City must put an end to spending

I am still in utter amazement and fail to understand the continual inability or perhaps refusal of our city’s council to balance their operating budget.

I am still in utter amazement and fail to understand the continual inability or perhaps refusal of our city’s council to balance their operating budget.

Instead of reducing expenditures, they continue to spend more and more on large capital projects that really do nothing to benefit the life quality of the average taxpaying resident of the city.

There’s been a tax increase of roughly four per cent every single year since 2002. That is 12 years of tax increase — our taxes have increased about 48 per cent since 2002 and there is no end in sight.

As a working family man, I have a fixed budget and if I spend more than I make, I have to find ways to save money, to spend less, to meet my budget. This is Economics 101 at its most basic level; something that has completely escaped the people who we have elected to manage the affairs of our city and our tax dollars. They continue to rely on taking more and more from taxpayers to balance their budget and the city is still — despite all of that — over $200 million in debt.

Despite record setting years of building permits, despite record setting years with the photo radar cash cow, despite record-setting years of new people moving to Red Deer and adding to our economy, they still can’t find it within themselves to operate in an effective and responsible manner.

The only money management technique they have is the annual tax increase and I have to ask, when does it stop?

Responsible and effective leadership would make a commitment to the citizens of this city of when they plan to operate under a balanced budget and when we can expect the tax increases to stop, because they simply cannot continue to increase taxes every single year and we can’t continue to fool ourselves by saying it’s only a four per cent or a 3.95 per cent increase, it’s still an increase and it is still an indicator that they have yet again spent more than they have for revenue and yet again have to rely on an ever-increasing tax burden to its citizens to make ends meet.

When will we see an effective and responsible management team in charge of this city?

All of us have joked about the autonomous nature of this city council and nothing has changed since our last election. How can they continue to ignore the stark reality of what they are doing?

Do we really need a $90-million swimming pool in the city when we are carrying a debt of over $200 million? Did you read that? We are over $200 million in debt and they continue to overspend and continue to increase your taxes to do so.

Duke Hanson

Red Deer

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