This is to congratulate the members of our newly elected City of Red Deer Council, and to wish them well in their deliberations on our behalf. I believe that the election campaign had considerable opportunity for interaction between electorate and the candidates. This hopefully gives us as citizens some confidence in their governance and budget decision making.
It is therefore with some surprise that I saw the letter from Jason Stephan, President of the Red Deer Taxpayers Association to the new council. He is seeking opportunity to not only have a 30 minute open public presentation to the new council; but to have it recorded on “Hansard”.
This presentation he said would be respectful and fact-focused, but intended to sway the perceived views of some councillors and the administration. Mr. Stephan and the taxpayer organization’s position on taxation is well known as “keeping hard earned money in hardworking taxpayer’s pockets.” Their motive remains to be the economic watch dog against spending not in line with their views.
The City of Red Deer strategic plan 2015 to 2018 gives broad outlines for the budgets; the 2018 budget process will need to follow that; adjusted for the economic conditions of today. It includes a social policy framework. This special interest group must not be allowed to have undue influence in this budget process. This community of Red Deer is more than bricks and mortar and financial wealth, its riches are in the welfare of all its citizens.