Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Editorial in today's Pass Promoter

Joni MacFarlane

Once again the Crowsnest Pass makes headlines and once again it's for the wrong reasons. The turmoil surrounding the firing of the fire chief, the subsequent walk out by a majority of firefighters and the public protest that followed again reinforce our image in a negative light.

Responsibility for this falls squarely on municipal council. 

Despite lip service to the contrary, this council's lack of communication to the public about what exactly they are trying to achieve and public consultation on how they are doing it is staggering. Their disdain for taxpayers and for spending their money was on track for a train wreck and that wreck is now. 

It doesn't matter how many consultants are hired or how much time is spent on a strategic plan if the public doesn't buy into it. Without a majority of support, council can't continue to govern with a "Father Knows Best" attitude.

Rightly or wrongly, there is a pervasive belief among the public that council sees them as fools; too dumb or too unworthy to be told or trusted with the truth. Exclusion into decision-making has given them little reason to think otherwise. 

Residents of the Crowsnest Pass are not fools and as now clearly seen, are not willing to sit idly by as elected officials dictate how things will be. 

This is not about accepting change. This is about effectively listening to what people want, to changing those things that should be changed and leaving those that worked, alone. 

The fire department worked. 

Henry Ford said the secret to success is to understand the point of view of others. That's the starting point.



peter rosner said...

very well put-- I guess those councillers or self professed visionaries couldn't think of any creative ways to revive this community. Instead they took the course of higher utility bills --bylaws and fines to squeeze the taxpayer and slash and burn with no reasoning. At least the former mayor was intellegent enough to know not to step on the fire deparments. And rightfully so--- could you immagine if we had a major disaster like the 2003 Lost Creek Fire with these fools in charge.

Anonymous said...

As I said once before: This is a very sick place. You voted for change, you got it, and now you revolt. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind want to move here? You can't change the beautiful scenery, but seriously, you have to change your attitude. You can't have it both ways. What was presented on TV made us look absolutely pathetic! Somthing to be proud of? I think not.

Anonymous said...

We wanted them to change things that were broken. The fire department worked fine.Thunder needed some work, but it did not need to be cancelled.Raising taxes and fees does not help to bring in new people or businesses to the community.We wanted council to try and bring in some industry and their election promises were along these lines.They will argue this is all part of a long term plan, the problem is we do not have a long term (10 years is too long).Had they simply followed there much highlighted task force plan we would be on our way.But they have basically ignored it and have gone out of their way to piss off the community with the fireman debacle and their attitude toward the community as a whole.Ask yourself if we are better off today than we were 2 years ago.For me the answer is no, increased taxes and fees and less services.Can anybody name me some of the positives this council has done?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:56, well said....and I think more people are going to have to start saying it. The mayor may be a little too self-important and struggle with the complexities of human interaction, but this is the change YOU voted for.

The CNP is the laughing-stock of Albertan communities and quite possibly beyond that. Long-time residents have carved out cushy little existences and now that they're being called on 25 years of corruption, they're starting to freak out. Half the people that want this council gone wanted the last council gone...the circle of life, in the CNP.

No one will move to the Pass. No one will start a business that isn't a hair salon or flower shop. The community will just slowly backslide into nothing and in 30 years, some rich moron will buy the whole valley for pennies and probably make a fortune turning it into what it could be RIGHT NOW.

Anonymous said...

We voted for change, but this council is not up to it. They may have good intentions, but they cannot, and will not, bring the community along with the way they are behaving. You don't have to worry about the Crowsnest Pass - we will be fine after this council is gone. Right now, with all their good works, they are trying to destroy the spirit which makes this community a great place to live. More can be said.

Anonymous said...

"The Crowsnest Pass will be fine after this council is gone."


The Crowsnest Pass has been slowly creeping toward oblivion for the last twenty years. It's a great place to live if you are from there, have money or happen to have one of the three jobs that pay a living wage.

Think about if from the perspective of attracting others to the community, a necessity at the moment. The surroundings may be pretty (the towns sure aren't) and there may be some fun stuff in the mountains, but there is a reason people aren't lining up to move there. No jobs, no amenities, no excitement, no promise of anything in the future that would allow a family to live comfortably. Just an ever expanding list of closed businesses and empty buildings. Sound fantastic to me!

The Crowsnest needs change and they need it quickly. This mayor/council may be lacking in communication skills but they aren't steering the ship towards the iceberg, as so many would like to have you believe.

You don't like 'em, don't vote for 'em next election. But let's make sure this petition to overthrow the government stops before things start to really get silly.

Anonymous said...

I wonder who in their right mind is going to run for the next council, after what has happened to the last two councils.

Anonymous said...

I would be afraid to run.
We are supposed to be sheep here and not have an opinion.

Anonymous said...

The petition is not likely to remove the council so close to the election. But the petition is necessary to show the council that it does not have the support of the so called “Silent Majority.” Yes, we voted for change, but we did not vote thinking that we will get a council that is so detached from the community it represents. This is why the petition is so important. Also, the province is considering extending the term of office for the municipal councils, so we can get them for a bit longer. If this should happen, they need to know that the public is not happy with the way things are going, and some councillors may finally wake up.

Anonymous said...

Petition should start tonight. 6 councilors and 1 mayor will be famous, very disliked group.And all of sudden with a few hours left people are on these blogs asking us to change our minds.Its not to late councilors for you to do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 10:54 Crowsnest Pass has survived much worse disasters than the present Council. So, yes, we will be fine after they are gone. And yes, we do need change, but one which is not imposed upon us in such a crude manner.

Anonymous said...

Well anon 8.56 you think we look bad on tv that is to bad it is better than continuing down this path to financial ruin. The bleeding has to stop now and the multi sentance LIES from councel and mayor have to stop. Does a single person in the pass beleave that there is industry just waiting to come here if we get our bylaws in place. This is a very simple situation, the mayor and councel got their noses out of joint because they could not intimadate the fireman into line so they cooked up a plan to get them no matter what the cost. but i am willing to bet that present councel and the complainers never saw the work done by that group to keep the town of hillcrest from being burnt to the ground when a fire was bearing down on this communitty.

peter rosner said...

To anon 9:47 of course some of that council never seen the work done by the fireman. I doubt the current mayor or a few of the councillers were even living here at the time. Two others our going senile --- one thinks the fires around here are caused by fireworks and the other has only had his taxes raised fouteen dollars the last five years.