Reader believes town is living beyond its means

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Dear Editor,

Re: Fiscal Report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

Front Page of the Town and Country, October 31, 2017.

What is happening with our Town Finances?

When the Town of Barrhead is compared with 179 other communities, Barrhead is near the top in spending at 160, even worse than Westlock. This comparison was completed in 2015. I am sure it is much worse today.

The Town of Barrhead’s population grew by five per cent in that 10 year period, but spending grew by 113 per cent. This has nothing to do with the new swimming pool. Did this past town council not read their financial reports, or worse, were they not able or interested?

Why does our town’s administrator not understand the implications of over spending?

The last two years without the swimming pool, should have resulted in some savings. I am afraid that was spent on sidewalks to nowhere – next to the Paddle Golf Course and boardwalk along the river and new hires; eg: communications officer.

As a former town of Barrhead councillor and chair of finance, 1983 to 1989, we operated within our budget – the property tax collected and grants in lieu. Whatever happened to the main committees of the town council, such as the maintenance committee, finance committee or recreation committee. Are there no checks and balances, or does the administrator make all the decisions and council is the cheer group.

Please phone our new mayor and councillors and voice your opinion, before we are all taxed out of our homes and property values drop even further.

Sincerely caring about our town,

Robert Lee

Barrhead

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