City by-election coverage
Submitted by Gabrielle Blatz
I live in Wetaskiwin with my husband, Tyler, and I work at the Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre. Coming from a family of local entrepreneurs, and as a homeowner, I understand the needs for Wetaskiwin to both grow and build.
I’m active in our community through volunteer work, and I’ve educated myself on the needs of residents in the community. Through this knowledge, I’ve built a strong plan to grow and build Wetaskiwin. I believe I can help Wetaskiwin reach its potential as a great destination for both people and business to thrive.
However, in the past Wetaskiwin has struggled to grow and attract new businesses and people. This has put the burden of paying for new and existing services and infrastructure on the same residents and businesses year over year. As costs have increased year over year, property taxes for citizens and businesses have had to increase to facilitate the cost increases. The fact is Wetaskiwin has some of the highest property taxes in Alberta and is still $25 million dollars in debt; there needs to be a change.
That is why I am running, and that is why I am the pro-build, pro-growth candidate in this by-election.
Wetaskiwin needs to grow and build, we need to attract new business and new people to our city. By bringing in more residents and businesses, we are able to expand our tax base and create more revenue without the need for large property tax hikes. With this additional revenue, we can sustain our service levels, infrastructure, and pay our debt.
We also need to enhance collaboration with our municipal neighbors, as there could be potential cost savings. An example of this is purchasing goods and services together with municipal partners and taking advantage of economies of scale, leading to cost savings. These cost savings could then be reinvested in Wetaskiwin and help enhance efforts to grow and build.
Wetaskiwin is in a unique position as we have three key methods of transportation via land, air, and rail. These are currently underutilized and would be a key factor in future growth and development. We need to leverage this infrastructure advantage in our economic development plan. We are uniquely positioned and we need to use that as a selling point to attract new business.
We are in desperate need of growth; Wetaskiwin has been stagnant for far too long. Wetaskiwin needs a pro-growth, pro-build candidate, and in this by-election I am that candidate. On September 11th my ask is that you support growth in Wetaskiwin and vote for me.