Friday, October 5, 2012
Call us naive, but we thought we were living in a democratic country, however, the way we see it, absolute dictatorial government is alive and flourishing in the Crowsnest Pass.
While taking part in the peaceful demonstration on Thursday October 4, we had many mixed feelings. On one hand we were elated to see over 100 concerned citizens turn out to finally begin to take their power back. On the other, we watched with great sadness and compassion on Thursday evening as a column of our firefighters filed by the door to the Municipal Office to drop their pagers in a box. Earlier that day we were left with a feeling of absolute disgust as the mayor, council, and administration hid behind covered windows at MDM, and called three RCMP vehicles to assure that we restrained ourselves before they would exit the building.
The mayor and council could have negotiated to reinstate our volunteer Blairmore fire chief, but instead, in their usual manner, chose to ignore the wishes of the people, and chose to hire a number of outside firefighters, and again in their usual manner, at great cost. Unbelievable!!
They obviously have never heard the phrase “If it ain't broke, don’t fix it.” We have had a fire department that ranked among the most efficient, highly trained, and dedicated anywhere, costing a fraction of what this “new” plan is going to cost. Again, unbelievable.
This mayor and council seem determined to bring the Pass to its knees, both economically and in terms of morale. Are none of the councillors willing to stand up to a dictatorial mayor and represent us in a way that indicates they are hearing us?? We know we are not the only ones who are tired of financial decisions being made arbitrarily, without any attempt to first communicate with the public, or to listen to the people. We see the hiring of outside consultants at exorbitant costs, who in turn implement solutions to non-existent problems, again at great cost. To quote the president of the Ratepayers’ Association, “while our tax base, and our population is declining, they are spending money like we just won the lottery.” Sadly, this administration will leave us with a legacy of deep debt. It could take us years to recover.
On October 4, we were so gratified to be among those who refuse to be demoralized, bullied, and bankrupted. People want their power back. The way we see it, citizens of the Pass WILL prevail. This administration has to go, and one way or another we can all be part of the initiative to remove them as soon as possible. Then, hopefully, we can all begin the job of rebuilding a vital and spirited community where there is hope for the future.
This administration has been invited to resign, but considering their dismal record of refusing to acknowledge valid concerns of the voting public, that is unlikely to happen. In any event, we are gratified to know that there will be a petition circulated, requesting that the Department of Municipal Affairs intervene in matters concerning policy making and performance of our mayor, council, and administration. At last, those who want to be part of positive change here will be able to actively make their wishes known.
Again, to the firefighters, we deeply acknowledge your history of dedicated professional service to all of us.
Dick and Susan Burgman
Crowsnest Ratepayers Association
Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians.