City officials don’t have a clue

It seems our city council is forever planning something but seldom actually doing something positive.

Re. John Stewart’s Dec. 28 editorial, headlined A good plan is crucial:

It seems our city council is forever planning something but seldom actually doing something positive.

Thousands of dollars go to hire consultants for ideas that the average Joe taxpayer could provide answers about while the programs that actually benefit citizens are often underfunded.

A very good example of this is the way the city maintains our roads system, a municipal necessity that everyone needs and uses daily.

It seems every year council budgets too little money for snow removal and then in February starts whining about not having the necessary funds to complete the job.

In summer, many of our roads continue to have potholes that somehow never get filled; some major intersections are just terrible, year after year.

Then comes the snow and on many roads throughout the city it stays until spring. Even the ones that do get plowed, sometimes days after the snow starts, it seems a good portion of the snow is left on the road.

There are other examples that point to the city leaders having little concept of what it takes to make positive decisions. The Arlington Hotel project comes to mind.

Purchasing a privately run hotel that employed a number of citizens and turning it into a metered parking lot is not progressive by any standard.

According to Stewart’s article, the number of municipal employees, now at 1,200, has doubled since the mid 1990s. Let me guess, 90 per cent to administration and management?

Is there any one city councillor that keeps the interest of the taxpayer in mind? The taxes keep going up, but the services keep going down. Is anyone else concerned about this?

The 2009-2011 Strategic Plan has some high falutin visionary language in it, but until we see some work done on the ground it’s really not much more than political rhetoric.

Stewart writes: “But we know that public expectations are high. And city administrators and municipal politicians know that.”

No, they don’t!

Maybe at the next municipal election we can get people with some business sense to run for office.

Len Nederlof

Red Deer

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