By Letter to the Editor on January 29, 2020.
Re: Jan. 23 Letter to the Editor from Maria Fitzpatrick, “Lobbying on City’s behalf is the MLA’s job.”
Maria starts her letter by saying, “I read Tim Kalinowski’s article in The Herald on Jan. 17 with utter dismay sadness and yes, some anger.” She goes on to say that the City should not have to hire a lobbyist to lobby on behalf of our City to the provincial government. Up to this point I agree with Maria, which is surprising to me because during her four-year tenure as the MLA for Lethbridge-East, I did not agree with much she said.
This is where we part company. She says she does not blame the City for this choice but instead blames Nathan Neudorf, our MLA for Lethbridge-East, for not doing his job by advocating for Lethbridge-East and Lethbridge in general. First, I think the City is once again wasting taxpayer money by hiring this lobby group for $30,000 plus another $6,000 in other expenses.
The UCP provincial government received a mandate from the Alberta electorate to get the runaway spending from our previous NDP government under control. To do that you need to either cut your expenses or raise taxes or both. If the government is in the “cut spending mode,” it is difficult to get them to spend money on new projects. For Maria to suggest Nathan is not doing his job is an absolute false narrative. I know Nathan personally and professionally and have had numerous meetings with him and it would be hard to find a person who is working harder for this community than he is.
Maria says she can speak to this in a personal way because she has been there. So, she knows about the 16-hour days, the time spent away from family, the constant meeting with ministers and caucus and all the meeting you need to have at the local level to keep informed of the needs of your constituents. That is exactly what Nathan has been doing since the election. I know he is totally focused on the well-being of Lethbridge and he is our best lobbyist.
Maria says in her letter about all the meetings she attended but after four years and working with the NDP, a government that had no problem spending taxpayers’ money, so besides all the meetings, what did Maria accomplish? I guess there must have been something, but I sure can’t think of anything significant. I trust Nathan Neudorf to get the job done.