Council ignores public, spends without concern

“Big spenders” or “non-responders” are two of the nicknames for our current city council and are two of the reasons there is so much anger from residents towards them.

“Big spenders” or “non-responders” are two of the nicknames for our current city council and are two of the reasons there is so much anger from residents towards them.

“Big spenders” was the reason that a group of citizens will be running a slate of fiscal-minded candidates for city council. The fact that there are a dozen people who have already announced they will be running in the October 2013 municipal election is a sign of concern that the residents are expressing. Red Deer First (fiscal slate) will announce more candidates than there will be social activists announcing their intentions to combat the extremity of a fiscal slate.

There will be politicians announcing their candidacy based on self-interest and political ambitions, and possibly another incumbent.

There could be, by my estimate, 24 candidates for city council so there is not as much concern for viable alternatives as there is for the mayor’s seat. Morris Flewwelling has announced he will not run again, and there does not seem to be much interest in this position, and that concerns a lot of residents. Will it be filled with a “big spender” and/or “non-responder”?

If a “big spender” is elected, who will steer the city into a fiscally prudent direction? Who will reign in the bureaucracy who innately spend money as self-preservation and egos require?

“Non-responders” became the reason for the petition for a plebiscite for a ward system. Too many citizens felt lost in a council immersed in the world of advocacies and grandiose dreams. They felt abandoned by a group of citizens that was supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Extravagant projects costing millions to build, implement, correct, repair, or dismantle — handing the taxpayers a debt that can be measured in fraction of a billion dollars with little or no public input outside special interest groups.

The city has announced that we will be having a plebiscite but they are still concerned that the citizens of Red Deer may not have the intelligence to understand the question. Perhaps it is city council that does not understand the question or the reason behind the need for the question?

Perhaps that is the reason they have become known as “non-responders,” because they cannot articulate an answer to our questions or they feel compelled to dumb it down before they respond?

Another reason that the mayor’s seat has become a concern: Red Deer needs someone who can communicate with the voters, someone who is willing to take the time to respond to questions, understand the complex myriad of issues, and someone who is not just a politician with lofty goals.

The status quo of “big spenders” and “non-responders” is not acceptable, and throw in areas that are over-represented, and others that are under-represented (geography, economics, etc.) and you can understand the anger and desire for change.

The time is now for proactive change. It is time for a reboot on where we want our tax dollars spent, what direction our city should be heading, and who should be leading the change.

Would you not agree?

Garfield Marks

Red Deer