There used to be a time when the dog days of summer were called “the silly season” for the media. It was a time when newsworthy stories were hard to come by. However, here in Red Deer, we get to see our silly season, the provincial election, every four years. The Advocate showcases the people who want to represent the citizens on the next council with all their hopes and promises for a better city. The incumbents roll out the same platitudes in order to finish off what they had started.
With this in mind, I find it confusing to read in the Advocate that our city manager has suddenly realized that city revenues are lower due to lower tax revenues along with the other lower revenue streams for city coffers. All it takes is a drive around the many industrial areas of the city to see all the for sale or lease signs on the businesses that served the oil patch and manufacturing sectors, to understand what’s going on.
Recently in the Advocate there was an article on the mid-year budget talks, where it was noted that only vital projects would be funded until the economy recovers, whilst at the same time saying we just have to bury the powerlines in front of the Canada Winter Games office and we just have to build a pedestrian square in Capstone amongst other “wish list” projects. There seems to be a bit of a problem here as people are forced to cross a six-lane speedway to get to the Riverlands area.
Surely the pedestrian square could have been developed if and when some commercial activity allowed the city to recoup some of the millions of tax dollars that have been poured into the area. Maybe, with such development there could be a pedestrian/bike bridge built across Taylor Drive to make it safer and easier to access the area.
I believe there are many issues for new candidates to discuss and I look forward to reading the Advocate to get all their views.
George Croome, Red Deer