In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again...
Well, as expected, it was a packed house last night at the newly reactivated Ratepayers Association meeting in the Hillcrest Miner's Club. In two weeks time a second meeting (AGM) will take place at which a board will be selected and then it's off to the races, to ensure we start getting some accountability and fiscal responsibility from our elected officials and administrators over at municipal hall, who have been extremely short on both, as well as on transparency. The 'free ride' mayor, council and administration have been enjoying is about to come to an end.
The overwhelming theme last night from those who stood up and spoke was we need to take back our community from the outsiders (consultants and administration) and those locals on council who have sold us out, and that mayor and council are aloof, arrogant and out of touch with the real wishes and desires of the majority of residents in this community. At least one businessman/resident wanted action to be taken to remove our elected officials from office, immediately. Others spoke with displeasure about council's arbitrary shutting down of the Thunder in the Valley fireworks and how come there were no records available by the person in charge of this event for so many years, who is now presently our municipality's Chief Financial Officer? In addition, doing away with the Peace Officers the municipality is planning on hiring was a hot topic as well. People see this last one as nothing more than another sinister 'stealth tax' by 'revenue police' on each and everyone of us by big city slickers wanting to impose their ways and social values on 'Freedom Loving' mountain people, who already pay more than their fair share. And on and on it goes...
The bottom line, from what I was able to ascertain, is that people are very unhappy with the top down decision making process of this mayor and council, with little to no public input from those directly affected by this councils actions. "We in our ivory towers know best what's good for you, so why bother you poor peasants with the details." And, "Just pay up and shut up and let your betters deal with these matters" seems to be the modus operandi of this council.
Well, a proud people who built this community (thank you very much!) don't want to be told they don't count. Especially, for the most part, by a bunch of outsiders who have no idea what makes this community tick. Unfortunately for mayor and council, this is a lesson they will soon be learning i.e. residents here want to be part of the process, like they have always been, and not treated with contempt, by way as an after-thought only, after the shit hits the fan.
As the saying goes, the times they are a changing, and the biggest change wanted and needed right now is in how we do business in the managing and running of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass... this place we call home.
Last night, The Ratepayers Association was reborn. To once again, ensure this change takes place.
UPDATE (June 20): The next meeting of the Ratepayers Association will be held at the Blairmore Legion Thursday June 28th at 7pm.
Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.