Marianne Cole, President,
Clearwater County Taxpayers’ Association
Rocky Mtn. House, AB T4T 2A1
June 17, 2016
Clearwater County Council,
Rocky Mtn. House, AB T4T 1A4
Following a motion made at our CCTA meeting last night I am writing to address some of the issues brought forward.
- Notice of support. First of all we would like to express our support for your involvement in promoting the improvement of telecommunications in the county. We strongly feel that better internet service is vital for assisting established businesses as well as stimulating further economic development.
Also, we encourage you to lobby the provincial government for a complete and thorough investigation into matters surrounding supernet access. According to information presented at our meeting last night, Alberta taxpayers have at least partially funded this installment, but are now being forced to pay exorbitantly for access to it. This, in turn, presents a significant hardship to companies who could assist with the provision of better internet service. Ultimately it makes it less affordable for the potential user who has, really, already paid for the service.
- Concerns regarding the land development on the Airport Road. At the May 30 meeting at Dovercourt Hall it was mentioned that further meetings would be held and that decisions will be made according to what the people want. This brings forward three concerns:
- Timing of the meetings. We are soon into the months of July and August, typically holiday months. People are often gone and unable to either read their local papers to get meeting notifications or attend the meeting.
- Transparency/meeting notification. We are concerned how you plan to keep taxpayers informed about future plans. We had very positive comments/results from the wrap we arranged with the Western Star and suggest that the county do something similar. People need easily accessible information in order to form an opinion which will, then, encourage them to attend meetings. Comment was made last night that the county’s notices of meetings need to be larger, more colorful, and in a more prominent place (e.g. front page). It was noted that using the Western Star is likely the most helpful advertising venue as it goes to almost every county taxpayer, unlike The Mountaineer which is by subscription only. Furthermore, not all taxpayers have computers and/or internet service.
- Assessing taxpayer support. Considering the potentially large expenditure of taxpayer dollars, we strongly feel there is a need to accurately assess taxpayer support. This was also a concern expressed at the May 30th meeting.
Making this assessment could be done simply and economically by a mail out survey or by a more costly vote/plebiscite. It is crucial that decisions are then made according to the wishes of the majority. We certainly appreciate that this importance was recognized by council and we are now wondering how it will be achieved.
In conclusion, we thank you for your attention to these concerns and look forward to your reply. You are welcome to reply via e-mail to email@example.com.