Re: Public Input on proposed budget
Not everyone can easily attend council meetings nor take part in phone surveys. But the budget and steep increases in property taxes involve everyone, including longtime residents who can no longer afford such sharp increases. And for what? One recent proposal is a rec centre in the almost unpopulated Badger Lands, when it is clear the existing centre, Servus Place, has not paid for itself as originally promised.
It seems to some of us that St. Albert is not so much a city as a club for the elites. This seems the only conclusion considering a Gazette article concerning the sharp drop in Alberta spending in 2021 — twice the national average. And there is no reason to believe this trend has reversed in the subsequent years. The grandiose proposed addition of 16 city employees will not only necessitate a huge budget salary item but will encourage unnecessary spending as justification.
Realistically speaking, council has to start thinking small, and a properly constructed referendum overseen by an unbiased, disinterested panel is the only democratic option. Will council do the right thing?
Doris Wrench Eisler, St. Albert