By Letter to the Editor on July 3, 2020.
Lead, follow or get the “h***” out of the way! This is the obvious statement being projected by more and more Lethbridge residents towards our mayor and city council, plainly evidenced by the growing number of petitions and demonstrations being organized and carried out by Lethbridge residents.
The majority of the citizen actions are aimed squarely at fiscal irresponsibility of our current municipal government. The populous has come to the realization that their voices and concerns are not restricted to the four-year cycles when they can cast votes, but “carpe diem,” seizing the day! (A good thing!)
Critical statements have been raised in relation to the operation and existence of the Supervised Consumption Site, and I dare suggest that citizen action has filled the void of the non-action of our mayor and for most of the current city council members. The positive result, an investigation, financial audit and forthcoming intervention by our provincial government. Similarly, gross spending of taxpayer dollars towards discretionary projects are being challenged by actively participated petitions, and rightly so! We are speaking to multi-millions of our tax dollars being squandered or so destined. Citizens have had enough and are resigned, prepared and willing to raise the flag.
City acquistion of the airport with $20-million-plus renovations pending, $2-million-plus appropriation to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden Society, $1.7 million to a coulee trail, undetermined final costing to proposed 3 Avenue construction, 7 Avenue bicycle designation, and so on and so on… oh, and of course, raises to the mayor and city council members! The result is demonstrated once again in our property tax assessments. The residential tax assessments for Lethbridge continue to be one of the highest in Alberta, second only to Grande Prairie. Comparisons of property taxation of a residential home assessed at $350,000 in Grande Prairie, $4,202.92; Lethbridge, $3,989.20; Medicine Hat, $3,253.57; Red Deer, $3,432.85; Airdrie, $2,585.60; Calgary, $2,609.78; Edmonton, $3,264.00; Fort McMurray, $1,588.97!