Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Budget-Taxes No point in raising concerns after the fact

Municipal Council of the Crownest Pass is now in the process of debating budget. Some people feel that’s old news, it happens this time every year. No big deal if the taxpayers are not happy the politicians will feel the wraith of their displeasure and they will do better next year. Let’s not forget next year is an election year so we may get hit this year but election years are always better. 
This year is different, a three year budget is going to be put in place, if taxpayers are concerned they need to talk to their politicians soon. You may find yourself living with something that is not very appetizing for the next three years.
Is there hope to keep the never ending cost of living here in line? you bet below is a direct quote from Councilor Gallant election campaign now that we have waited a year or more into their term we need to reflect on those words. They certainly have  managed to put people into place and obviously there are more on the way. 

When I discover that my business is doing something that is unnecessarily costing us money, I do not wait a year or two to start investigating it - I put the people or plans in place to solve it right away. The municipal council needs to have that same commitment and drive; it is our duty to the taxpayers of our town. Once we have learned to be more diligent, we should then go further and reduce our property taxes."

We need to hope that not just Councilor Gallant is fighting to keep our taxes down if not “reduced” remember Councilor Saindon stated the following during the election campaign words that also need to be reflected on and hopefully will provide the desire to slow the growth of how much we pay .

Our Public Works Department needs to be consolidated, we have far too many locations and buildings to operate and maintain. Operational savings are waiting to be taken advantage and we need management to review all departments. In times of recession most businesses look at reducing operating costs through increased efficiency and automation. We need to look at our operation and find ways to reduce costs and increase productivity. 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%.”

The press release as been on the Municipal web site since last July regarding the  “Consolidation of the Coleman and Blairmore shop” we all know that Councilor Saindon is on the management bargaining committee meeting with CUPE right now. We all look forward to the resulting savings from that process, the increased efficiencies that are just waiting to be taken “advantage” of. All of these things need to be achieved if we do not wish to see the never ending cycle of increases in our cost of living here do not forget it’s not just taxes it’s Franchise fees, Utility bills, user fees, (do not be shocked to see the water meter issue rise again).
Contact your councilors not just the ones above remind them of their election promises, remind them of your concerns its not just a regular budget, we will be living with this one for the next three years.
Let’s not forget last year most people were expecting a zero percent increase.

Councilor Saindon stated the following on his blog Feb 4th

“We need good people in the right places and over time we will make those decisions and pay dividends for our community. Take the 0 % tax increase as a sign of good things to come.

And the following on March 21st  after they had realized that they had not factored in the Education and Seniors Requisition.

“Can we still have no tax tax increase this year? My answer to that is yes and your administration and council will work to that end. Certain budget adjustments and programs may feel a further pinch ,but I am confident we can find the extra needed to offset the school board and senior’s housing increases for this year.”

That did not happen that  zero percent did indeed turn into 2% thanks to that unaccounted for  Provincial Education requisition. Fast forward to this year the province as already made it clear that they are going to take an additional 10% on the Education Requisition.
Those increased efficiencies those unnecessary costs need to be found now soon. Keep in mind that one a three year budget is in place even if you have a different council  next election it could well be both difficult and expensive to change course.


Anonymous said...

Dean, You are wrong.If their is a new council it is very easy to change the budget.All it takes is 4 people to say they do not want that budget.Do not try and BS people.

Fred said...

It didn`t take this council long to become true politicians.Talk the talk but don`t walk the walk.

Anonymous said...


So a 3 year project is half way through you scuttle it in the second year you do not anticipate that there would be potential for cost?.

Anonymous said...

If I am on the new council and do not like the budget that has been set by the previous council I vote against it. It is that simple.Yes there would be the cost of making up a new budget.

Anonymous said...

So should I reach the conclusion that a 3 year budget two thirds complete could be stopped in its tracks. Would a council take all of these groups that were told two years previously to set and work with a three year budget and change their goal posts. Would you possibly stop projects that are 67% complete? I suppose you are right in theory but practically? I doubt it.

The more urgent issue from this post that needs to be addressed. Which councillors are going to stand up for the taxpayers. I for one think we are taxed enough in the Crowsnest Pass. I do not wish to pay any more. Will the councillors that took those lofty positions during the election campaign now stand up and fight for us. That is the much greater issue in my mind.


Anonymous said...

So, lets say the fab 4 get reelected and the budget shows there is a 10% increse in spending in their first year due to the 3 year budget plan. What happens?Are their hands tied or do they do what they think is in the best interest of the community.
I do agree that the bigger issue is today and what is going to happen. I think we are looking at a substantial tax increase and I have yet to see anyone stand up and demand that we quit spending. I beleive this council has 1 leader and 6 followers and the leader has no problem spending taxpayers dollars.If there was an election today I would not vote for 1 of these guys!!

Anonymous said...

Like wise I agree we can not loose site of the real issue here.
We can argue all day long about the merits of a three year budget but the real issue: "Which one of the Magnificent Seven will rise to the occasion, stepping up to change course regarding Taxes and other unacceptable increases in the cost of doing business and living here"

The two Councillors listed above were individuals that I voted for because of their promises during the election.
I hope both of these plus a majority of the rest stand up and say enough is enough.

This is truly their opportunity to be either the "magnificent seven" or another group of seven individuals that we all loved has cartoon characters in our early years.


Anonymous said...

think of all the money the municipality is saving on snow removal this year, go global warming!

Anonymous said...

Dean did you see the front page of the Promoter yet?

Jose said...

All of this budget talk is just that. Feeding the Beast that the Municipality has built requires a good portion of the money needed in any budget. That's a given.

Without recognizing that the present population and low industrial tax base just cannot support the present structure, or even worse, recognizing it and not reducing the Beast to meet the real needs, the Crowsnest is lost.

Too many vested interests; too many close relationships; too many needing subordinates to justify a higher salary; and too many consultants steering the boat.

The present Councillors may want to make changes but it appears that the die is cast with this Regime. Their job is difficult at the best of times, and in the present makeup, it appears that the ship's course is set. Let's hope that next time around to vote, there will still be enough people interested enough to come to the rescue.