Thursday, September 4, 2014

Notes from the Mayor's Desk: September 2014

How are we doing as a Council and Staff?
It has been almost a year since the lead up to the election last fall.  For all of us who ran for Council, we spent time meeting with people asking what you wanted to see continued and changed in the next term of Council.  The last election also marked a change in the term of all municipal Councils in Alberta.  We were all elected for a 4-year term rather than the 3-year term that had previously been the norm.
We all spent time listening to voters, we had a public forum, and we were all judged at the ballot box, based on what you hoped we would do for the community for the next 4 years.  We know you don't want to have to wait until the next election to be asked about what is happening in town and on Council.
So, how are we doing?  Council and Staff want to know your thoughts, your concerns, suggestions, what we need to keep doing and what we need to improve.  We have had a year in our Council chairs.  I will tell you some of the things we have spent our time trying to accomplish over the past year in this article, but more importantly, we want you to come see us at Neighbor's Day, the Welcome Back Bar-B-Q, or at our website, to "give us a report card".
We could hire a consultant… or we could spend some of your money giving you a chance for a $100 credit on your utility bill in a draw if you choose to fill out a form where we ask you for three things -1.  Tell us one thing you like that we have done in the last year, 2.  Tell us one thing we need to fix, or attend to in the next year, and 3.  Give us a grade of A, B, C, D, or F.  Let us know your thoughts and get your name in for the draw.
Taxes. This is the single biggest concern we hear about from residents and businesses.  It costs money to have what we have in town.  We need to keep taxes as low as possible so we can have an affordable community to live in - and for businesses to operate and grow.  Council passed a residential tax increase of 2.94% and a non-residential (commercial) increase of 1.59%.  Commercial vacant property tax decreased by 3.23%.
Council and staff are mandated to operate a municipal corporation providing services to residents and businesses as efficiently as possible.  We can decide we want to have a 0% "flat-line" budget, if we are all willing to see cuts in services provided (for example: like not doing snow removal last year after we blew through the budget long before the snow stopped falling).  Part of the tax increase goes toward putting money away in reserves to save for the replacement of 30-40 year old pavement, sidewalks, pipes in the ground and replacement of our sewage treatment plant and water system components.  We are probably heading into a two year budget cycle in the next few months and we want to be crystal clear as to your thoughts - keep taxes as low as possible and look for more efficient ways to do business.
In the last year, we have spent a tremendous amount of time attending to community concerns and fears surrounding the 2013 Flood event and the possibility of more flood devastation.  We have worked very closely with Mountain View County, Clearwater County, Red Deer County, Provincial Ministers, Alberta Environment, various engineering firms, our MLA, Joe Anglin, MPs, and community members.  The Alberta government has agreed to fund a proposed berm upstream that would prevent overland flooding through Mountain View County and Sundre.  There is still a great deal of work to do on that project - and on the flood mitigation file as well.
We have heard you say you want Council and Staff to provide better "customer service" where we show you we work for you.  Are we improving?  We have heard we should communicate with residents better. How are we doing?  What can we do better?
Please take some time to talk with us - and to fill out a "report card" to get your name in a draw for $100 credit on your utility bill.

Mayor Terry Leslie
Town of Sundre

How Are We Doing?

Please tell us one thing that you like about what we have done in the past year.

Please tell us one thing we need to fix, or attend to, in the next year.

What grade do you give us for our work in the past year. Circle  A.  B.  C.  D.  F. 

Thank you for taking the time to let us know your thoughts :)


Your Name & Phone Number
(if you want to be entered into a draw for $100 credit on your utility bill)

No comments:

Post a Comment