Letter from the Mayor

Letter to citizens-Dec 19, 2016

Council business has kept us busy these past couple months. Last Tuesday was our last meeting for the year and we will reconvene the first week in January to resume our regular routine.

Kudos: To Cammi Bevans who with the help of office staff organized a memorable Remembrance Day. Thank you to all who attended. We appreciate the feedback we continue to receive for the display of our fallen heroes. 

Kudos: To Heather Jacques and her devoted group for organizing the Festival of Lights and all related activities, and many thanks to the Remington Carriage Museum for their collaboration and to all the volunteers and donors who made this event a splendid display for the Christmas Season. 

Kudos: To the Town of Cardston Electrical Department for their help with the Festival of Lights and for decorating our town in time for Christmas. 

Kudos: To all the School Choirs, the Cantrice Women’s Choir, and the Rotary Club for ushering in the Christmas Season with music in various venues throughout town.
Thank you: To you all for showing support and appreciation at these town events.

Kudos: To all our employees for another year with a strong safety record and for the Department Managers for enforcing safety procedures with their staff. 

Kudos: To the Chamber of Commerce for their decision to hire a Security Officer to create visibility in the Commercial Areas of Town during the Christmas shopping season. 

Thank you: To you all for your great attendance at our Community Awareness Night. Many signed up for the Town Emergency Alert System. Many more signed up at the Axia table to show their support for the possibility of enhancing internet services in our town. Well done! We are almost there… Talk to your friends and let us see 60 more expressions of interest for this once in a lifetime opportunity to bring $3 million dollars worth of infrastructure into our town at no cost to the tax payers.

Thank You: To our Peace Officer Mr. Lloyd Stewart who is retiring as of the end of this week. We thank him for his many years of thankless and devoted services to the Town and wish him well in the future. 

Council Matters:

  • Council saw their resolution regarding the Alberta Registries passed at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Conference (AUMA). Our local efforts regarding this matter have resulted in more open communication between the Government and the Alberta Registry Association. A positive sign.
  • Council has approved the hiring of a seasoned Level 1 Peace Officer. All the required policies to cover this enhanced position are now in place. Our Peace Officer’s powers will be to enforce  our Town By-Laws and Provincial Statutory Laws including traffic violations. We asked our officer to allow for a transition period of leniency where appropriate; however this will soon come to an end. Please make sure you have a valid Driver Licence, the proper decal, and a valid insurance when you are driving, and carefully observe the restricted speed zones around schools and parks. Parents, take some time with your driving teenagers to review the basic safety rules with them.  Yours and their safety matter to us.
  • The Town is in the process of installing some video cameras in the Commercial Section of Town in response to the need for monitoring activities on our commercial area.
  • Council has approved the hiring of an animal control officer with expanded duties to include the improvement of the commercial areas of town. This will happen in 2017. 
  • Council has passed the 2017 operational and 2017 capital expenditures budget. In addition, Council has approved, in principle, the operational budget for 2018 and 2019 as well as projected capital budgets for 2018 to 2021. Much may change regarding our 2017 budget once we receive our notice of assessments, review our needs and set the Mil Rate that will determine our taxes. 
  • We are presently in a salary negotiation with our employees, a very difficult and unpleasant task for Council and our CAO in a downturn economy, with no guarantees from the Government as to the level of grants past 2017. As Council, we are indeed always reminded of the need of fiscal restraint. We appreciate our employees’ work and good services to our town. We value them and we believe that in past negotiations, under more favourable economic conditions, our employees have received fair compensation packages.
  • Council has approved the retrofitting of our Civic Centre and Ice Arena with Solar Panels. The Town was successful in obtaining a provincial grant to offset the capital expenditures. Enmax will be the installer and loan carrier for this project.  This is a long term recovery capital project but all economic analysis show that the Town will benefit from this on the long run with only a small upfront cost to the tax payers. 
  • Council is also starting to prepare for Phase 3 of the Swimming Pool Building. We will update you soon regarding this capital project.

The year is soon coming to an end, festive preparations are on their way and for many family gatherings the home will be filled with joy and laughter.  As we contemplated our blessings may we pause a moment and remember our Cardston families that have been sorely affected with illness and the passing of their loved ones and those who are less well off than we are. 

It is always a pleasure to chat with you.  From all of us, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Mayor Maggie Kronen