Are you paying attention to what City Council is doing, how they are conducting business on our behalf?
I would challenge all of us to pay attention.
It has come to my attention that Manitou Road is about to be paved with all taxpayers paying the cost equally at a price of $800,000. There will be no parcel tax – councillors don’t support it and to quote one councillor – “the property owners don’t support a parcel tax either.”
Council’s own policy within the Five Year Plan 2009 – 2013, Schedule B, states, “Where appropriate the City will consider the use of parcel taxes as a means of recovering costs from specific subsets of properties for the provision of services that PRIMARILY benefit those particular properties.”
There are many instances of parcel taxes in the city – Alpine Trails, Golf Course, Annex Subdivision and the Downtown Revitalization project – those property owners paid the additional amount for the enhanced service. The property owners in the Ghostrider Subdivision paid a discounted price on the property they bought, their assessments are less than similar types of businesses within town and the taxes collected are less, indicating the reduced service level they receive.
Please take the time to read the minutes of February 6, 2012 where the whole situation at Ghostrider is laid out well by the Director of Finance. The discussion was very broad, talking about the paving of all of the Ghostrider Subdivision.
Council chose to ignore the report from staff. Two councillors are in direct conflict, sitting through the discussion with one declaring the conflict just as the resolution came before council and the other one not declaring a conflict at all. This is in direct contravention of the Community Charter, Division 6 – Conflict of Interest, Disclosure of Conflict section 100. In my opinion, these two councillors should be dismissed from council because of it.
I would hope that you go to City Hall and ask for the minutes, or find them online at www.fernie.ca, read them and then write a letter to the Mayor and Council to stop this expenditure as an equal cost to all taxpayers and have the property owners pay a larger portion (parcel tax) for their benefit and the benefit of their businesses. The two councillors who participated in the discussion and vote have a pecuniary interest in the project, as they have businesses within the Ghostrider Subdivision.
The second thing I would like to ask is that you challenge your councillors as to this conflict of interest and the pecuniary conflict and have them be responsible for the contravention and step down. Mayor and Council were elected to do the community’s business on our behalf, fairly and equitably.
Cindy Corrigan (former Mayor of Fernie)