Coaldale town council exhibits a severe lack of transparency and consultation.
They have committed the citizens of Coaldale to $52 million over the next few years for projects that citizens have not had input on. Among these projects is the high school and recreation centre to be developed on land that is fit for a wetland, according to a $550,000 report they commissioned and wished to ignore. Yes, we all agree we need a new school and rec centre. The location chosen for these projects is north of highway 3 and the railway tracks, even though in accordance to their projections, 80-90 per cent of the growth of young families will be south of the highway. No consultation on this location took place with the citizenry. There are several other locations in Coaldale that would be ideal for the school with far less risk for children. The rec centre doesn’t include an indoor swimming pool that the citizens have desired for decades. What does it include?
Council is developing an industrial ring road north of the highway and railway tracks for the industrial section, even though the citizens have sent petitions and letters for decades wishing for a south ring road around Coaldale to divert the dangerous goods, overload, over height, and over weight trucks travelling through the centre of town on Highway 845. This dangerous goods route on Highway 845 intersects Highway 3 and the railway tracks further adding to the risk for the crossing of children. Town council stated on several occasions their goal is to divert the dangerous goods route on 845 yet they have done nothing, and now they are borrowing to build the industrial ring road.
Recently council approved an additional $120 per household to pay for the recreation loan interest without taxpayer input or consultation. It would appear someone at the town is wishing to build a resume at our expense. If they have crunched the numbers, why are they not sharing with us the total tax burden each of us will be required to pay after all of the projects are completed. We all know that meeting with us after the decision is made is only for optics, not to gain meaningful feedback.
Taxpayers cannot afford $52 million in projects. There has to be some priorities made as to what we can afford. Council will not accept questions by the citizens, and instead chooses to silence citizens with strong-arm tactics. We need a more transparent and communicative town council – not autocrats all too pleased to spend our money for their self-importance. Remember this when it comes time to vote, unfortunately that will be too late as this Council has committed the citizens to projects we can’t afford. Citizens are owed a full discussion and transparency on decisions taken by the Council, not community sessions after spending decisions have been made.
Come and get involved and meet some like minded people. Our relaxed meetings are Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at McDonalds, or for more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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