The aim of this blog is to generate discussion and debate and, hopefully, an increase in voter engagement and turnout for this municipal election.
Over the next four weeks I will post twice weekly, outlining a major issue and my stance. This counts as numero uno, so I will address seven major issues in municipal politics.
There are certainly more than seven issues about which Peace River voters are passionate so I want to hear from you. Use the contact form on the About page to send me a request to publish a guest post. I want to see all positions published on this blog to make for a diverse discussion. Disagreement with a stated position is not being a “negative-ator” or “naysayer“. It is being an engaged citizen.
To entice you to stick around for the four weeks, below I summarize the issues I will address. Incumbent mayor Lorne Mann focused on many of them in his Mayor’s Musings published in the Record Gazette. As such, I had a rich repository of issues to analyse and on which I could form positions. I found that many of the supposedly factual statements were anything but and that the verifiable facts pointed to an entirely different interpretation of the issue.
I present these seven issues not only because they interest me, but because in their very public presentation in the Record Gazette, they galvanized debate in the community.
1. Growth Due to Leadership
Mayor Mann stated numerous “facts” regarding growth in Peace River. In searching for the sources of these statements, I found there were none, and that the true figures paint a very different picture.
2. Misery begets misery: Part 1
A sober analysis of visitor numbers, financial transparency of the ski club, and the true costs of the Misery Mountain chairlift.
3. Misleading figures or just a typo?
In Mayor’s Musings, strong statements were made about the financial performance of Town Council under the leadership of Iris Callioux from 2007-2010, particularly around building permits. The numbers given were false and the conclusion unjustified.
4. Balancing the books
Mayor Mann wrote often of fiscal responsibility and “growth funding growth.” Growth is certainly apparent in the Town’s financial statements, but not where you might think.
5. Misery begets misery: Part 2
A well researched and thoroughly provocative letter to the editor of the Record Gazette looking at the financial impact of plans for Misery Mountain. Sadly, it was never published. Until now.
6. The CAOs: Part 1
A brief history of the CAOs dismissed and hired by the current Mayor and Council, the resulting controversy, and the total financial cost to taxpayers.
7. The CAOs: Part 2
How does Kelly Bunn’s salary compare to that of CAOs in other similarly sized towns in Alberta? What are the financial implications to taxpayers of hiring his company as CAO instead of him personally as an employee?