Congratulations to “The New Magnificent Seven”, winners of our latest civic election.
You now enter Stage 3 of your political journey, commonly referred to as “The Honeymoon Period” (Stage 1 being the Campaign and Stage 2 the Election itself). Over time, public service stints have evolved to allow successful aspirants approximately 100 days to ‘find their way’. In other words, you are unlikely to receive too much criticism or overwhelming disapproval for most errors or wrong decisions you might make – at least for a little while!
Many readers, probably including a few of “The Magnificent Seven”, will recognize me as being a frequent writer to both the media and our Town’s Administration. Most of the time, my missives are criticisms of the various bylaws, policies and procedures which flourish in such abundance so as to make it difficult to enforce anything! I have also been quite vocal about how my tax dollar is spent. Trust me when I say that this approach is not about to change.
Please mark February 1st, 2018 on your calendars because that is the day, for all except three of you, the Honeymoon ends… when, as far as I am concerned, you should all have found your way around your new digs! Oh, by the way, those who will NOT benefit from a period devoid of any heavy-duty criticism are Barry Turner, Stephen Dafoe and Nicole Boutestein, since they have already had a four-year ‘Honeymoon’ to sort themselves out.
Remember, you can make as many mistakes as you want – once!
You all campaigned on issues such as ‘fiscal responsibility’, ‘open communication’ and economic development’. The residents of Morinville expect that past difficulties in these areas will indeed remain – in the past.
I have but two small pieces of advice for you newcomers:
A. Once the Mayor has handed out your initial Committee assignments, please search out the previous Councillor who held those positions and do a wee small ‘handover’… No sense reinventing the wheel!
B. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) recently published a report on Municipal Spending. Morinville came in on the bottom half of the report. Our population grew only 44% from 2005 to 2015 but our operational spending grew by 106%. This is clearly unsustainable over the long-term and I would ask that you all please read that report and consider ways you can give us a better showing than we have thus far been able to attain.
You have one hell of a responsibility, but I know you also have the collective ability to resolve the most pressing problems confronting this community.
Now, get out there and – GIT ‘ER DONE!
James G. O’Brien