The mayor underestimates the city’s desire for change

In response to Mayor Morris Flewwelling in the article Slate of council hopefuls want to put Red Deer First, Advocate, March 13, 2013.

In response to Mayor Morris Flewwelling in the article Slate of council hopefuls want to put Red Deer First, Advocate, March 13, 2013.

The article said: “Flewwelling wondered in the lightning strike chance that all eight are elected, what business owner would dismiss all of its experienced employees and hire all new staff in one fell swoop.”

If the employees of a business were losing money by making bad decisions, the business owner would be wise to replace them all!

Here are just a few facts about the business of our city.:

l At the end of 2013, the city will have $258 million in long-term debt (www.reddeer.ca). Whereas 10 years ago the city had virtually no debt. Most of this debt can be attributed to members of this council and our mayor, who have been here for the past nine years, and their support of the single largest city project, which has no benefit for the citizens of Red Deer (the approximate $120-million overspend for the new city yards, or as many locals call it, the Taj Mahal).

l We have no rainy day fund.

l Property taxes have been raised a total of 26.68 per cent (simple added total) for the last six budgets (well above inflation and population growth). In addition, utility taxes have increased much more dramatically during this same time period (www.reddeer.ca).

l They have wasted $800,000 on bike lanes without proper public consultation. The bike lanes are not used during winter and rarely used in the summer. The bike lane implementation has resulted in loss of needed vehicle traffic lanes, parking, and has caused widespread confusion and safety issues.

l There is a plan to spend over $16 million to revamp Taylor Drive/Ross Street intersection, a project that has been identified by a traffic expert to result in more traffic congestion and will add two more traffic signals (bprda.wpengine.com Jan. 20, 2013).

l 40 days for residential snow removal and piling up snow on one side of the street instead of removing it, reducing parking is acceptable to this council (www.reddeer.ca snow removal policy).

Candidates supported by Red Deer First would not have voted for these actions listed above, but the majority of our current council and our mayor did.

Red Deer First is a group of individuals who recognize there needs to be a dramatic change on city council. The wasteful overspending needs to stop, if that means the entire council needs to be changed, then so be it.

Ryan Handley

Red Deer First

Red Deer