Just spent a couple of days thinking about what my fellow blogger John Prince posted http://blog.johnprince.ca/2013/03/ratepayers-blame-game.html regarding the Ratepayers meeting the other night and who is to blame for our situation. Before I ramble on about my opinion of where we go from here I would like to make a couple of statements.
1. A lot of what John said is true.
2. Who's to blame? most of us I will be the first to admit, I voted for some of these guys. Let's be honest how many people got caught up in the "he's so educated, he's young, he's got some great idea's, he's going to cut our taxes once he gets everything in order....." the list could go on and on but never the less people got caught up in it.
What happens now? The municipal Inspection will come in listen to a lot of people, various organizations and then throw this issue back into the hands of the taxpayers on October 21st.
Even though this council has done a lot of things that a lot of people disagree with. When you read the Municipal government act, there is no clause that says you can't raise taxes, franchise fees, hire administrators, bring in peace officers, get rid of fire departments, or for that matter spend tons of money putting a bunch of triangles together.
I am not saying for one second that the petition should not have been done I understand fully why people did it, but council instead of taking the attitude of listening to the statement 2500+ people made signing that petition, took an attitude of "bring it on you won't find anything wrong". Maybe if they had Calder Bateman working for them at that time they would have took a different approach.
What the Municipal Government act states is that we the people of this municipality get to make a choice on where we go from here. Even in the remote chance that the province threw this council out we would still be faced with the same issue October 21st.
Now we can keep blaming, pointing fingers or we can start preparing for October 21 which ever route we pick will ultimately come back to Oct 21st. So now we need to talk about moving forward, come Sept 23 (Nomination Day) I expect that most of the incumbents will put their names forth for the next term. So for those people that support this council the issue is very simple they will mark their x and look forward to four more years of what they have just had.
If you are not part of that group, you need to start thinking about either running for office yourself or looking at people around the community that could and will represent what you are looking for over the next four years.
The qualities required to sit on a municipal council? Some say that it requires common sense that's true, it also requires that you can understand numbers, If you can't that first budget Administration will bury you with paper, past experience with budgets is a great asset. Then you better have a back bone, very quickly you will be labelled one of the Mayor's puppets if you do not speak up. You also better understand it is impossible to please everybody, some peoples expectations are very high and at times unrealistic. There will be a need to make some very difficult decisions over the next four years if you do not have the stomach for that, please don't step forward. You also better be a person that is a good listener, people need to feel like you are really listening to them.
Most importantly if your going to help this community to move forward start of by being honest, do not tell the public you are going to fix everything over night. Do not tell people that once you get a handle on things you will cut taxes. Do not tell the people your are one of them and then spend the next four years looking down on them.
We, by that I mean the residents of the Crowsnest Pass that are not satisfied with the direction of this community over the last three years need to be preparing for some hard work and to start making some good choices or else we will get the same as we have had and maybe even worse for the next four years.