Mayor and Council,
Congratulations to you all as you move into four years of challenging issues facing Morinville.
It is very early in your appointment but the 2014 Budget process is looming over everyone province wide. All municipalities will have to keep an eye on the Provincial Government and their obvious movement towards saving money and the possible implications that this will have for revenues at the local level.
I … would like to stress a couple of the comments made in the editorial [published in the Edmonton Sun Nov. 3:
· New buzz words that we had all better become very familiar with: “collaboration”, “amalgamation’’ and modernization”. Speculation is that this will play out as “less” funding for individual projects within a town or county. As I have mentioned in a previous letter to the editor, it is openly stated on the Alberta Municipal Affairs website, that Municipal Sustainability Initiative Funding (MSI) (both operating and capital) will be ending in 2016.
· I would like to quote the following statement from the Editorial: “No matter what the issue, the Redford Tories are certain they are the smartest and most sophisticated people in any room. As such, they have no need to consult with anyone else or listen to others’ recommendations. They are sure they should just be able to impose their will from on high and all lesser beings (i.e. everyone else) should simply bow down and thank them for their wisdom.” I would like to hope that our Council and Administration will NOT attempt to walk down this same road.
· The editorial also states and I quote: “Coming from a government that is desperate to pare expenditures, it’s not hard to put two and two together and see where Redford and her gang might be preparing a legal mechanism to force small local governments to merge in the name of cost saving.” What would or could this mean for Morinville?
In closing, the editorial does state that Redford now claims it is “exactly the right time” to suspend the bill and listen. The big question is will they? Or, have they already made up their mind?
If revenue streams are going to be drying up what steps will Mayor and Council be taking prepare for this new reality or to trim expenditures in the 2014 Budget?
Note to public: Many of our current councillors made sincere commitments about taking an objective look at Town costs and efficiencies and the impact on ratepayers while on the campaign trail. I am sure that all of Morinville has a keen interest in how these promises morph into reality during the 2014 Budget discussions.
Our new Mayor and Council deserve the time and opportunity to demonstrate how they intend to lead.