In 2018, we had a drought, in 2019 we were drowned out, and now in 2020 we are hit with Covid-19.
Enough is enough!!
We cannot control the weather or pandemics but like the pioneers of old times, we can stick together and pull together with all lot of common sense.
I commend Don Coulthard for his letter to the editor dated Feb. 6, 2020 – I hope everyone has read his letter.
May it remind all of you that we, the taxpayers, have essentially elected councillors to speak and monitor all activities of our County office in regards to decisions that affect our lives and our incomes and taxes.
I trust that all taxpayers have received their Property Assessment Notices for this year.
Have you noticed that each year, particularly from 2018 through to 2020 our assessments and taxes have increased approximately threefold?
This is absurd during the drought, drowning out of fields and now Covid-19.
Also, in the March 19, 2020 edition of the East Central Alberta Review written by Terri Huxley, the County of Paintearth has reported an almost $5 million dollar surplus (to be exact it is $4,959,655!).
When will common sense prevail?
When we read the County Bulletins each month, my first question is why is the County, every three to five years buying, and buying new pickup trucks and other unnecessary things like a $10,807.09 drone?
Why do they need to spend $37,481 for admin equipment and furniture?
Granted heavy-duty equipment does need to be replaced when parts cannot be sourced to maintain them.
The County of Stettler has equipment that is over 10 years old and as parts can no longer be sourced to repair and maintain them, they will have to purchase new equipment.
Our county should adopt this example.
Why is our County buying equipment and buying new pickup trucks every three to five years?
Why cannot they be repaired and maintained?
Yes, we may all like to have new trucks, tractors and combines but spend, spend, spend is not the answer and every year increasing taxes for the taxpayers is not the answer.
We have lived in this county for over 24 years and have watched this irresponsible spending increase over the years.
The former area we previously lived in was also spending without fiscal responsibility until we taxpayers began to question more and revolt.
As a result in their next election, five councillors and the mayor were defeated and kicked out of office.
Regarding tax assessments, under Sections 299 and 300, we the taxpayers are entitled to see or receive sufficient information about our property and the tax assessment states that the information is available at the County Office during regular business hours.
Has the county made a change for the better?
Last year taxpayers had to make a long-distance call to Red Deer, Alta. to have questions answered – this is not available at our County Office.
What can you see over the phone?
The County has a responsibility to all taxpayers to give us answers to all these questions.
During the Covid-19 crisis a public meeting is not possible so I believe the county must address all issues with an open sincere letter as to why there is unnecessary spending increases and higher taxes and publish it in the East Central Review.
Not online, but printed publicly in the old fashioned way.
Remember reality is that many people have lost their employment. We are in a recession and many people will lose their homes and farms as well.
This is a time of crisis when we all have a responsibility to be kind and giving and help one another.
All levels of government, federal, provincial and municipal must prune out the wants of society and only do the needs so we can all survive.
We can take an example from our doctors, nurses and all necessary health care workers who sacrifice and keep working to keep us healthy.
We can all honestly give them our heartfelt thanks.
As President John F. Kennedy of the United States said in the 1960’s,
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
We can all do our part in Canada during this crisis and in the future as well.
I ask the County to now do its part to be fiscally responsible and set an example with spending for our needs and not our wants, and do not raise taxes and create another hardship on we, the taxpayers.