Thanksgiving weekend and a year since we voted in a new mayor and council. Let us look at the changes.
2013: City gives go ahead for more police officers.
2014: City gives go ahead for even more new officers and support staff. Thanksgiving weekend and no new boots on the ground.
2013: City vacancy rate rises as businesses leave downtown and the city in general.
2014: Commercial vacancy rates rises again and more companies are leaving downtown and the city for the county.
Some downtown landlords are even raising rents, causing businesses to move or close their doors.
2013: City opens Ross Street patio.
2014: City reopens Ross Street patio and spends even more money on more furniture and landscaping. But then we can’t spend to many tax dollars supporting the few businesses on one side of one street on one block of Ross Street. Especially when some of those companies and properties are owned by a member of city council.
The patio now costs the tax payers $1,000 a day plus lost revenue from the covered parking meters.
2013: City didn’t fix but resurfaced streets downtown for Tour of Alberta.
2014: City again doesn’t fix but resurfaces more streets downtown for Tour of Alberta. After all, we can’t have out of town bike racers dodging potholes and navigating the rutted uneven streets the taxpayers of Red Deer drive on.
Current mayor and council gave money to a community group whose director thinks crime prevention is graffiti cleanup. I still see a lot of graffiti around town and although the crime numbers change, the overall rate of crime still remains the same.
I haven’t been to a council meeting for a while, but when I was attending meetings it seemed like the city manager controlled the agenda and the vote outcome. Council only gets the information he and his team want them to have and in a way they want them to have it. Why are we paying two groups of people to do the same job?
I do think some on council are truly trying and haven’t joined the old boys club yet. I hope they can continue to stand up for the people of Red Deer and what’s good for the majority rather than the privileged few.