Monday, 22 April 2013

New Adventures Mean Exciting Days and Nights


The exciting thing about being new to council is we do not have any predetermined or historic baggage. Everything is new and exciting. Let me give you an idea about why it is exciting to work with our mayor and council. It is about being inclusive. The mayor has made every effort to make us a team. He has asked us to choose committee work, attend events, and make decisions for the best of the community. We are not always in agreement for instance the $60 base tax myself and two other councillors voted against it wanting to add it to the mill rate. We lost but at least we got to discuss our reasons and make our case. One of the things I have learned quickly is our city is run as a corporation and it is a “FEE FOR SERVICE” corporation. We pay our taxes for all our services including police, fire, water, sewer, garbage, roads, parks, recreation facilities, community clubs and most important the quality of our social life in the city. Just think for most of us we pay taxes monthly that do not even add up to what we pay for internet, cable, telephone or in some cases what a family pays for all their cell phone services monthly. Pretty good deal overall. It is about our quality of life and the wonderful city we choose to live in.

New construction spring 2013

One of the things you will find is I like to work out of the box. I hope my other councillors are the same. We need to come up with innovative solutions to get the best bang for the buck. That means sitting down with our employees, unions and most important our citizens to get the best ideas to make our city the best it can be. We are in it together and that is what makes it so important to work with our senior governments to make sure we are getting our fair share. Then taking those resources and putting them to the best use for the good of our city.

Being on council is not always fun or without sleepless nights. We have to make decisions sometimes without really having all the time we would like to think things out or do our own research. Sometimes it is about neglect by previous councils not wanting to make the hard decisions about increasing taxes to pay for repairs to roads, water and sewer or saying no to huge wage increases. It is not easy saying no to our community non profits that bring so much value to our city. As you know I believe strongly in the neglect of our downtown and it’s need for revitalization and my concern for our most at risk.  I know that we have had to make hard decisions to not fund repairs to various facilities and it is hard. One that seemed in the past not that important to council was the Diefenbaker House. We have put $55,000 towards keeping the foundation stable but it is a drop in the bucket to protect this historic site. We just do not have enough money or resources for everything. What I do know is we have the best people and groups working on these things. Our administration, city employees, volunteers and elected officials are all in it to do the best for you and your families.

In the long run we are in this together and I for one thank you for allowing me to represent you. I will meet with you or you can call, email twitter, leave ideas or issues on my blog. Council always need your input. Here is how to get a hold of me:

306-960-3663


twitter.com/rickforpa

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