2014 Mountain View Arts Festival
Opening Reception - Roaring 20s Theme
Photo Courtesy of Carla Victor
- Priority on Infrastructure
- The list of sidewalk and street repairs/replacement/installations/upgrades needs to be examined and updated annually. The recently adopted 5-year plan identifies all capital projects (including street and sidewalk upgrades) to be undertaken for the next five years. This plan fluid and must reflect changing priorities annually to provide the best service possible to the taxpayers of Didsbury. I don't believe you can realistically expect economic growth without proper sidewalks (wheelchair accessible, walker and stroller friendly) and streets.
- Water and waste management is going to become a bigger and bigger issue in the years to come. Some capital items may have to be delayed to allow infrastructure issues to be the priority.
- Minimize Property Tax Increases
- Property tax reflects the needs and desires of the residents. The Town only has control of about half of the property tax, the other half is controlled provincially. The current Council's has successfully reduced the overall revenue from tax in each of the last 3 years. I will continue to strive for more efficient and effective financial stewardship realizing that there is a point where a choice between service delivery and tax burden has to be made.
- Municipal Government should not be in competition with the private sector
- The Town should not pretend to be a developer. The Town should not make residents of Didsbury investors in select enterprises by giving low interest loans or property tax relief. Private sector businesses should be considered to be the experts and taxpayer dollars should not be used to finance projects generally undertaken by the private sector. This does not mean that prudent investment in Didsbury's furture should not be considered.
- Higher Standards for Residential Developments
- New residential developments must include at least the required green space, adequate infrastructure and playground facilities. With the impending IDP (Intermunicipal Development Plan) pending, Didsbury's MDP (Municipal Development Plan) has been put on hold. Improvements and updates to the MDP are therefore months away. This needs to be monitored closely and pushed forward as soon as possible.
- Didsbury Municipal Library
- Council has moved toward a per capita funding model for the Didsbury Municipal Library. This will provide the Library Board with the ability to successfully predict funding from year to year. The work of the current Library Facility Committee must push forward with presenting a plan to Council allowing Council to establish a budget and timeline for the expansion.
- Didsbury & District Historical Society
- The equivalent of the Didsbury Museum Office Manager salary should remain a budget item.
- Volunteer Support
- The vast majority of tourism in Didsbury is created and promoted by the volunteer organizations who host events here. Council should establish a Building Community Grant (possibly like the Mountian View County Grant) whereby organizations hosting public/tourist type events in Didsbury can apply for financial support.
- Community Pride
- Council and Administration must do a better job of blowing their own horn. (For example, some weeks ago the Town received $25,000 from Kraft Canada Hockeyville and only a precious few know about it.) We need a proper booth and presence at local tradeshows. We need a proper float and presence at local parades. We need to apply for and participate in community grant programs like Communities in Bloom and the Accessible Cities Award.
- Meaningful Community Engagement
- Council and Administration needs to do a better job of engaging residents in a meaningful manner. Significant enhancement projects in Town should take into consideration the feelings and opinions of those residents most affected. Development plans being undertaken by the Town should explore all options, include tax implications and whether or not to proceed with the plan.