The last two months have had a terrible outcome with Lacombe city council spending our tax dollars at random. Here are some highlights:
• In spite of much previous public outcry, city council voted to purchase the land from the CUC at an over-inflated price — a full $2,058,000 more than they would have paid for land offered to them (in writing) by a local developer.
• The ‘Eight Million Dollar Daycare’ was brought back to the table and it looks like it will be rammed through at administration’s request.
• The city’s sewer inspection truck, after pressure from the public, was finally put to work after sitting idle for two years. It seems that the funds to operate the truck had been reallocated to the Lacombe Memorial Centre (LMC).
• Even after extreme protest by certain councillors — Ian Foster, for example, expressed distaste over the numbers and red ink at the LMC — council voted to have Anna Marie Kaufman and the LMC remain losing money for the city to the tune of $1 million per year ($500,000 financing/$500,000 operating). Foster was the first to raise his hand when asked “Who wants to leave it as is?” Why are these council members not voting with their brain and not just doing what administration is telling them to do?
• Council voted to build a truck storage yard to add more cost to our citizens, and to compete against companies who have already paid for parking lots.
• Certain council members have been seen texting during council meetings (some for 20 minutes at a time) — even before critical votes are being cast.
• Many of the councillors always agree with everyone else — it seems that they do not have their own opinion (nor do they bring the opinion of their constituents) on any of the issues being discussed. We just can’t afford in this failing economy to continue spending like a drunken sailor!
• We are extremely disappointed in the direction that Mayor Christie is leading council. The citizens of Lacombe need Christie to take the helm and think of the City of Lacombe as he leads the pack. This may be only a stepping stone in Christie’s public career, but it is essential for the Lacombe that he tries to do better than he has been. With the recent news that Okotoks is in financial trouble, the message is loud and clear that we need to watch our spending.
The concerned citizens who have formed the Lacombe Taxpayers Association are here for the long haul and will continue to critique and monitor Christie’s leadership and the Lacombe city councillors in order to keep them accountable to the people of Lacombe.
The next Lacombe council meeting will be held on Monday, Aug. 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. and will include a presentation from a number of Lacombe residents affected by the recent flood and sewer backup problems.
The next meeting of the Lacombe Taxpayers Association (LTA) will be in the basement of The Kozey Korner in Lacombe at 7 p.m. on Sept. 8. We will be discussing the recent flooding and sewer backup problems. All are welcome to attend.
We encourage you to have a voice in your community by joining this fast growing association! You can join the LTA by requesting a signup sheet at firstname.lastname@example.org. (There is also a $10 membership fee.)