Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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!  


Anonymous said...

It is a small victory for the people.It is too bad that council forced the people to do this. Had council been more open to work with the ratepayers and the fireman there would not have been a petition.So now they are backing off a little bit on some of the issues.There is no way that they actually believe that the silent majority support them and therefore the changes are occuring.I hope they are forced to explain why so much business is done "in camera". I would also like to see council called out for any pure lie.I hope they thoroughly investigate the fireman situation to see if the plan was to have the fireman basically be forced to resign.And of course I hope the financials are closly scrutinized.As well the turnover in the office.

John Prince said...

Here's some more FACTS for ya Dean:

FACT#1: 40%+ of residents living here do so on low or fixed incomes.

FACT#2: This council in implementing and financing their Strategic Plan has done it on the backs of the poor in this community, in total disregard for FACT #1 above. In doing so, has declared Class War on those residents.

FACT#3: “Religion is here, so the poor don’t murder the rich.”


Jose said...

John, taxes are paid by all home owners. The burden can be just as great for someone who owns a higher end home. We all make choices. I'm sure that some of those that built new homes didn't count on these exorbitant taxes. The costs of running this burg falls on the backs of every tax payer, not just the 40% you mention.

Your comment #3 is interesting. What justification is there in this local scenario that gives need for the poor to murder the rich? Religion or not, it doesn't make sense. ALL people are going to suffer under this misdirected Regime.

These guys were ramping up the spending, thinking that it was unlikely that the Petiton would,succeed and that the Minister would support t. They are now in the process of cutting back to make it look good for the Inspector. Smoke and mirrors. Only an ex-government person can think he can justify this case. It also helps to have a secure government indexed pension to have that mentality.


John Prince said...

For the most part the rich can afford ever increasing costs to live here in the Pass, the poor cannot. Whether costs are being spread equitably is not the question here. Ability to pay is. During the term of this council that ability is being squeezed ever tighter to the point where many are falling through the cracks. Anger and rebellion with this council is rive and council’s indifferent attitude (“Let them eat cake”) with their plight is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Some see this as a local form of the class war that has been launched globally against the poor and middle class these past thirty years or so.

Those passing on those costs to the poor are not from their class, therefore if there were true justice in the land they would be held accountable for their transgressions, but are not because religion being a co-conspirator with the state prevents the poor from seeking retribution, and therefore the rich continue to exploit the poor. Much as what our council is doing here in the Pass. Just stating a fact is what I have done here Jose, with FACT#3.

Your last comment with respect to "smoke and mirrors" is right on the money. Along with what you said about how some members of council have "a secure government indexed pension to have that mentality". This last one speaks volumes to their mind-set and major disconnect with poor taxpayers living in this community. And that my friend is why we have rebellion on our hands here in the Pass and why some are calling metaphorically for Lady Guillotine to be brought back into use… for heads need to roll… for the people are fed up with out of control tax and spend governments who care little to nothing for their well-being, concerned more as they are with milking the system for all its worth for their and their class benefit only, at our expense.