Meet your candidates for the Municipal Election
Dean Ward COUNCIL
Crowsnest Pass Herald
My name is Dean Ward I am very please to announce I will be running for the position of councilor in the upcoming election October 21st.
I am very proud to be the husband of Debbie, father of three and proud grandfather of two beautiful girls. I have been a resident of the Crowsnest Pass for 31 years, I previously sat on the Historical society board for three years and currently I am sitting on the Crowsnest Pass Health Foundation.
One of my greatest assets is my council experience. I was fortunate to serve for two terms from 2004 to 2010 and this service provided me an opportunity to work through six municipal budgets. This is an invaluable experience because I believe we are about to face very difficult budget decisions in the upcoming council.
In 2010 this community voted for change. Change is inevitable and will happen whether we want it or not. The questions with change are always, what, how much, and how fast. Moving forward the next council must focus on involving the community and allow the residents to have input and steer the directions of future changes.
The strategic plan of 2011 was put together by a group of people that do not live in the Crowsnest Pass for the most part. It lacked local support right from the beginning; the public was never given the opportunity to be a part of this plan. Even though the plan had some very good recommendations, it was never “our plan.” It was councils.
The greatest challenges we face in the Crowsnest Pass is the fact that we have a very weak tax base. After the closure of the Devon Gas Plant roughly 10% of our tax base is commercial/industrial and this is not sustainable. Ninety cents of every dollar raised by the municipality comes from residential taxpayers.
According to the last Canada Census on average, we have the oldest citizens in the province of Alberta. In simple terms, every time we increase the burden on taxpayers, we make it less affordable for our seniors to live here.
If you choice to vote for me in the upcoming election, you will be choosing a candidate that believes very strongly in the following:
Fiscal responsibility, I will not brag about small tax increases for the next four years while at the same time taking an extra $400,000 a year out of the taxpayers’ pockets by increasing utility bill Franchise Fees a whooping 230% over three years. I will work to bring forth a bylaw that only allows the municipality to increase Taxes, Franchise Fees, Utilities, Permits, Fines and all forms of revenue, only up to a maximum of the annual Canadian cost of living rate. Government’s job should be to minimize expenditures not maximize revenues; we all must live within our means. This community does not have the luxury of being able to afford to spend $400,000 on a logo, or $50,000 to buy the rights to a Best Western brand for a private company.
Smaller government, we now employ more administrators than the Crowsnest Pass as ever had previously, with another new position currently advertised. With a staff of less than fifty employees, do we really need nine administrators, when you add up all the salaries, benefits, vehicles, cell phones, computers etc… we will be spending in excess of $1.2 million a year. To put this in a different perspective out of the 3100 homes in our community, 600 of them will be paying taxes just to maintain our administration.
There is much more to my platform, which I will be sharing with the public over the next six weeks, I look forward to speaking to as many people as possible. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to help me with my campaign, feel free to call me at 563 4128 or email email@example.com.