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2017 is the first year a municipal election candidate must fill out a registration form declaring his or her intention of running for elected office in October’s upcoming municipal election. This information is available on Strathcona County’s main website and will likely be updated as potential candidate’s declare their intentions.

Throughout the next few months the Strathcona County Taxpayers Association will identify and discuss a number of potential election issues that could arise during the mayor and individual ward election campaigns. Our goal will be to provide a fiscally responsible take on these issues as we believe the number one role of our municipal council is to manage our property taxes with concern and care.

The current council has not done a very good job over the last term. Perhaps one of the best measurements of this is the fact we have squandered away our high ranking on Money Sense Magazine’s “Canada’s Best Places to Live” list. Before we blame the economy for this know that St. Albert has kept their fourth place ranking for a couple while we have fallen each year.

Strathcona County Council can turn to a lack of leadership for the source of their problems. For example, one of the largest “achievements” of their term has been the implementation of a new pay package for themselves. It is a pay package that provided substantial increases in salary, reimbursements, and expense accounts. The timing was wrong. The economy was beginning to decline. But it did not matter. There was money on the table and they took it.

Another example of a lack of leadership was evident throughout the Colchester versus Bremner decision making process. Millions of dollars in consultants fees was spent with very little accomplished. Without decisive leadership from within Council millions more will be wasted while each individual member of council attempts to figure out what is the most politically correct statement to make.

In the upcoming election we will have a chance to elect a better group of representatives for our Council. We owe it to ourselves to make an informed choice.  We owe it to each other to follow through and cast a vote based on that information.

The Strathcona County Taxpayers Association intends to add to the amount of information available to Strathcona County voters. If you have any questions or would like to comment on anything brought up here please visit us at www.strathconacountytaxpayers.org. We can make a difference and our vote will count in October.