Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thank You

Thank you to all of you who sent us condolences and support in the recent passing of my Mother.  It was a tough week for my family, but we got through it with your support. 

Mom was a fantastic lady and we'll all have good memories of her forever. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Heart & Stroke Month

As you probably know, February is Heart & Stroke Month.

To help out this year, I am canvassing my street (Beaver Place) for the Heart & Stroke Foundation.  I'll be around to your home on Beaver Place in Beiseker this next few days.

I'm hoping to get a small donation from you to support this very worthy cause.  Watch for me.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A True Story?

Once upon a time on a highway, not so long ago and not so far away, there was a traffic accident. It was a not too serious accident with no really serious injuries.

The 911 center received the call and called out the fire department from the Village of Alpha*. They also called out the fire department from the Village of Bravo*.

When the Bravo fire chief heard that the fire department from the Village of Alpha had been called out, he demanded that they be stood down -- even though Alpha was the closest municipality to the accident.

So, the members of the Alpha fire department sat in their fire hall and listened to the radio, as the Bravo Fire Department responded to the call.

Then, the Alpha firefighters heard the Bravo fire chief call in the Village of Charlie* fire department for assistance, while they sat patiently in their fire hall in downtown Alpha.  Charlie was even farther away from the accident, but their fire department dutifully responded!

This story reads stranger than the strangest fiction! I don't know how much of the story is true but I'm going to find out!  Stay tuned on this one!

*The names have been changed to protect everybody! 

Follow-up, March 10th:  Fire Department Misunderstandings

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Snowmobile Complaints

With all the snow and the nice weather we've had, the snowmobilers have been out in full force.

I used to snowmobile every winter, years ago, until a spell of several seasons when we had little or no snow. I enjoyed the snowmobile experience very much, and I envy those I see zooming across the snowy fields.

But, as with any motorized sport, there are a couple of folks out there who have trouble following the rules, and end up spoiling it for the rest.

Our village's bylaws regarding snowmobiles, ATVs, and dirt bikes are quite lenient. They require riders of those machines to proceed out of the village by the shortest possible route using back lanes as much as possible. Their speed must be kept below 20 km an hour. When crossing a street or road the operator must stop his machine, check for traffic and proceed slowly across.  Riders must avoid private property.

At our last Council meeting, we addressed complaints from residents about snowmobiles on streets and on private property. I know that almost all the snowmobilers I see are obeying our bylaws, but there's always a few who don't comply.

Other municipalities faced with this problem have passed much stricter bylaws regarding these kind of vehicles. They require the riders to trailer their machines out of town before starting and riding them.  I think a bylaw such as that would be counterproductive and punitive to those obeying our current bylaws.

I would be against such a strict bylaw, but I only have one vote in five!  As the complaints increase in frequency the village council may be forced to act!

Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Getting Healthier

As most of you know the most exercise I usually get is running off at the mouth!

Lately I have decided to change that. My wife and I joined a fitness program at Genesis Place in Airdrie.  Genesis Place is located on East Lake Boulevard in East Airdrie so it's easy to get to from here. We have been learning how to exercise for heart health and for body strength.

I have always hated exercising, but I am actually enjoying this program. The facility there second to none and the folks there helping us are friendly, encouraging, and very professional!

If you have a faltering New Year's resolution or just want to be a little healthier I strongly suggest you contact the folks at Genesis Place in Airdrie.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Grasslands is a "GO"

The stalled Grasslands subdivision has been started again! The original developer left the project only half completed. Many of the services and the streets were already in place when the project came to a halt.

Metro Paving & Roadbuilding Ltd., one of the contractors originally involved, has now stepped up to the plate and is going to proceed with Grasslands!  During these next couple of winter months, the Village of Beiseker and Metro will hammer out a new plan to develop the subdivision.
I am expecting to see basements being dug and houses being constructed during the upcoming construction season!

I have lived in this village for many years, and it has much to offer newcomers.  Here are a few things;
  •  If you live in Beiseker  your kids can walk to school;  Kindergarten to grade 12!
  •  If you live in Beiseker, you can walk to the grocery store, hardware store, drug store, and medical clinic!
  • If you live in Beiseker, you have access to many recreational facilities here or in neighbouring towns.  In the City of Calgary these recreational facilities would have to serve more than 20 times the population!
  • If you live in Beiseker, you are minutes away from the intersection of two provincial highways!
There are many more!

I'm really excited about this development.  Stay tuned for more information in the upcoming weeks.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Alberta's Upcoming Provincial Budget

Premier Redford's Address to Albertans, last week, and finance minister Doug Horner's comments about the upcoming budget have got me worried!

Both ministers tell us that there will be no tax increases, even though provincial revenues have seriously declined. They're telling Albertans that the budget will be balanced by spending cuts and "wiser spending," to accommodate the $6 billion resource revenue shortfall.

Small municipalities like ours rely on provincial grants and programs for improvements and upkeep in the village. Streets improvements, tourist facilities, and a myriad of other programs are paid for by provincial grants, at least in part.

I worry that some of these grants will be severely reduced or cut completely, as Premier Redford and Minister Horner sharpen their pencils!

If that happens, we have two choices;
  • Reduce or eliminate the project or program.
  • Increase municipal taxes to replace the lost funding.

Neither of these options appeal to me!

In my experience working in municipal government, I have realized that Albertans do not want severe property tax increases, even though our property taxes here in this province are lower than most others.

Bottom line is that I cannot support a significant property tax increase! If the province does severely reduce or cut grants to municipalities, we will have to do some real belt-tightening here!  Will the province download their financial shortcomings to the small municipalities?

I hope that I'm worrying for nothing!