Friday, July 30, 2010
Many of my faithful readers know that for some time now I have spoken out on my concern over our municipal finances (never mind my own :-)) and so in this regard I have compiled a comparison of how things use to be back when I was on council in 2000, when we had millions in reserves and no debt (with no tax increases during my term, either) with where we stand today in 2010, with millions in debt and no reserves, with respect to our municipality's operational and capital budgets.
As you can see for yourself from this spreadsheet, we have seen a 'staggering' increase in both revenue received (taxes) and spending. Operational costs have ballooned, increasing by a whopping 27% from what they were 10 years ago, this during a time of declining population (~10%), while infrastructure projects (capital budget) have grown by a mind boggling 154%, for an overall operational and capital increase of 57%. It is clear to see why higher and higher taxes and utility increases have been a constant over the years. Uncontrolled spending necessitated the need for increased revenues (taxes). We have been paying more so they could spend more, like drunken sailors.
Do we have a spending problem that has grown out of control here in the 'Pass? You bet we do! Under this mayor and current and former councils our municipality has become addicted to spending.
As your future mayor my number one priority will be to stop the hemorrhaging and to get our municipality's finances in order. This will not be an easy job and it will not happen overnight but it must happen, and it must happen now! Before we tax ourselves not only into the poor house but into a situation where we can no longer sustain ourselves as a viable community.
We have been poorly managed and our priorities, with respect to 'questionable' past and ongoing costly infrastructure projects (considering our situation) have been anything but prudent. That needs to change! We need to get our house in order... and we will. On October 18th vote John Prince for Mayor.
Finance is the art of passing money from hand to hand until it finally disappears.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
That has all changed since Suresh sold out to the corporate people who own the FasGas chain. For several months now since their take over the gas price at the pump has flat lined here in the Crowsnest Pass at $096.9 (with the other local stations here charging the same with no variation or price breaks). It never changes! Even when oil and the dollar does and others in our region are selling for way less?
The other day I asked an employee over there (I don't want to get this person in trouble so I won't mention names) why this was and was told that in large part it is because of the new HST on the B.C. side which makes our gas prices cheaper (even when in fact they are still higher than elsewhere in our region)... and greed.
It appears that our local gas stations see no problem in ripping off B.C.er's and our local population as well, because, Hey! they are equal opportunity rip off artists, I'm guessing. :-(
I for one wish Suresh had never sold out as he knew how to treat people fairly and honestly, which it appears is something these others know nothing about. Most people and businesses when moving into a new community try to be good neighbours... not bad guys! But with corporations, its always about the money, isn't it? It's just plain GREED and almost criminal, I think!
Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
It has been said, advocacy journalism, while it serves a purpose, has also harmed objective journalism. No more so, I think, than here in our 'beautiful' valley. We have been and continue to be ill served in this community by our local media.
I say the above because I have been victimized by these same people again, and expect more of the same treatment before this current election is over with. A week or two back, shortly after declaring my candidacy for mayor here on my blog and on our local radio station CJPR, I sent a PRESS RELEASE and picture to both our local print media announcing my candidacy in the upcoming election, as I and others have done countless times in past years, only to discover they were ignored and not published. From what I now understand, it appears our two newspapers have colluded with one another to limit the news with respect to our local election, until after nomination day on September 20th. This is unheard of and without precedent here in the 'Pass and elsewhere in other communities within our province and country, as far as I know, and at the very least certainly breaks with tradition and begs the question, is this because I was the first out of the gate? It certainly appears so, doesn't it? After all, how does one suspend the news? "There has been a nuclear attack today but we won't be reporting this until after September 20th?" Is this crazy or what? Only in the 'Pass you say?
In any event, in my opinion our local media can play all the games they want again this time around and it ain't going to change the end result, which is that I feel certain I will be the next mayor of the Crowsnest Pass, and that I and my council will usher in a new day, and the launching of a time of renewal, rebuilding and restructuring, with or without our media's help... and in spite of their ongoing adversarial bent and nature, if need be. This time, "We Shall Overcome" our local media's manipulation and their culture of political lies and deceit.
This election, we have our eyes open and will hold those responsible to account. We don't want, nor will we allow, the Media to steal our chances of a fair and honest election. Not this time!!
The media are naturally inclined to provide only information and points of view that do not oppose the status quo.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Ralph Goodale is a man of the people who has impressed me over the years, and who I think would make an great Liberal leader, and an excellent future Prime Minister. The country needs a man like Ralph who not only has solid roots with the earth coming from the west, but a true feel for the people and this country, something I think is definitely lacking from the likes of both Stephen and Iggy who in my opinion are both right wing ideology's who have lost touch with the common man, if they ever had any feel for him/her in the first place. Give me a centralist every time... Give me Ralph!!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Instead of creating a short list from which the next mayor and council can choose from as to who they want to work with, this council is behaving as if they will be the one's coming back to work with the next CAO. Well, the word on the street is that they are going to have a surprise in store for them soon enough, along the lines of the surprise they are trying to dump on the next mayor and council.
This council has proven they cannot work together, are divided, with the majority having little to no respect or trust for the current CAO. As a result, they are rushing in to get rid of him, feeling they are both deserving and entitled to do so, irregardless of it being the eleventh hour before their term ends, and another begins. In their minds, this form of 'payback' for some of them is warranted in this case, regardless of the consequences for the next mayor and council.
As a mayoral candidate I find these actions to be both stupid and arrogant on their part. Anybody can destroy something, however it is an art to create or build something. This council has proven once again they know lots about the former but very little about the latter. Hopefully, the next council will show them how it is suppose to be done.
In the meantime, this council needs to 'backoff' and let the next mayor and council decide for themselves who their CAO should be, since they are the one's who will have to work with him/her... not them!
There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
We get no answers on River Run (Bridgecreek) and no answers on our local economy? Everyone seems to be hiding and desperately trying to duck the issues. They like the titles and positions but want nothing to do with the responsibilities, it seems. This is not the way to run a municipality... or a business for that matter. After all, we are all in this together, are we not?
There is an old expression that goes something like this, "lead, follow or get the hell out of the way!!" It seems to me our present community leaders are anything but. That is going to change pretty damn soon! Otherwise, the way things are going we will soon be a ghost town with nobody to lead.
With an election coming up, it's pretty clear to me those presently on council wanting to run again, and the want-to-be's, should be speaking out as this is a golden opportunity to show what you are made of, and what you got. Do you hear that people? Waiting until the eleventh hour hoping a few pie in the sky promises will be sufficient to bamboozle the public into earning you a seat on council, ain't going to cut it. Not this time. I believe the public are going to be much more discerning this time around in asking themselves, what does this candidate bring to the table in the way of ideas, vision, knowledge, experience, commitment and know how, than they have been in the past. Things are getting much too serious to be flippant about who we as a community are going to be saddled with running things, over the next three years. The times are more trying and less forgiving than they have been in the past, I suggest. Therefore, they are going to be looking for people who can deliver, and not just fill an empty seat.
Come on people, you need to take your heads out of the sand and roll up your sleeves and start getting to work, if you want to lead this community. That starts now! Not after nomination day, four weeks before election day, hoping to get in on a wing and a prayer. It's not like we don't have a shortage of issues, far from it. We do however have a shortage of people speaking out on the issues. Aside from Sharon Voytko's letters to the editor of late, the silence is deafening.
UPDATE: (July 28)
It has just been brought to my attention that NEAT N NIFTY is NOT going out of business but is having a blow out sale instead. My apologies to Anita for the screw up in what was related to me in error. Please don't sue! :-)
This is good news for our community! Wishing NEAT N NIFTY years of success ahead as they are and will continue to be an important part of our community.
Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Gail speaks highly of John and praises him for his years of dedication and service to this community, for which, I personally take great exception and normally would argue strenuously with an opposing view. But hey, who am I to speak ill of the dead... in fact, I no longer will. All I will say is if Gail's got it right and John is retiring from politics then that is a good thing for both him, and for this long suffering community.
We need a changing of the guard and provided that change is not more of the same, but with a different face, then hope springs eternal for both this community and its people. The King is dead, Long live the Prince, I say. Vote PRINCE FOR MAYOR!
P.S. It was good to see both Gail and Willie in last week's parade, especially considering their health issues of late. Elvis and Gail always do us proud! Rock on guys!!!
No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.
Monday, July 19, 2010
At the rate I'm going, I should be first to get elected as well. ;-)
Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.
Friday, July 16, 2010
I hear some are actively trying to build alliances so that the municipality lands up with a team within a team from the get go, pretty much what some suggest is what we got the last time or two, or when I was on council when we landed up with Irwin, Bellerose and Sygutek going in. This is not a good thing for our community or for democracy. Personally, as a lone wolf, I prefer to deal with the hand dealt to me, and not try to stack the deck beforehand.
In the mayoralty race, the word on the street is that John won't be running again, which I think is a good thing for both him and this long suffering community, while Dean and Gary are still struggling with their decision, especially now that I have declared my intentions. I'm sure they soon will be declaring but only after they have consulted their Ouija board, handlers and team, and gauged which way the wind is blowing, and if the entrails of their sacrificial lambs are favourable or not? :-) As far as anybody else running for the mayor's chair, I do not know.
In any event, I am ready for the RUMBLE in the JUNGLE and can't wait to stack my vision and plan for taking this community forward, against all contenders, knowing full well it has been waiting patiently these many years, and whose time I believe has finally come.
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
My demons are of a societal nature. I am a product of my environment. My upbringing, which aside from my wife, no one here knows much about because I never talk about it but feel I need to now (so that there is no misunderstandings as to what you, the voter, are getting yourselves into) was one straight out of a Oliver Twist, Dickens' novel. I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in a Montreal ghetto, where to be English in the land of the French during the FLQ period of what is euphemistically today called the Quiet Revolution, was no picnic. In my neighbourhood, poverty and crime were my bed mates during this period and I suffered much and paid the price, and in doing so was witness to much injustice in our society and system. Since that time, I have spoken out and fought for change. As mayor, I will continue to do so but with much more vigour, power and authority to effect real change, I hope, especially for the less fortunate in our community of communities.
As mayor, my agenda will be clear. It will be to take from the rich and give to the poor. Simple as that. For years now the rich in this community have enjoyed a free ride at taxpayers' expense while ignoring their obligations and responsibilities towards the plight of those less fortunate in our society than themselves. That's going to change!
Affordable housing, seniors housing, an efficient and all inclusive public transportation system, health/fitness facility, such as a multi-faceted community center (with an indoor swimming pool and exercise facilities) and emergency shelters for those suffering from domestic violence and/or in need of transitional housing are just some of the initiatives I will strive for on behalf of the people of this community. On the economic front, job creation will be number one. Real jobs with a future that support families.
How will this all be accomplished and paid for you ask? I've already answered that in part above, but let me reiterate by saying it is a known fact that Southern Alberta has a higher concentration of millionaires than any where else in Canada. It's time some of these people step up to the plate and stop avoiding their responsibilities and start generating some real wealth for those less fortunate here in the Crowsnest Pass. It will be my job to make them see this and to bring people of all stripes together in a common effort to make the Pass be all it can be, for all its people... rich and poor alike. Creating an atmosphere and willingness to come together for the common good, where all living here actually get to enjoy 'Mountain Freedom', as they should.
To be successful in turning this community around in the shortest possible time this municipality needs to hire a full time mayor. We need to get serious about stopping our population and economic downward slide, and the only way of doing that is to stop treating this position as a part-time, ego tripping, social affair. This election, maybe more than any other, we need to elect people to the mayor's chair and council who are business minded and entrepreneurial in spirit, having a social conscience and the willingness and desire to take this community forward by taking care of business. I feel I can do that!
Today, I announce my candidacy to be your next full-time mayor. Tomorrow, you decide.
The ideal life is one full of problems, but with the knowledge of how to solve them... The existing order of things can be improved.
Friday, July 9, 2010
In recent years, a trend (shell game?) has developed in which we borrow money (just after receiving property tax revenues) to the tune on average of about $1 million. Now that has jumped this year to $2.6 million.
Debt, lack of reserves, and living beyond our means seems to be par for the course with councils of late, with this Mayor at their helm. That needs to change!
The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
What makes this story so ridiculous is that no mention is made of Israel and the U.S.A. as foreign governments influencing our own, but only China. In my opinion, the media and politicians are trying desperately to limit or curtail this story to the Chinese only, knowing full well that there is a strong possibility that the can of worms has already been opened, thanks to Mr. Fadden opening this 'foreign influence' door a crack. For everyone knows Israel and the USA have great influence on (if not total control over) our government and its politicians, as do the Zionists. Pretending it is only the Chinese we have to worry about or to concentrate on is living in a dream world of denial. Canada's biggest threat has been and will continue to be the former, rather than the latter.
Zionist/Israeli/USA 'Foreign Influence' on our government and country is a bigger threat to Canada than China, by a long shot. As are Zionist controlled political blogging sites such as Liblogs.
There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.
Venezuela honours Simon Bolivar's lover, reunites independence heroes in National Pantheon
Being somewhat of a romantic, I can't tell you how moved I was to read this story of two revolutionary heroes/lovers reunited again by modern day revolutionary's themselves, who decided to correct a great wrong and to rewrite history as it should have been written.
If the truth be known, and if history has taught us anything, it is that behind every great man, you will usually find an even greater woman.
For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Time is on my side, yes it is
Time is on my side, yes it is yes it is
Now you always say
That you want to be free
But you'll come running back (said you would baby)
You'll come running back (I said
so many times before)
You'll come running back to me
Oh, time is on my side, yes it is
Time is on my side, yes it is
You're searching for good times
But just wait and see
You'll come running back (I won't
have to worry no more)
You'll come running back (spend the rest
of my life with you, baby)
You'll come running back to me
Go ahead, go ahead and light up the town
And baby, do everything your heart desires
Remember, I'll always be around
And I know, I know
Like I told you so many times before
You're gonna come back, baby
'Cause I know
You're gonna come back knocking
Yeah, knocking right on my door
Well, time is on my side, yes it is
Time is on my side, yes it is
'Cause I got the real love
The kind that you need
You'll come running back (said you would, baby)
You'll come running back (I don't
always said you would)
You'll come running back (I won't
have to worry no more)
Yes time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
Time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
Oh, time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
I said, time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
Oh, time, time, time is on my side
Yeah, time, time, time is on my side
Note: Election predictions. Based on my talks of late with the multitudes (including many Irwinites) in the Pass, during Bellecrest Days and Coleman's Canada Day celebrations in particular, it looks like my time has come... to be Mayor.
Time was on my side after all. She's come running back... like I knew she would. :-)
Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.