matter minor clean up.

The second comment regarding revenue of $13,442 in November and the remark that it will take about $17,000 a month to break even and probably even more? It will be more much more let me throw some numbers at you.

First CP Officer Rate of pay Jan 1/2013 $31.68 per hour x 2080 hours a year (40hrs 52 wks)   $65,894.
Second Peace Officer rate of pay is not in the collective agreement but being a sergeant he is probably making at least $4 a hour more so $35.68 x 2080 hours a year $74,214.    

Wages alone come to $140,108 then factor in an additional 5% for overtime that number becomes $147,113.

Now let us talk about benefits the municipality allows 25% on top of wages to cover the cost of benefits provided to the employees in the collective agreement. $147,113 x 25% = $36,778.

Already we are at $183,899

Let’s talk about the trucks $130,000 to buy them and rig them all out if you amortize that over four years, you know by then most of the equipment they have in their trucks will need replacing at it will be obsolete. Another $32,500 a year.

Fuel they have to be spending a $1000 a month on each vehicle, $24,000 a year.

Registration/Insurance $3,000 a year.

Cell phones $200 a month $2,400 a year.

Clerical support even allowing 5 hours a week at $30 per hour $7,800 per year.

Up grading, training, certifications have to be at least $5,000 per year.    

Wages + Benefits $183,899
Trucks + up keep   $32,500
Fuel                      $24,000
Reg/Insurance        $3,000
Phones                  $2,400
Clerical support      $7,800
Training                  $5,000
Total      $258,599 divided by 12 months $21,550 per month.

I am sure I have not captured all the costs here, what will it cost to fight these tickets in court? I am sure not everybody is going to just right a check.

Then to the reader’s last comment about getting harder to generate that level of revenue, your right the locals have figured out where the speed traps are. In addition, keep in mind these Peace Officers are CUPE members which means they will be taking an average of 4 weeks off next year, which will mean less revenue again. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Deputy Fire Chief No longer a rumour?

Well its no longer just a rumour the municipality did hire a new deputy Fire Chief. The story is in today's newspaper.

For a minimum of one year and possibly two.

There goes another $100,000 a year.

Note: Check the following posts out from a while back so many people have said to me "I didn't see this coming"

Monday, December 10, 2012

They just don’t get it……… or are they?

Now both Councilors that blog have spoken plus the Mayor’s press release from last week, it appears to me that they and the rest of council are not getting the message about the petition. (See links below)

They are all welcoming Municipal Affairs, they all have nothing to hide, and the people have been misled or intimidated. I have this vision in my mind of the Mayor and Council waving their arms and telling the Minister to “bring it on”.

Personally, I do not and I think most people would agree expect Municipal Affairs to send somebody in here that is going to find massive incidents of fraud or other criminal activity.

We all know that we have had petitions in the Crowsnest Pass before; they failed for one reason or another. From the research, I have done other communities that have been involved in petitions some succeeded some failed. I cannot find one other community where such a high percentage of the population signed a petition so fast. In less than twenty days, every second voter in this community signed the petition.

Does that not say something? The message Council and administration should be getting, is that the taxpayers are not happy. Rome was not built in a day and yes people will accept “change” it always a matter of how much and how fast.

Some people say to me that this Council due to some of their member’s arrogance, naivety, or just plain state of denial will never get the taxpayers message. We should not lose sight of the fact that since the petition was presented to Municipal Affairs, the municipality has changed course on a number of issues, removing the Swimming Pool Authority, The Quint Ladder truck, Franchise Fees. What is next? May be we will all be seduced with the ultimate in vote buying a smaller tax increase.   

Weather they are getting the message or not one thing they will not be able to beat is time. All politicians find out that the same people that put them in power can remove them just has fast. Come October 22, 2013 people will analysis the results, some people will be very happy and some will claim the voters were misled, intimidated or any other excuse that makes the speaker feel better.    

Friday, December 7, 2012

Crowsnest Pass Electrical System

Basically, half the Electrical Distribution System (The lines that deliver power to homes and businesses in our Municipality) are owned by us the taxpayers of the Crowsnest Pass.
You can see which lines are owned by the Municipality on their web site at the following address the rest are owned by Fortis.

There is lots of noise being made around the Pass right now that the municipality is looking at the merits of selling the assets, who knows for sure if there is any truth to that.
However, for what its worth I am going to add my two bits, if they do sell it, they had better get some substantial dollars in return. Unbelievably the electrical system actually contributes net revenue to the municipality every year. From 2011-2014 the municipality in their own figures show a surplus of $1,752,860 from the electrical system that’s an average of $438,215 surplus to offset that lose of revenue the Municipality would have to increase taxes by minimum of 6% a year or find additional revenue sources from other areas.
The number of $10,000,000 is being floated around look at the average surplus number above $438,215 that would mean any potential buyer would not get their money back for at least 25 years. Would anybody pay that kind of money for a businesses that will take 25 years to pay for itself? I doubt it.
What does that mean in layman terms? If somebody is going to buy the system, they are not going to buy it unless they can pay for it in a maximum of 5-10 years, which based on the average projected earning means $2-4 million unless of course a potential buyer comes in with the intention of driving up those revenue numbers. (We all know what that means).
We all need to keep in mind that if our leaders are even contemplating getting rid of this asset we better be getting a lot in return. Because once it is gone the taxpayers we be expected to make up that short fall, and we will all probably be paying a little more in our power bills. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Press Release Dec 4

NEWS RELEASE | Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mayor and Council Welcome Minister’s Involvement
Provincial inspection will help to confirm practices and policies
of Crowsnest Pass government

(Crowsnest Pass, AB.) Yesterday, in a letter sent to Crowsnest Pass Mayor Bruce Decoux, Alberta’s Minister of Municipal Affairs Doug Griffiths advised that he will conduct a municipal inspection of the policies and practices of the municipality in response to a petition received by his office. According to the Minister’s letter, the objective of the inspection was “to support the role of Council and administration in providing local government services in the community.”
“We welcome Minister Griffith’s review of our community’s practices and policies and appreciate the inspection’s importance in clarifying the value of the services and decisions that we make each and every day to support Crowsnest Pass,” said Mayor Bruce Decoux. “We value the fact that the Municipal Government Act within this province allows for checks and balances in the operations of local governments so as to protect communities and individuals. Having an oversight system in place strengthens democracy and helps to build strong and vibrant communities,” said Decoux.
Mayor Decoux and Council are determined to ensure that community members feel confident in their local government and the decisions that are made on behalf of our citizens. According to the Minister’s letter, an inspector will be appointed who will have broad access to any matter connected with the management, administration or operation of the municipality. Once complete, the inspection report is generally presented in an advertised public meeting.
“Council and our administration will continue to serve in an open and transparent manner and we will continue to be accessible to the community we serve and to make decisions that will strengthen our community which we all value,” said Mayor Decoux. “We will do everything in our power to support the Ministry of Municipal Affairs as it moves forward with its inspection.”

For more information contact:
Myron Thompson, Chief Administrative Officer

Municipality of Crowsnest Pass | 403-563-2201

A victory for the taxpayers of the Crowsnest Pass, standing up and making a difference.

Finally 2500 names on a petition, taxpayers standing up all over the Crowsnest Pass is making a difference. 

One of the most controversial methods of picking the tax payers pockets next year was going to be a $336,000 increase to the amount of Franchise Fees that we the residents of the Crowsnest Pass have no choice to pay unless you can live without Gas or Power. Even when the Municipality presented their “Fact Sheet” at an approximate cost of $10,000 in the local media back in November, they had the Franchise Fees rising from 20% to 35% for gas and from 14% to 20% for power. This on top of the fact that the revenue being generated by these Franchise Fees had already jumped from $295,000 in 2010 to $570,000 in 2012, the further increases would have taken that number to $907,000 next year.

To my shock the “Facts” have changed up on opening the local paper last night, I see that the Municipality is now advertising the Franchise Fees are only increasing from 20% to 25% for gas and from 14% to 16% for power. This means instead of the Franchise Fee Revenue jumping from $295,000 in 2010 to $907,000 in 2013 it will only jump to $682,000 next year an increase of  231% in three years instead of the 308% previously proposed. I know we should not be dancing in the streets over this but it is a partial victory in that $225,000 less will be taken out of our pockets next year.

On top of that at last week’s G+P meeting the CAO clarified that there will be, has the Mayor stated in his last newsletter a $500,000 savings in the Fire Departments. This savings will come about by them not taking that money and purchasing the much-discussed Quint Ladder Truck. Now I know some people may look at this skeptically and think games are being played with numbers here, somebody said to me yesterday so if I propose to buy a $150,000 Hummer that I don’t need then I come to my senses and back off on buying it did I really save $150,000?

Two things here first of all Council/administration are going to look heroes here with the 2012 budget, $250,000 not spent on the Quint this year, $600,000 not spent on demolishing the Crowsnest Centre and all the savings they have incurred by not filling various positions in a timely fashion. (We will talk about this more in a future post)
Second, do I think this would have happened without the petition without people finally speaking up? Not a chance.

You would almost think Municipal  Affairs was coming in to do an investigation!  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Update: Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Initiative to gobble up MD of Ranchlands

Good follow up for my previous post: 

At the council meeting of last week the Mayor spoke about this very issue and the process that the Municipality would have to go through to achieve the goal of getting it’s hands on the MD of Ranchlands very lucrative Linear Tax base.

Two ways it can be achieved either by Amalgamation or Annexation, the first is more of a co-operative approach where the Crowsnest Pass requests Ranchlands to share its wealth with us and we state all the good reasons why they should do that and all the benefits we could provide for them. The Mayor stated that process has been gone through already and just as they did with previous councils they respectfully declined the offer.
So that leaves Annexation a process where one municipality takes another over or portion of. Much more of a confrontational and timely process, by the Mayor’s own admission at minimum a eighteen month process. That’s not to say that it can’t happen but the argument usually put forth by Municipalities to grab part of their neighbours is that they have gone through tremendous growth and need the land.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Do you really believe or are we making excuses?

We are now well past the two-thirds point of this council term. A strange thing started to happen during the petition process and now I am hearing it more around town, and I expect it will happen more and more as we get closer to the next election.
I do not know if people just want to believe this or maybe there really is something to it.

Getting to my point during the petition process, I heard from people we have spoke to a “councilor” or knows somebody that has spoken to a “councilor” who does not agree with council’s direction on some of the issues. I see and hear  comments on blogs and around town about us having some good people on council who have lived here all their life’s who got caught up in some bad decisions but just don’t know how to get out.

Well maybe there is something to that, or maybe people just want to believe or they are making excuses.

What can a councilor do if he does not agree with the position the council has taken on an issue? Lots.

First, when the issue comes up on the agenda he needs to speak to it, to make arguments against the issue, to disagree with administration or the rest of council to vote against the item.
If it is an issue that has been gone through all ready or an issue that is being brought up in the public forum repeatedly. There is no reason that a councilor cannot add that item to the next agenda, raise it again, and express either his or the public’s concerns.

If a councilor feels that, the Mayor is jamming an issue through or not giving council enough time to deal with an issue. Councilors have the authority to challenge the Chair, it is very simple (I did it a number of times during my two terms on council) you make a motion to challenge the chair the councilor that made the motion then gets to argue his point, the Mayor gets to respond. Which is then followed by a vote amongst council where a simple majority can over ride the Mayor’s position on that item. No, I am not talking about launching a coup here or getting rude, ignorant, or disrespectful of the process, I am talking about a simple procedure that allows a member of council to stand up and say I do not agree with the ways things are being done here.  

With the present council it is more that likely that any of the steps above would probably fail, but that’s ok at the minimum it would send a message to the public that there is some dissent on council that there are some councilors that don’t agree with the issues and directions that this council has taken. It is strange that at all levels of government except municipal you have opposition.

Do I think any of this will happen? No, not really with the possible exception of a few months before the next election somebody may wish to prove to the public (voters) that they are their own man.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We are not the only community with Firework problems

The following was sent to me by one of my readers I see we are not the only community that had problems with Fireworks. Thank goodness at the end of the day common sense prevailed.

 A fireworks cheer for fire chief

Mike W. Bryant
Staff columnist
Friday, December 31, 2010 

Previous columns 
Hats off to Yellowknife fire chief Darcy Hernblad and reasonable regulation minders everywhere.
Hernblad has broken the shackles of free-thinking men and women living in the city of Yellowknife so they can once again proudly purchase fireworks for private New Year's parties like normal grown-ups should, without fear of exorbitant fines and government retribution.
Gone are the dark days of his predecessor who would have had us cower in fear should we dare skip his $150 mandatory fireworks class and light off a Roman candle or cherry bomb without his suffocating hand to guide us.
It seemed incredible to me last year when former fire chief Albert Headrick decreed that henceforth no one in the city could purchase or handle consumer fireworks - the regular garden variety not used in large professional shows - unless they could find the time and money to attend his rinky-dink course, limited to a maximum 20 people.
It was even more incredible that not a single city councillor or MLA found it bothersome that an unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat could make a decision limiting the activities of taxpaying voters without their approval or consent.
How ironic then that Headrick was here barely long enough to witness the fruits of his directive. Two months after all but banning fireworks usage by adult Yellowknifers he returned to Saskatchewan after living in Yellowknife and serving as fire chief for 22 months.
"There's so much damage caused by fireworks displays and injuries that are sustained with them," said Headrick without providing a shred of evidence.
I say that because after poring through this newspapers' archives I couldn't find a single story related to injuries from fireworks in the Northwest Territories in 15 years. There are plenty enough involving, say, snowmobiles.
In fact, there have been two snowmobile-related deaths in and around Yellowknife just this year alone. Yet, as long as one has a valid driver's licence, there is no requirement from the city to take a separate course to learn how to drive a snowmobile.
I might be inclined to argue that driving a car and driving a snowmobile are two entirely different things. Nonetheless, take your snowmobile outside city limits and you're not even required to wear a helmet, let alone have a special licence to drive one of these potentially very dangerous machines.
Yes, in the wrong hands or in the wrong location, fireworks can spell disaster. It seems just as unwise to hand your 12-year-old a box full of Saturn Missiles as it would to fire them at your neighbour's house.
People, especially young people, do get hurt. Thankfully the rules require users to be 18, to have a permit and to set fireworks on ice a safe distance from people's homes.
Happy fireworks days are here again, and just in time for New Year's. It would have been nice to have some forewarning but still we have Hernblad, a Yellowknifer of 30 years, to thank for having the foresight and reasonableness of mind to let common sense rule.
It's a refreshing position coming from a public servant. Too often the impulse seems toward nanny statism and rules for rules' sake. 

Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers Meeting

To be held on
·     Progress report on the petition
·     Discussion of G&P meeting
·     Open discussion
There is power and strength in numbers

Friday, November 23, 2012

Linear Taxation In equalities between Municipalities.

In Alberta you have in excess of 400 small municipalities, many are doing well with thriving economies and others are similar to the Crowsnest Pass in that they are struggling financially.

The provincial government allows Municipalities many ways to raise revenues such has property taxation, linear taxation, franchise fees, user fees, fine revenues etc. Most people understand property taxes, unfortunately in the Crowsnest Pass we have a very limited commercial tax base, so fast approaching 90% of property tax is collected from residents. Franchise Fees I am sure after the last six months most people know what they are. User fees are such things as the utility bill we pay every second month, ice time at the arena, rental of a municipal hall, etc. Fine Revenue we now have our own Community Peace Officers who some predict will bring us in large sums of money.

Lastly, there is Linear Taxation, from my conversations with people very few understand what Linear Taxation is. Real simple explanation it is the Tax dollars that CPR, power companies, gas or oil companies, windmills etc pay to be allowed to run their lines through your municipality.  

The Crowsnest Pass in 2011 brought in $587,000 in revenue from Linear Taxation which sounds like a lot, but it’s not when we compare to our neighbours  To the north we have MD of Ranchlands that brings in $4,000,000 a year in Linear taxation its area is large and a lot of oil and gas lines run through its municipality. To the east we have MD of Pincher Creek which brings in $3,000,000 a year just from windmills. Also keep in mind that these municipalities are very rural have little infrastructure and very few facilities to maintain. In simple terms costs are low and revenues high quite the opposite to the Crowsnest Pass.

You might think this situation is unique to the Pass its not, look at Cold Lake right in the middle of oil and gas country, one would assume that they are rolling in money. Over the last ten years that community’s population has more than doubled, putting tremendous pressure on its local government to build roads, put in water and sewer lines, build new facilities etc. You would imagine that they have all kinds of tax base, not to the degree they need most of that oil and gas development is taking place outside of their municipal boundaries, but all the people that are coming there are living in Cold Lake. They attempted to share revenues with the surrounding municipalities and had some minor success, not enough, they even went as far as to dissolve their municipality to force the province to assist them. George Cuff and his company went in did a report for the province the last I heard was that the province refused their request to be dissolved, they made some minor agreements with surrounding municipalities and the province told them to basically live within their means.
Back to the Crowsnest Pass, I sat on council for six years it became apparent after a few budget cycles that money is not something the Pass has an abundance of. We looked for other sources of revenue the administration pointed out the opportunity that sat to the North of us with Ranchlands. We met with Ranchlands administration and council a number of times and spoke to various ministers about moving some of those linear tax dollars towards the Crowsnest Pass. You can see how much success we had, maybe this council will have better luck with the powers to be in Edmonton and convincing our neighbours to the north to share with us. I hope so.   

Council is right, previous council was right and I am sure councils prior to the one I sat on looked at this issue. There is an inequality between municipalities on this linear taxation issue and there are municipalities that have much higher costs than others. But  I suspect if a municipality like the Crowsnest Pass was in the financial position of a MD of Ranchlands we would be telling them to get their financial house in order prior to coming to us cap in hand.   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Talk about perfect timing getting the answers in the Crowsnest Pass.

Almost ironically, I receive an email this morning from the municipality, it’s the monthly newsletter. I will take a few quotes from the Mayors Corner and contribute my own thought’s.

Quote #1.  “I think it’s safe to say we are all very interested in local politics and hopefully will continue to be. I have to admit I am a bit disappointed in that we have held two budget meetings – with no one in attendance.”

Response #1 Looks like the people are speaking by their absence.

Quote #2  “I understand the current Councils’ “petition” has been delivered to Edmonton. The Minister of Municipal Affairs will ultimately make a decision based on wisdom, expertise, legislation and as a Council we will, as I have indicated on several occasions, abide by his decision.”

Response #2 Did not realize it was the current councils “petition” I had assumed that it was gathered by the ratepayers. Maybe this was an attempt at a little bit of sarcasm.

Quote #3 “On a positive note administration will be rolling out the new Fire Plan probably before Christmas. The plan promises to provide improved service and long term savings. The Director of Protective and Community Services, Mr. Albert Headrick has indicated the plan will provide a cost savings of over one half million dollars over the next two years and ongoing savings thereafter.

Response #3 Are we talking here about the operational budget, capital budget combination of both? The budget for Fire and Rescue (Operational) in 2010 was less than $400,000 if they are going to reduce that by $500,000 in the next two years, it will be very interesting to see what they will do. If it is reducing the capital budget by not going with a $1.3 million Quint and instead buying something for $800,000 that’s just playing with numbers.

Quote #4 “  We are in the process of determining an open house date for our hotel development team to gather input from yourselves regarding the development. I suspect it will be in February. Contrary to rumor no “flag” hotel has yet been determined”

Response #4 Maybe not an “Holiday Inn” looks like we are buying time. I predict that come next September we are going to have all of these “Hot” projects ready to go subject to the developers, manufacturers, corporations maintaining a level of comfort with the direction of the “next” municipal council.

Quote #5 “ The manufacturing company will be flying its executives out from Quebec to view the site again. The hot water situation and environmental regulation is still a problem”  

Response #5 These problems will not get fixed in the short term, probably require another three years see response #4 above.

Quote #6 Your Chief Administrative Officer and I have met with four representatives of a heavy industry once more to discuss further possibilities. They indicated they would make a decision towards the end of the first quarter of 2013 or the beginning of the second quarter. I am amazed at the research and care these companies take to ensure that all environmental and social requirements can be met before they commit. This is a welcome and complete reversal from my experience as a young man. We have come a long way.

Response #6 Love the way all this timing is coming together, see response #4 and #5 above. Does anybody really believe that none of these guys are running in the next election.

Quote #7 “On November 13th Councillors Gail, Gallant, the Chief Administrative Officer and I met with Minister Griffiths to discuss Highway 3 and the MD of Ranchlands. As you are aware the Provincial government has recently indicated it is not adverse to borrowing funds for much needed infrastructure projects – I would like to see our highway at the top of the list. We were able to provide the Minister with a review of the need for a new highway relative to the bright future of the Pass. Our second issue was the need to seriously address the problem of the MD of Ranchlands vis à vis the Crowsnest Pass. There are many complexities involved however we confirmed the obvious inequities and the positive impact on our taxes if an amalgamation could be realized. The Minister indicated he would visit us hopefully early in the New Year for a tour of the Pass and to continue these discussions.”

Response #7 It seems a long time ago since the provincial election remember all that talk from the PC’s about balance budgets, surpluses in fairly short order. Remember the opposition parties stating that the PC’s were basing their numbers on overly optimistic oil and gas prices. Now we find out that they were only talking about operational budgets, HWY 3 may be a priority for this community but it is not for Edmonton.
The MD of Ranchlands good luck I went to meetings with ministers to, met with the Council and CAO of Ranchlands, seen many letters go back and forth. I have not met many neighbors that are willing to share there good fortunes with the poor guy down the street. Which way do you think the MD of Pincher Creek and every other wealthy municipality are lobbying on this issue.

Quote #8    “In conclusion, Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “You will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you.” Please make no mistake. Your elected Council knows its duty well and is committed to fulfilling that duty to the citizens of Crowsnest Pass.

Response #8 No matter what we the taxpayers think or care about the path they have chosen. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A community divided, the real fix is eleven months away.

My fellow blogger Mr Prince is calling for a town hall meeting, the people that signed the petition are waiting for municipal affairs.

I think this municipality at this point in its short history is deeply divided, unfortunately it is not going to be repaired in the next eleven months. Any one of us can wish for a different out come but realistically it is not coming in the short term. The petition and municipal affairs will run its cause and hopefully something will come of that, if not then people need to be preparing for October 21st 2013 that will be the communities next real opportunity for “change”.

Why do I feel it’s too late for real change with this council, the issues that have been put in front of the taxpayers over the last two years have been too numerous and two divisive.

Can a town hall meeting fix these issues? I don’t think so, most of the people I speak to could care less about a town hall meeting they have seen them become a platform for our leader to pump his chest, berate anybody that disagrees with him. I was so shocked when I watched a highly educated seventy year old man walk across a room to the sound of a few boos, waving his arms and telling the people to bring it on. (Leadership?)

I sat down last Friday and listened to a veteran administrator tell a reporter the way it is. (Yes it was as bad has it sounds). Communications has not been this council’s downfall in all honesty they have probably done a better job of communicating than any previous council, the problem is not so much communications it is what they have said and done. 

This Council believes in building a Bureaucracy by the time they have restructured they will have gone through more administrators in eighteen months than any other council in our history and have more upper management in place then we have ever seen before. Mean while we have a demoralized workforce that is scared and bullied to the point where a large percentage of them are in fear of their jobs.

This community has no commercial tax base, if we only did what we could pay for three quarters of what happens in this community would not happen. The key for this community is volunteers I came to learn this lesson over the last ten years, are there any volunteers left? Sure there are but not many, with what happened with Thunder in the Valley/Rum Runner Days and the Firemen situation who’s going to step forward. Want more proof of that look at municipal boards despite three months of advertising nine boards are short of members. Why do you think council backpedaled on getting rid of the Swimming Pool Authority two weeks ago? They desperately need to reverse the perception in the public forum as to how volunteers are being treated. What we did not  need is a member of council slamming the public because they didn’t support their way of doing things on the Rum Runner days weekend maybe just maybe the silent majority did not want it to change.  

The public has spoken about how they feel, despite the fact that 2500 people signed a petition in less than three weeks (more than double what is legally required). This council and its members can only focus on the “silent majority still supports us”, “or people were bullied and intimidated into signing”. Tell those people to contact municipal affairs I am sure the powers to be would love an excuse not to deal with this petition. Does it not say that the public has a problem with where you are going?

Look at our tax situation we hear great fanfare about a three year budget that only had annual increases of 2.5%, I didn’t hear anybody from council or administration tell us that Franchise Fees were going to increase more than 300% in three years.

Will the books balance at the end of the year? Of course they will I could spend hours writing about how numbers are shuffled. For example  take a look at Manager of Corporate Services, that position was only filled for three months this year. The other nine months of monies set aside for that position will be used to make the numbers work. My concern is the million dollars a year of administration moving forward how do we pay for that in future years when all the positions are filled year round?

Financial credibility is there any out there, after waiting for three and a half months look at the numbers that were presented for Rum Runner Days, remember the talk about $150-$200,000 not even close.   

Community Peace Officers all those that think these positions are going to pay for themselves raise your hand now. That’s a fallacy that will be proven over time, I can remember the consultant telling council at a G+P meeting that there were 290+ locations in violation of the unsightly premises bylaw how many of them have been cleaned up? Is there a date that they will be cleaned up by? So what happens with the bylaw officers once they are cleaned up?

Promises even though they were followed with a “you can take this with a grain of salt”
CLC gone before first snowfall, sharing Ranchlands tax base, Quebec manufacturer, deal with the hotel developer done in two weeks, two more, thirty days, heavy industry with up to 700 jobs. Politically you can sell hope all you want but sooner than later it has to be realized or you lose creditability.    

I think we have reached the point where the majority (be they loud or silent) do not pay a whole lot of attention anymore to what this council has to say or do. Most people are counting down the time until Oct 21,2013. Will a town hall meeting change that?   

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Numbers, Figure this mess out and win a big prize.

After numerous requests to compare the various numbers that have been presented on the Rum Runner Days I will attempt to provide that information. It’s very hard to do because to have a true comparison you need to use the same categories in each case but that was not done so it becomes difficult. All the numbers in black were the ones presented to the Rum Runner Days committee on Feb 22, the numbers in green were the one’s provided by Councillor Saindon on March 13, finally the numbers in red are the one’s provided to the public at the Nov 6 council meeting.

Total revenue of $93,750 made up of the following:
Cash on Hand $0    $16,000
Municipal contribution $50,000  $50,000 $40,000
Carnival rides $2,500 $2,500
Business Licenses $2,250 $3,000
Vendor Permits $4,500 $6,000
Camping $16,500 $10,000
Thunder in the Valley $3,000 $2,000
Lions Club $2,000 $2,000
Parking Shuttle $13,000 $9,500
Municipal Soft Costs $25,000
Friday Night Wine and Arts $1,500
Saturday Night Concert $15,000
Saturday Night Food and Beverage $2,500
Merchandise Sales $15,000
Show and Shine Revenue $2,500
Sponsorships $19,247
Revenues from Venues and Merchandise Sales $16,944
Cost Recoveries $9,260

With costs of the following which added up to $168,880:
Municipal staff costs $32,280 $19,200 $9,010
Municipal equipment $10,000 $0
Municipal office $11,200 $6,600
Advertising $3,000 $3,000
Website design/modifications $3,500 $3,500
Promotion $2,000 $2,000
Washroom rentals $16,500 $12,500
Waste pickup and disposal $4,000 $4,000
Security Fencing $500 $1,500
Tent and Accessories rental $1,500 $2,500
Lethbridge Search and Rescue $7,500 $0
RCMP Policing $35,000 $20,000
Regional Peace Officers/Sheriffs $25,000 $15,000
Bus Rentals $9,600 $1,920
Donation to Boys and Girls Club $2,000 $1,500
Donation to Coleman Society $1,800 $1,500
Donation to Kanaskis Rodeo $2,000 $1,500
Donation to Quad Squad $1,500 $1,500
Wine and Art night $1,500
Saturday Night concert $8,500
Gazebo Park Entertainment $3,000
Kids Show $3,500
Stage Rental $13,500
Show and Shine Merchandise $4,000
Merchandise Purchase Costs $20,000
Advertising and promotions (Including T-shirts) $25,642
Bank Charges $76
Entertainment, Parade and Show and Shine $33,316
Licenses, permits and Insurance $390
Printing, Copying, Paper, Postage $3,420
Transportation $640
Port a potties, Handwash Stations and Dumpsters $5,561
Security (Includes RCMP) $18,017
Signage $2,394

Confused? I am typing this and pride myself on being good with numbers but this boggles my mind.
Let’s try to decipher things a little bit maybe the confusion and hysteria that came with these numbers were created for a reason.

Revenue Feb 22, $93,750  March 13, $160,500  November 6, $85,452
Costs Feb 22, $168,880 March 13, $151,720 November 6, $89,456
Loss Feb 22, $75,130 March 13, $8,780 (profit) November 6, $4,004 (loss)

Now let us compare a few of the categories that make up the numbers above:

Municipal staff costs went from $32,280 to $19,200 to $9,010
Municipal equipment from $10,000 to zero to zero
Washroom rentals, waste pickup and dumpsters $20,500 to $16,500 to $5,561
Policing/Peace Officers $60,000 to $35,000 to $18,017

 Just in the four area’s above you have numbers going from $122,780 to $70,700 to $32,588.

Anybody get the feeling that the numbers were inflated for a reason? Imagine if they were going to buy a piece of equipment and the first quote they received was for $1,227,800 then the second quote was for $707,000 then the actual price was $325,880. You would look at the salesmen like they were idiots.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Prince of alternative Media as struck again with another story about the cutting edge changes we are seeing in the Pass

Dealing with the Media Policy

Well when the media prints something you don't like or fell is wrong: do the following

and if you think this is a one time deal check out the following :

Pretty soon should we have all the reporters present their stories to administration to check for accuracy before printing them.

Had to feel bad for those two young ladies the other night first lose their mothers home and then be berated and the way I heard it lied to.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Swimming Pool Authorities and Hot Political Potatoes

Under administrative and agency reports last night was the item Dissolution of Board and Authority. The following was taken from the Municipal web site.

“Dissolution of Board and Authority
Myron Thompson, Chief Administrative Officer, provided and reviewed a written report in reference to formally dissolving the Culture and Recreation Board and the Swimming Pool Facility Authority.

M#-6683-12: Councillor Mitchell moved that Administration’s recommendation be split into two separate motions:

􀂃 A motion to formally dissolve the Recreation and Culture Board acknowledging the
establishment of the Sport and Recreation Committee and the Culture and Heritage
Committee as its replacement and;

􀂃 A motion on the Swimming Pool Facility Authority.

M#-6684-12: Councillor Saje moved that Council formally dissolves the Recreation and Culture Board acknowledging the establishment of the Sport and Recreation Committee and the Culture and Heritage Committee as its replacement effective January 1, 2013.

M#-6685-12: Councillor Saje moved not to dissolve the Swimming Pool Facility Authority and discuss with the Sport and Recreation Committee how to proceed with their portion of overseeing the pool.

Discussion took place on the wording of the motion
Motion not Withdrawn

M#-6686-12: Councillor Saindon moved to table the motion in reference to the Swimming Pool Facility Authority.


During the CAO comments at the start of this process, he informed council that administration had met with the ladies from the swimming pool authority prior to the season commencing in May, and again during the season to inform them that the operation of the swimming pool would change and be ran by the municipality instead of the authority.

Once the first motion was dealt with on the rec and culture board then the Mayor asked for a motion on the dissolution of the Swimming Pool authority, the room went silent everybody began to stare at the roof nobody was touching this “hot political potato” the silence was deafening.

So then the Mayor pushed for something from his council on this issue, that’s when Councilor Sage came up with M#6685-12. This is when confusion set in, I and I think 90% of the people in the room were not clear on if Mr Sage was trying to roll the authority into the new board or leave them in place. Then Councilor Gallant made a friendly amendment to the motion to involve the authority in discussions with the new board about what their role at the pool would be.

Then there was more discussions about if the authority had been probably informed of the change in the operation of the facility, again more from administration confirming there previous comments and what appeared to be more confusion amongst council.

Then Councilor Saindon made the motion to table this issue which of course was passed unanimously. After all this I was thinking back to a comment that somebody had made to me about this issue, that maybe the councilors did not know what was really going on here between administration and the pool authority. With all the confusion my little brain was saying this may well be true.

Until the Mayor spoke up after Mr Saindon’s motion, when he informed administration that they better provide council clear precise information, and that councilors better take that information and come back to the next meeting prepared to deal with this issue. “Especially now that they were flying in the face of a decision that they had previously made”.   

Holiday Inn in the Crowsnest Pass

Just a matter of 10 days ago my fellow blogger Mr Prince put out the news that the word on the street was we were getting a Holiday Inn. At last council meeting CAO Thompson announced that negotiations were going very well with the developer and should be wrapped up in a couple of weeks. Well last night the CAO gave another update negotiations are still going well and should be wrapped up in the next 30 days.
I hope we are not being led down the garden path, anybody hear anything about the Quebec manufacturer lately? I suspect bargaining with the developer is down to that key area now? money and municipal concessions. 

Note: Does not look like the Centre will be gone prior to first snow fall. Or was that just one of the items "that can be taken with a grain of salt"   

Rum Runner Days (The real numbers)

Well it seems only like yesterday that the Thunder in the Valley event was deferred.
The issues being the safety of the public all those unruly characters coming to our town filling the jails and costs, numbers were thrown around like confetti at a wedding, $100,000, $150,000 with every new number being larger than the last.
I wish I had a copy of the editorial from the Pass Herald written by Lisa Sygutek it was very well written and spoke about how inflated the numbers were to justify the cancellation of Thunder in the Valley, she was right.  
Never the less the decision was made to proceed with the Rum Runner weekend and bring in new events, family orientated (Wine and cheese festival) vendors, bands for the evening remember the Rum Runner Days flyer that we received with our utility bills (expecting 20,000 plus people).  So the security was all in place for the influx of people finally after years of not knowing what this weekend cost the taxpayers we would have certainty of financial information.
So in March I asked Councillor Saindon for his committee's budget which he was kind enough to share with me it appeared the weekend was projected to actually make money. Revenue's of $160,500 with expenditure's of only $151,720 well finally last night three and a half months after the event Council was provided a financial breakdown of the weekend.  

Revenues projected at $160,500 actually turned out to be $45,452.
Expenses projected at $151,720 actually turned out to be $89,456.

Remember all the big numbers for RCMP/Security/Peace Officers at one point the number of $60-70,000 was being thrown around then with the committee budget it was dropped to $35,000 actually ended up being $18,017.
On the issue of unlawful behaviour we had 5 less people in jail this year than last.

Note: When Councillor Saindon presented his report last night he spoke with great emotion about the difficult time his wife went through with personal medical problems, and the stress of what she was required to do to put on the Rum Runner Days weekend. That I have a lot of understanding for I know what it's like to be in the centre of the Crowsnest Pass political world when you are having to deal with a family crisis.

What I did not like was when he criticized all the people that choose not to participate in the weekend either as a volunteer or participant, and the criticism of people and groups not willing to change, to make Rum Runner Days into what council's vision of it should be. Just maybe on this weekend the silent majority disagreed with council.