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April 26th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 17
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Ratepayers Association holds first meeting of the year
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
The Ratepayers Association held a meeting at the Hillcrest Miner’s Club on April 19, the first since November 2015.

The group plans to meet monthly throughout the municipal election period, with meetings scheduled on the third Thursday of each month with the exception of July and August.

A number of Council members and Mayor Blair Painter were in attendance, as well as several members of the association.

The meeting began with president of the association Ed Strembicki giving a rundown of the organization’s financial statement at present. The association currently has a balance of $2,958.88 in available funds.
Public hearing

Strembicki summed up the association’s concerns with regarding Crowsnest Pass municipal affairs, namely concerns surrounding issues with the organizational structure of the municipality, bullying, increased spending on unnecessary positions, the cessation of the economically significant Thunder in the Valley event, and that Administration, Council and Mayor were not approachable for two-way communication.
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The concerns were part of a mission statement outlined in 2013, at the time of the previous election.

“The executive of the ratepayers feel that there is not a whole lot of change that has taken place in the last few years,” said Strembicki. “These items are still there.”

Members of the Ratepayers Association, the public and Council members engaged in debate regarding the voiced concerns.

At the end of the evening, the general consensus in the room was that more frequent discussion and interaction between Council and the Ratepayers Association needs to occur in order to help dispel misinformation and maintain transparency.

Strembicki says he felt the meeting was productive and that the Ratepayers Association concerns were lessened.
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“I think the meeting went relatively well,” he said. “I think we had good input from the members who were present as well as the executive and the Council.”

He added that he hopes to garner more interest from taxpayers and locals to be involved and contribute to the debate.
Election of officers

The association named officers for a one-year term. Ed Strembicki was nominated president. Elsie Linderman was appointed temporary secretary and treasurer, but the organization is looking for a permanent replacement. Oliver Strickland and Joe Fortunaso were appointed as the directors representing Bellevue, while Marilyn Milley will represent Blairmore and Larry Ruzek and Rudy Pagnucco, Hillcrest.
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April 26th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 17
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