December 15th, 2017

Council should spend money on what city really needs

By Letter to the Editor on June 17, 2017.

Dianne King’s letter in June 11’s Herald has prompted me to write this letter. This mayor and council is trying to be the best in Canada or the world at taxpayers’ expense.

I suggest that if you want something in this city, build and maintain it, so our tax money can go towards the necessities of the city and keep our taxes frozen. You may not realize it, but not everyone can afford to support the extras. People have a hard enough time to pay their monthly bills.

We have a dozen places in town that have plays, musical performances, art shows and then there is Casa. Do you want to put these places out of business?

We have three snowplows, the best in Canada. Many streets are never plowed, just waiting for a chinook. If the rest of Canada don’t need them, we don’t.

According to Colleen Jones, we have the best curling rinks in Canada. Our champions have never curled on them and are still champions. Did we need them?

Did we need to be the first to have the LGBTQ+ flag on our crosswalks? Even though they paid for it, it took many council hours, both last year and this.

We have six fitness centres and more are opening up, plus gyms and the university. Why do we need another at ATB Centre? It’ll just put the others out of business.

I agree these things are nice, but not at the expense of education, health and safety. Food banks need help and people are asking for donations to help the needy. Children go to school hungry, so we are feeding them. Seniors are not taking medications because they can’t afford them, along with paying their other bills.

You will be remembered by bringing the blue recycling bins out of storage; apparently they were bought a few years ago. So now we are paying more, because we pay twice for the week recycling is picked up.

We need safer streets so we can use downtown. The streets need repaving. The water plant needs upgrading and the list goes on and on.

I hope anyone wishing to run for council this fall will read this letter and think about what the citizens of Lethbridge really want. This will make you the best in Canada and maybe the world.

Phyllis Cass


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17 Responses to “Council should spend money on what city really needs”

  1. johnny57 says:

    There certainly is a “disconnect” between Council and us little people Phyllis.

  2. HaroldP says:

    The distinction between “Needs” and “Wants” in our community at this time and in our current economic time is paramount to be distinguished. City Council needs to be vigilant. Phyllis, you state, ” bringing the blue recycling bins out of storage; apparently they were bought a few years ago.’ This was something we heard time and time again, but we never confirmed, do you have any info? If so, in confidence, please call 403-330-6119.

  3. biff says:

    thanks, phyllis. sorry to repeat, but this is a copy/paste from my response to our dear mayor’s glossy portrayal of happy times at city hall.
    the issues expressed by many are that: council rubber stamps most everything that our ridiculously overpaid city managers “suggest”; the city appears to typically over pay for virtually every contract and its employees; we pay an additional annual road tax of 125-odd dollars – because the street one lives on HAS NOT BEEN REPAVED!; the city spends money on narrow interest building projects and groups while generally disregarding what the majority use or care most about; the city funds new projects, creating more infrastructure needs going forward, while not looking after existing infrastructure; the city has squandered an awful lot of money through carelessness and possibly illegal activity…. consequently, competence and honesty and transparency would be well served by regular audits from a reputable outside firm. i wonder, as well: do committees when they meet still over-order large amounts of catered food, at tax payer expense, and take the “leftovers” home?

  4. manby says:

    Thank you Phyllis. I am so against the letter written by Dianne King.
    This city has far more important needs than another performing area. Our taxes can be spent far more wisely.

  5. snowman says:

    Phyllis you are absolutely right and more citizen/taxpayers should take the time with their opinions this Council has put more debt an interest on the books .next year we will get the tax bill on full leisure
    center, curbside blue carts etc it is not going to be pretty. Other cities like Edmonton, Winspear Performing Arts centre $6million donation plus, Calgary Martha Cohen, Max Bell foundation pays operating costs. Not this City taxpayers pay for the Elite to frolic. The Casa a $10.00 a year lease agreement nice deal we pay the bills with the exception of top floor University pays share of operating costs. We pay all carbon tax ice arenas $14,150.00. city will not show bill for Casa but total for all city assets over $800,000.00 this year more next year. Your right the City essential infrastructure should be first, the non essential a big NO.

  6. petie150513 says:

    The early lobbying for Election Lethbridge 2017 continues to play out in the Letters to the Editor column in the Herald. @biff writes “…the city has squandered an awful lot of money through carelessness and possibly illegal activity…”

    Well biff: What is the specific nature of the possible illegal activity that you allege and have you informed either the LPS or the RCMP? Are you aware of law enforcement currently investigating members of City Council and City Management for said illegal activity? Or did you just think it was OK to throw that out there?

  7. biff says:

    i’m not running looking to be elected for anything. but i do ask for regular audits. then we can know with certainty whether there are inefficiencies, waste and if laws have been broken.

    • petie150513 says:

      @biff: Nice try. Your call for audits is admirable, but you expect others to ignore the fact that in this context you alleged “possibly illegal” behaviour of THIS city council. It is not big secret that many of the persons on this thread have made multiple accusations that the citizens of Lethbridge are being held captive by a shady bunch of folks at City Hall, and that they (collectively) are corrupt. So I guess, you just thought it was OK to throw that out there.

      BTW: I didn’t say you were running for office, but Harold P certainly has that on his mind.

      • biff says:

        i stand by what i have written. without audits, we will never know if we are getting honest and fair representation all the way through. and, while the likelihood of all city hall being corrupt is nil, it would be hard to believe it is as honest and, or, effective as it could be. oh, it is not just THIS city council and administration i have concerns about. i feel it would quite interesting to go back 20 years or more, if we reasonably could.

      • Montreal13 says:

        And so what IF Harold P. is thinking about running for office? Spearman at the last election called city admin. crooks and had his name put forward for mayor. This was well documented on social media at the time.

  8. meisplayfull2 says:

    I see that the current city council clearly defeated the motion to examine the possibility of changing to a ward system. In my opinion that almost ensures their reelection and here’s why. As usual there are several new names on the ballot plus the current council up for re election. I go the polls and they advise me to pick up to 8 names on the ballot. I pick the 3-4 new names that I believe can do a good job, then I fill in the rest based on current council name recognition. Assuming most vote like this, the new candidates split the vote and the incumbents get the rest and get reelected. Its funny when Spearman keeps repeating that if you do not like it “run for office”. The more new names, the more the vote is split and the better the odds Spearman and his gang get reelected.

    • biff says:

      smart observation – helps explain why we keep getting the same old.

    • Montreal13 says:

      meisplayfull2- you are right. And please spread the word- you donot need to vote for all 8 positions on council. . Vote for 1 or 2 people you really want on council -many more and you cancel their votes. You donot have to vote for a mayor at all. I’m not suggesting that you don’t vote for a mayor, however.
      There is a reason why many incumbents wait to declare ,as then more newbies apply. The more newbies, the more name recognition helps to get incumbents re-elected.
      Another reason perhaps why some councilors donot want a ward system has been suggested before: it breaks up their fan base ,so they may get less votes, or their fan base may have to vote for different candidates in their area. Plus a ward system may increase accountability to their electors- some councilors may not want that! Some incumbents/candidates may not want to give up their sense of power and control . More accountability may threaten that, because representing electors is not their primary motive?

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