LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I just finished reading an article in the Pipestone Flyer written by Mr. Barry McDonald using the analogy of City Council & Administration working together like a team of horses. I found it somewhat interesting. I, like so many have questioned the decisions and actions made by the City Rep's. In fact I recently sent a letter questioning the tax rate as well as the mandatory taxable items (ie. Lodging?). Quite simply, one can purchase a 2 story 1695 sq ft house in Leduc in a new and upcoming neighborhood for $399,900 with a municipal tax rate of 6.214% (less than Wetaskiwin's 7.2659%). It goes without say that Leduc has significantly more to offer, so much that our 2 oldest son's have made a home there with their families. So many of Wetaskiwin's young adults are relocating to places with greater opportunity and services. I realize efforts are being made to make Wetaskiwin more attractive to new comers and to keep existing residents from leaving however in those efforts, the debt load continues to increase. A question for the City decision makers (and yourselves), if you & your spouse had a large personal debt load, would you be spending more money to make your yard look pretty? Perhaps decision makers could take ownership of their projects and spending and proceed with the mentality "if this money were coming out of my own pocket, would I make this decision".
I do not have all the facts (or the answers) however would like to provide a couple of suggestions based on discussions and suggestions from fellow citizens.
• There is a bylaw in place for untidy/messy yards however it does not appear to be enforced. Several of us have noted neglected yards that do not change for months and even years. Enforcing the clean-up is a much less expensive beautification program.
• Reward people who maintain their yards. Perhaps a slight reduction in their city bill for each month it is maintained
• The growth of Wetaskiwin is affected by many variables, one being development of new homes to accommodate new families. Being a developer in the city of Wetaskiwin we found it very challenging and discouraging and even felt resistance from the City during the development process. I am aware that due to environmental issues, by-laws and other legalities the City must first look after its own interests, however, surely this can be done all the while aiding and assisting current and future developers. As Mr. McDonald said, "pulling together as a team".
It's easy for people to point and criticize which is why I provided a few suggestions and hope to ponder and provide more. The fact of the matter is, Wetaskiwin is stagnant (in comparison) and has been for as long as I can remember. At the risk of insult, it is a poorly run business. In closing, I have not given up hope on this City I have called home most of my life and encourage all of you reading this to share your suggestions to the City office with the anticipation of making a positive change.
Re: Discontinuance of the Millet Out of School Program
We want to thank the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin for their years of support of children and families in the Millet area. We understand the decision the Board made in June 2012 to discontinue the program based on lack of registrants. However, we want to let the Board know that Millet School remains open to re-starting the program if the opportunity arises in the future. We know that there are families who will need this type of programming.
The Millet Out of School Care (OSC) program was a very successful resource for families in our community. The success of the program was based on ensuring safe and caring programming for each child. The partnership between the Boys and Girls Club and Millet School was an excellent example of alignment of community resources in support of families. The children involved in the program benefited from many community resources, especially the high level of activity in the gymnasium and on the playgrounds at our school.
We thank everyone at the Boys and Girls Club involved in supervising and administering the Millet OSC program. We know that many hours went into preparing daily programming, providing nutritious food, securing grants, fundraising, and procuring resources for the OSC program. We are hopeful that the program will soon return.
With appreciation on behalf of the Millet School community,