What I Want To Fight For
What follows are some of the key things that I am advocating for or continuing to advocate for in my third term. This list is in no way a complete list. More items will be added as we go through the term.
Over the last 15 years that I have lived here, the community has grown. I feel we have lost some of the sense of community that was here a decade and a half ago.
We must make this an important part of the work of this term. When residents feel a part of the community, all other aspects of life become easier: volunteerism, community engagement and support for our businesses.
VALUE FOR TAX DOLLARS
I opposed this year’s tax increase. While it is true Morinville has a revenue problem, I believe it also has a spending problem. With reserves depleted and provincial dollars decreasing, we will need to take a hard look at staffing, spending, and how many projects it wants to take on. We cannot continue to raise rates and taxes year over year without doing a deep dive into spending.
With our last census putting Morinville over the 10,000 number, we can apply for city status. Knowing this milestone would arrive soon, I requested in my first term a report on the pros and cons of staying a town, becoming a city, or even becoming a specialized municipality with a neighbouring community.
I will advocate for weighing all of our options before we make a decision on status.
Morinville has made great strides over the past two years in communicating more effectively with our residents. Communication has been a top priority for me through two council terms and will continue to top my list over the next four years. Residents must always be kept informed.
Council does not decide what businesses open in town. Quite simply, those with dollars to invest will invest those dollars in businesses they think will return a profit. But that does not mean that Council cannot develop policies that make Morinville attractive to a variety of good job creators.
We need to work hard to attract businesses to the community that create mortgage-paying jobs (a phrase borrowed from Minister Dale Nally). Retail is welcome and wanted, but we need a heavier focus on attracting those employers that can help residents work and live right here.
When we were given more than a million from the province for job-creating projects that would not otherwise get done, we were given lots of recreation projects. I lobbied for a list of safety projects as well. This resulted in Council approving the curb extension project. Love them or hate them, it will make crossing Highway 642 safer.
I will continue to advocate for traffic, pedestrian and public safety initiatives and in my first days have put forward three notices of motion related to community safety.