Recently in letters to the editor, citizens of Red Deer have expressed their frustration with a number of things that are, to say the least, topics of discussion around the water cooler.
My first comment is directed at the idea of a ward system being implemented in the city.
Why are people surprised that the majority of the present council turned down something that would make them more responsible to the taxpayers and make them more available to the public? Unfortunately, an editor of the Advocate supported their dismissal of the concept, without, in my opinion looking at all the benefits that could be seen with a new way of doing things.
My thought on the ward system debate is how about if we had four councillors, one for each sector of the city plus a city wide elected mayor?
Now here comes the big thing: the four councillors would be full time and have access to administrative help and an office supplied by the taxpayers.
I never thought I would suggest having full-time councillors, but anyone who follows city politics knows that some of the present group would like to see this anyway.
The debate needs to be started now, so that information pro and con can be offered to the voters and the plebiscite could be added to the 2013 municipal election.
The second point is the complaints about the state of our roads in Red Deer. As taxpayers we shouldn’t expect too much from our elected officials, let’s face it, there’s only so much money to go around.
When they decide it’s more important to beautify Gaetz Avenue, and pour more tax dollars into downtown, rather than do mundane things like fixing roads, we should all be happy that we voted for what seems to be a group of people who are out of touch with the regular city taxpayer.
Rather than complaining, we should be thankful that these caring folks managed to keep the tax increase to just over five per cent, which will make the tax on my house, about 50 per cent higher than it was 10 years ago. This wouldn’t be too bad, except we have to fight to get the back alley graded and all over this older neighbourhood, the roads are falling apart.