Friday, September 27, 2013

Dean Ward Candidate for council 2013

Below is the information I handed out at the Ratepayers meeting Wednesday night about where I stand heading into this election and some of the issues that I feel are important to this community and it's residents.

                             Election 2013         -       Dean Ward

My name is Dean Ward  and I am very pleased to have this opportunity to ask for your vote in the upcoming election.

I am very proud to be the husband of Debbie, father of three and proud grandfather of two beautiful girls. I have been living in the Crowsnest Pass for 31 years.

I sat on the Historical society board for three years; currently I am a member of the Crowsnest Pass Health Foundation. In addition, I have six years experience sitting on council, which makes me very familiar with municipal budgets and all the other duties expected of a Councilor.

Crowsnest Pass is a great place to live and we are surrounded by nothing but pure natural beauty. We have great schools, a hospital and many other amenities.  But the most important, we have great people.

We do have challenges: a declining population, the oldest population in Alberta, high percentage of residents on a fixed income, and one of the lowest commercial/industrial tax bases in the province 

 In 2010 this community voted for change, but how much and how fast should have been the question.

Strategic Plan was put together in 2011 by mostly people that do not live here. It has many good recommendations, but it was always Council’s plan and it was never “our plan.” The Mayor tells the media “now that a lot of hard work has been done, they can move on to more sophisticated work” when, where and what he is hoping to do to us sometime later.

My positions moving forward 2013-2017

Taxes : Government’s job should be to minimize costs, not maximize revenues. Many of our residents live on a fixed income that never increases by more than the cost of living. I will work very hard to ensure that all municipal taxes, franchise fees, utility costs, permits, fines etc do not increase by more than the cost of living at the most.

Smaller Government: We cannot afford to have an administration that costs us well in excess of $1 million dollars a year. One out of every five homes pays taxes each year just to finance Council’s “Dream Team”.

Seniors-York Creek Lodge is a valuable asset for this community that is in dire need of up grading. Previous council had passed a motion putting aside $100,000 a year to prepare for that future opportunity. This year six months into the budget process administration realized that they had totally miscalculated the tax base, scrambling council agreed to balance the budget by dropping the $100,000 to the Lodge.

Seniors-Town Rounder is one of the unique services the municipality provides to its seniors. After the last driver retired, his position as only been filled by a temporary employee and this concerns me. I will commit to support and maintain this service if elected.  

Frivolous Spending: Our municipal brand/logo, sadly at the same time council cut the $100,000 contribution to the lodge, they approved an expenditure of over $300,000 to hire an expensive consultant to throw together numerous triangles, to build entrance signs, to put up banners and to put this mess on every piece of municipal equipment and stationary. Can anybody explain to me how the logo relates to the Crowsnest Pass?

Consultants: Will we ever really know how much money we have spent on consultants over the last three years? Now we have another one conducting a Recreation study. Our recreation board could have designed a survey, made it available to our residents and gathered the results at the municipal office?    

Peace Officer Program: We were originally told that the project would pay for itself because the municipality anticipated an Automatic Traffic Enforcement program would be put into place. They were wrong. Do we really need two peace officers to enforce bylaws and educate the local residents? We need a full disclosure on what this program is really costing us. As our reputation grows as a speed trap, the revenues will only decrease, but the costs will remain.

Employee Morale: The level of the relationship between the municipal staff and management as sunk to an all time low, so low, that a consultant was brought in to look at the situation. This did not come about over the last two weeks, the next council needs to direct and demand that administration sit down with CUPE and resolve this quickly.

Communications: Newsletters are good until we have our representatives insulting us. Town hall meeting are great until they are used as a tool to attack and embarrass the people that pay the bills. Next council should communicate both professionally and in town hall meeting where council “listens” to the public’s input. Some how in the last year over 2500 residents felt that council was not listening?

Hotels: I will demand that next council not spend $50,000 or any amount to purchase a franchise for a private company, and let’s get the first hotel built before we start fantasizing about a second one.

Housing Affordability: Most elections, we hear candidates speaking about affordable housing. So many of our residents are seniors on a fixed income we need to keep our housing “affordable”. Municipal government cannot control the costs of everything in society; but there are some things they can. To vote to keep tax increases down while at the same time taking substantially more money from our residents in the form of Franchise Fees, Utility bills and every other dollar we can take out of your pocket achieves nothing for the average taxpayer.  

  On October 21, vote for Dean Ward

Any questions, comments or concerns please contact Dean at 563-4128 or


Anonymous said...

I think having the Peace Officers is so beneficial.
I would not vote for anyone that wants to get rid of them.

Anonymous said...

What is you job experience Dean?

Anonymous said...

The peace officers will never pay for themselves so first of we were misled, even the municipal Inspector agreed with that. Second their primary focus was intended to be bylaws and education. Sitting behind the trees in Frank three hours a day or behind the high school shed, I doubt would qualify for either. The gravy train will not last for long, think of Longview. One officer to focus on bylaws, education and writing the occasional ticket for some idiot running around our communities would be sufficient.

Crowsnest Pass Home said...


Quite a variety of things:

I worked for five years in an underground coal mine in Sparwood. For nine years I worked at the Greenhills mine north of Elkford at the same time I sat for seven years on the union executive, was involved in to sets of negotiations with the mine.
For eleven years I was a partner and senior manager in a lumber re-manufacturer in Golden BC (sales of $25 million a year and up to 150 employees) commuted back and forth to the Pass and sold out in 2003 for family reasons.
Since then I have invested in a number of small businesses, sat on council from 2004-2010. I presently mop floors and shovel snow during the winters.
Good experience lots of time as just a regular worker, as a manager and worked with budgets up to $25 million a year. Plus not to humble to mop a floor or shovel snow

Anonymous said...

Just read the Pincher Creek Echo they are not even having an election for councillors they were all acclaimed that is sad. At least in the Pass democracy is alive and well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dean


Anonymous said...

Ok Dean gets my vote for sure. But what I am struggling with is who else gets my vote. I have eliminated the incumbents as none of these get my vote. For mayor my choices are Prince or Painter. I know nothing of Painter but Prince reads as a man that name calls, his way or the highway, temper still flaring kind of guy. But at least I know him and I think he means well for the community. Coin toss at this stage.
Councillors, A few I do not know and quite a few are good citizens.
Maybe someone can convince me who to vote for.
Do not ask me to go to the forum as these things are a joke.

Anonymous said...

Why is it sad? They are obviously doing a good job or that would not happen.

Anonymous said...

I hope Dean and other candidates take a stand on transparency issues. The Inspection report says:

"Ensuring that all debates and decisions of council occur in public enhances transparency by ensuring that decisions are not occurring in back rooms or arising from private conversations. Furthermore, it is important that the public be allowed to provide input to the decision making process and that members of council do not reach conclusions before all information is provided and a public debate can occur. Transparency should always be an underlying principle of good governance."

"There is a perception that there is very little debate that goes on at the GPC where the documents are made available to the public, since most concerns were discussed and vetted at the policy committee level. And, while the policy committee meetings are open to the public, with no public access to the documentation at this meeting, it was suggested that there was a lack of transparency and ability for the public to participate in a meaningful manner."

Is there any reason draft bylaws, policies and budget impact information should not be made public at the same time Councillors get it, so that we have an opportunity for public input?

I don't think there is any requirement for confidentiality except for things that are legitimately in camera, and they become public when they are discussed at an open meeting, according to MGA:

"153 Councillors have the following duties:
(e) to keep in confidence matters discussed in private at a council or council committee meeting until discussed at a meeting held in public;"

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

Debate is very important and goes a long way to changing perception. For the first 18 months of this council's term I was the only person that showed up 90 per cent of the time. After that more people began to show up and the debate intensified at times. This council built in a Policy committee that works on policies, by laws etc prior to coming to GP meeting so most of the debate is already done before that point. I disagree with the policy committee, Mayor Irwin had a similar board that usually comprised of himself, and two Councilor's one of whom was always very friendly to him. It became a body that screened issues from council or at least set the tone and direction. In the Guff report it was recommended that this board be eliminated and a second GP meeting be held. Where all of council and the public would have access therefore creating much more "transparency". How many delegations have appeared in front of the "policy committee" that the public never knew about?

Anonymous said...

At the federal and provincial levels, draft legislation and policies (including budgets) are developed by ministerial civil servants. These are confidential until they are tabled in the legislature, when they become public information and nowadays are posted on official websites.

Then they go to committees where MPs/MLAs discuss them and make amendments in open-to-the-public meetings. After that, they go back to the legislature for a vote.

I would be OK with the Policy Committee if it worked like that. Publish the draft documents and notify the public of the meetings (required by the MGA) and publish the Policy Committee agenda in advance so we know what they are up to (not required by MGA, but they claim to be "open and transparent").

The M7 procedure is that the draft policy and bylaw documents are secret until they get to the GPC.

Brian told me:
"The revised Terms of Reference will go through our standard procedure, which means going to GPC and then to council. After it goes to GPC I am certain that you can request a copy."

I am certain I can request a copy of anything anytime. Good Luck With That.

Anonymous said...

I guess you will have a position on Annexation and "dissolution":‎

This is Doug Griffith's new toy. It looks like a fast-track process that could result in a ministerial recommendation for either dissolution or annexation.