Monthly Archives: October 2013

Pointing Fingers

The candidate of your choice didn’t win. Let’s blame ‘Anonymous’. Interesting that the voter is not blamed. Interesting that the media is not blamed.

Society has become a “quick fix” society. Over the last decade the ability to process and retain information has diminished. Fifteen second advertisements on television give the brain a brief adrenalin rush. Transfer that to today’s technology – twitter – sound bites – how many followers – all equate with brief spurts of adrenalin rush. Ask someone to read something more in-depth and, although the capability to comprehend is still there, the adrenalin rush is not. So the average voter goes for the addictive rush.

And those who now place blame on “Anonymous” for not getting the candidate of their choice into office, what exactly did YOU do? Forget the adrenalin rush and think hard before you answer that question.

The Think Tank addressed serious issues. They backed up every issue with credible references. At no time did they mention the Mayor’s name, nor any specific person on council. They stuck to their initial intentions – presenting facts. Since when did that become a bad thing?

During the campaign weeks many of you supported the issues and welcomed the facts they presented. Many of you understood the reason for anonymity. Many acknowledged that our Constitution allows freedom of speech.

And local media used it for their candidate’s advantage. Check the front page of the local papers through the campaign weeks and notably absent were headlines that spoke of election issues or of candidates. Sensationalised tabloid tactics to sell hard copy was the MO. What happened to the responsible paper that covered important issues from all angles and gave those important issues front page status? One has to wonder who is in whose pocket?

Where’s that finger pointing?

Post Election

There are many who worked incredibly hard over the last several months. Worked hard because they believed that truth and facts would be strong enough to light a flame. Worked hard because they were tired of being confronted with the constant inundation of views and opinions of the absurd. Worked hard against the fringe groups that are making enormous inroads into how St. Albert citizens should live. Yes, many of you worked extremely hard.

Results may not be what one wished for through all that hard work. But results are definitely there. Shelley Biermanski opened up windows and doors for many. Her numbers showed that. The increased voter turnout showed that.

Thank you Ms. Biermanski. You have earned the respect of many.

The forums brought common sense from a number of other candidates. Bob Russell revealed the insane yearly salary increases city employees get; the hardships some residents find themselves in because of high property taxes and extremely high utility rates. Norm Harley’s fact finding reports disclosed the city’s fiscal irresponsibility. John Goldsmith’s contribution revealed how the city has consistently taken industrial zoned lands and turned them into residential ones, thereby heaping more of a tax burden on residents.  And Ted Durham’s frequent exposure of the city’s excessive spending earned him heavy opposition.

Roger Bradley, Mark Cassidy, Gareth Jones and Malcolm Parker need to also be mentioned as they offered common sense solutions to various issues.

The time, effort and expense all these candidates put in to giving St. Albert an open and honest picture of reality should not be shelved. They deserve more.

The next 3 ½ years is not  the time to sleep.

Now is the time to make the new council more accountable than ever before. The more eyes on them, the better. The more questions they have to answer from constituents, the better.

Now is not  the time to become complacent.

Scorecard 5 – Final Update

All candidates’ websites, youtube viewings, as well as both local papers up to and including October 19, 2013 have been researched for updated information. Final results can be viewed on the SCORECARD page above.

If you find the information useful as a tool in aiding your decision, pass it on to someone on your addy list.

Vote educated.  Vote smart.

Class is . . . .

Mayoral Candidate Shelley Biermanski.

Her agenda – the people of St. Albert. Her interest – the people of St. Albert. Her goal as Mayor – improve life for all  the people of St. Albert.

She offers something residents have been missing – genuine concern to raise the standard of living for everyone  in St. Albert. And that can be brought about through the platform Ms. Biermanski campaigns on.

Fiscal responsibility, reasonable utility rates, reinstating the municipal planning commission, repealing DARP, government transparency, retaining an internal auditor, protecting taxpayers rights and freedom and building positive relationships with surrounding municipalities are commonsense approaches to strengthening life in this city.

Shelley Bermanski’s high standard of ethics, her competence, her openess and her approachability will serve her well as Mayor.

Realistic Visions

Ted Durham’s most obvious strength is his vocal tenacity and research in holding council accountable in decisions made affecting St. Albert residents. As the first candidate to throw his hat into the ring earlier this year, he has made his intentions very clear to represent residents – all residents.

His business and managerial background give him a leading edge to working with businesses and increasing financial efficiencies. These assets would greatly benefit St. Albert.

Ted Durham’s platform includes fiscal responsibility, addressing utility rates and unnecessary spending, repealing DARP and the $500,000 LRT study, reinstating the municipal planning commission, and reducing/maintaining property tax rates.

There is no doubt that as councillor, St. Albertans will greatly benefit with Ted Durham representing the realistic needs of this community.

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John Goldsmith’s impressive 35 year business background are something voters should seriously take into consideration before hitting the voting booth.

At the forums, listening to his well researched presentations backing up the various issues he is campaigning for, left the voter with the impression that this is a man who will cater to the well-being of all St. Albertans – residents and businesses alike.

John Goldsmith’s platform includes halting the out-of-control spending,  government transparency, review of the solid waste policy, protection of the Big Lake River Corridor, reinstating the municipal planning commission, repealing DARP and the $500,000 LRT study, and “affordable living”.

John Goldsmith – a serious consideration.

Why I won’t be voting for Climenhaga or Osborne

Check out the new contribution in the New Guest Author tab above.

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Please note that all contributors and comments are archived under “Guest Authors“.  If you wish to comment to any of those, feel  free to leave a comment in the comment section at the bottom.  Please preface which author /article you are addressing, as your comment will be moved under the appropriate author.

Experience

That definitely describes Bob Russell.

Over the years Bob Russell has been politically active on the local, provincial and federal levels. Having previously served three terms on St. Albert’s council gives him good insight as to how the wheels turn at city hall.

His in-depth real estate background plus his certification in planning and zoning and six terms on Edmonton’s Metropolitan Planning Commission is a distinct advantage to understanding new residential and commercial development proposals. It also gives him strength in addressing issues mature neighbourhoods face.

Bob Russell’s platform includes addressing St. Albert’s high utility rates, zero-based budgeting, reinstating the municipal planning commission, protecting the Big Lake River Corridor, a one year freeze on administrative hiring, getting an internal audit done, completing Ray Gibbons Drive, cultivating a better relationship with Sturgeon County and other surrounding municipalities.

Even with his long list of accomplishments, amongst them receiving the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for Public Service, he remains a people’s man.

Bob Russell will do an excellent job. He is an asset St. Albertans can not afford to pass up.

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Cam MacKay certainly also fits this category. It is not often one comes across a politician who actually knows how to listen to constituents. That is a gift. He is approachable, concerned about the quality of life residents experience, and has often stood alone in support of citizens at council meetings.

Solid in his ethics and values, you know his interest rests with making St. Albert an affordable place for residents to live and businesses to operate.

Included in Cam MacKay’s platform are keeping tax increases to a minimum of1.5% preferring to obtain 0%, if possible; retaining an internal auditor, keeping City Councillor positions at part time, looking for reasonable utility rates and reviewing the present cost of waste removal, reinstating a municipal planning commission, preserving current parks and green space, and having residents take back their community to bring about more cohesion and community spirit.

Cam MacKay is the voice of reason that St. Albertans need to support and retain.

You Want Headlines?

Try Norm Harley. He is not only a powerhouse behind the microphone, but also in his commonsense approach to St. Albert’s financial dilemma. One could expect nothing less from a man with his strong background in the financial industry. And over the years he has repeatedly demonstrated that strength before council.

If you get the chance to listen to Norm Harley’s council presentations, or read them in St. Albert’s Place On The Web archives, you will see that this is a man who cares about the taxpayer’s pocketbook; this is a confident man who wants to see $ensible $olutions to move St. Albert forward.

He is factual, substantiates what he says and does not try to bamboozle the voter with platitudes. What you see is what you get.

His platform includes being fiscally responsible, lower utility and tax rates, review transit efficiency and review non-essential service subsidies.

Norm Harley has a proven track record of offering viable solutions for the citizens of St. Albert. What more can you ask for?

Sheena Hughes.

What a treat to watch her in action at the forums! If the voter has had the chance to speak with Sheena Hughes, they can not help but acknowledge that not only is the lady very approachable, but also extremely well researched on a variety of local government issues.

Her platform is quite thorough. Fiscal responsibility, zero-based budgeting, reasonable utility rates, waste collection review, preserving greenspaces, reinstating the municipal planning commission, repeal the “extremely premature” $500,000 LRT study and tax levy, and repeal DARP.

Ms. Hughes will address affordable transportation solutions for all St. Albertans and work with downtown businesses for viable and affordable resolutions for the downtown core.

She has no hesitation in stepping forward for residents.  St. Albert witnessed that when Sheena Hughes offered a feasible solution to the Erin Ridge school fiasco.

Sheena Hughes’ strengths are a definite asset for taking St. Albert in the right direction.

Scorecard 4 Update

Scorecard 4 update from the October 15th, 2013, St. Albert Chamber of Commerce Forum is now available on the SCORECARD page.

New information can be quickly be identifed through the maroon coloured F2.

Note to those not in attendance: the forum’s question portion was set up so that questions were done in groups of three or four candidates only responding.  Consequently not all questions could be answered by all candidates.  The mayoral candidates were able to respond to all questions.

Thank you Roger Bradley for ending the evening on an humourous note.