Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Retirement from Municipal Politics

Yesterday was Nomination Day for municipal offices across the province.  I did not submit nomination papers which makes it official:  I am retiring from municipal politics.

This retirement comes without any malice!  It is simply time.  I have had the honor and pleasure of working with some great people over my almost thirty years as a village councilor in Beiseker.  We have accomplished some great things for this tiny village!

Beiseker is not out of the woods yet as far as our finances go, but we have survived one of the biggest economic down-turns this province has seen!  The provinces answer to our fiscal issues is simple; just raise property taxes!  Council has resisted that, and I hope they will continue to do so! 

Here's some things this Council can take credit for:
  • We have been very successful at reducing the amount of back-taxes owing. This was  accomplished through many different programs, one of which is the monthly pay system.  Unfortunately, we still have a ways to go here!
  • We have reduced the amount of "lost water" by the village so that Beiseker is selling most of the water it buys.
  • This council has spearheaded a program to upgrade the streets.  So far, Fourth Ave., Seventh Street and First Avenue have benefited.  Our sidewalk replacement continues, too!
  • We have created a program to replace faulty water valves around the village also saving lost water.
  • We have our Public Works Department running extremely well.
  • As a member of the Aqua-7 Regional Water Services Commission we have seen that organization become much more viable.  We survived the provincial government reneging on a deal to help us out, and we are now "in the black"!
  • We started a "Building A Better Beiseker" project by upgrading the first block of our Main Street business district.  Hopefully as the economy picks up the project to revitalize the rest of Main Street will resume!
  • We finally will see some action on dismantling and removing the now defunct railway museum.  We were unable to convince the federal government get a good accounting on where that half million dollars went! Hopefully that site will be cleaned up soon.
  • I think we finally have our fire department woes solved.  The Beiseker Fire Department in the envy of many small municipalities and it continues to thrive. 
  • We are in the process of subdividing and selling lots at the airport.  This will ultimately generate even more funds for our airport and village!
To mention a few!

To my fellow councilors and the village's Chief Administrative Officer with her staff;
thank you for your support, your advice and your candor.  All have been most valuable to me over the past years.

Ray Courtman
Mayor; Village of Beiseker

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