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Kevin

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Reply with quote  #1 
Stumbled across a new Facebook community type page today. It would appear that I am the first person to like it, followed by a few that I sent invites out to. Kind of interesting that the person that created it didn't like or follow their own page. The first post they made was about bias in the Gazette.

It will be interesting to see if this page catches on.

https://www.facebook.com/St-Albert-Municipal-Issues-2192209551004441/?ref=page_internal

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Head Honcho

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Reply with quote  #2 
I made my first post on the page just now as follows:

"Well, if this page is truly about being open, you could start by stating who the person or persons are who started this page and on what facts you have gathered to back up your "corrupt" politicians statement."
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #3 
Given that anyone who has anything evenly slightly germane to say about Municipal Issues can express their opinion right here on this forum, I remain bewildered as to what niche this new Facebook page is supposed to be filling.  Hopefully it doesn't simply become a venue for unfounded harangues against Councillors and the Administration with whom the poster happens to disagree.
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #4 
Should the comments put forth by 'theskeptic' come to pass it would echo a pretty familiar refrain often heard and directed toward this venue, don't you think?
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #5 
Except, the "familiar refrains" against this forum do not support the argument that the "harangues" are unfounded.  Rather they customarily criticize this forum because those complainants "claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."

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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #6 
Although I am not a medical expert, might I suggest that what 'theskeptic' has so adroitly described concerning the said complainants may be the result of latent anal retentiveness and/or acute myopia on their part?
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warmodel

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Reply with quote  #7 
Murry Lambert:  I think you are referring to that dreaded  untreatable disease that is "RECTUM RING TWITCH"..................
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goldfinger41

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Reply with quote  #8 
Most of the above comments appear to be a 'diarthrosis of the mouth,' or perhaps directrix, when calculating verbal competition in their MyBirdy messages. They appear to be full of a lot of 'one upmanship' statements about nothing but personalized critical interactions from a playground sandbox perspective.
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #9 
Message to goldfinger41: And just how much straining did it take to work that one out?
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Head Honcho

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Reply with quote  #10 
A post I made this morning on Facbook:

Money is not the issue regarding St. Albert city council and anyone who thinks money will make a difference is dreaming. 

The real issue at hand is serving the people of St. Albert in the best manner possible. Council should abandon Crouse's pet time of 2:00 p.m. meetings (or will he try for 1:00 this year?) Meetings should be held in the evening starting at 7:00 p.m. That would truly serve the people of St. Albert in two ways. It would give hundreds more the opportunity to be heard after THEY finished work. It would also allow people with full time positions to run for council and not have to beg employers for time off to go do their part time job. 

Council should also abandon the practice of bogging down council members with committee work. There likely are currently committees about committees and most of it is unnecessary. Appoint local citizens to committees who report to council and have council approve or deny suggested change, freeing up councillors to actually go out into the community and talk to people one on one about issues and get a feel for what residents need, not what council wants. 

Hell it might even stop the stupidity of DARP and the astonishing amount of money wasted on a downtown that few people bother attending due to the lack of parking. The traffic circle being a prime example of both waste and stupidity.

Council would then have the time and opportunity to dig in depth into the gross overstaffing that makes our taxes so high. Administration needs to be trimmed, nay gutted. 

I could go on with so many more suggestions, but I will leave that for others to offer. One can only hope the voters of this city toss most of this bunch out of office in 2017 and elect a real leader who can heal personal clashes on council and move the city forward, not bankrupt it.
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #11 
All excellent points made by Head Honcho, now if only they could become dedicated resolutions by council for the new year. The reference to DARP is perhaps consequential but my thoughts on this endeavour have always been that if you drop the 'D' and flip the 'A' and the 'R' you get a much more appropriate acronym in the form of; CRAP !  I invite suggestions as to what it would stand for.
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Swallow1

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Reply with quote  #12 
@HH RE: Bogging Council Down?  I'm sure most (if not all) members on this site are familiar with that old standby "Train the Trainer"?

For example, is there a brief synopsis attached to each document up for discussion at each meeting?  If they each received the same information, there's bound to be something that might catch the eye of each council member & perhaps, they may want to dig a little deeper to allay any concerns.  After all, 7 or 8 prs of eyes are better than 1.  Furthermore, 7 or 8 people might be more inclined to ask questions that others may have missed.

Another matter is the possibility of OUR Administrative staff assigned to assist each council member with their projects (ON A PART TIME BASIS ONLY).  I would hope that each council member is capable of acting as mentors/guides.  

What a wonderful way for OUR Administrative group to learn on the job, as well.  No extra manpower or overtime pay required.  Drafting project proposals, budgets and conducting meetings would make for a very well rounded Administrative staff member.

Of course, these things would only work IF, a) council members trusted what they were being told/fed; b) council members didn't do any foot dragging (or paper shuffling or asking people to spell their names - for the records, of course).


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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #13 

Here is my New Year's list of changes that should occur.

Drop the Carver Model
The Carver Model is set up to avoid undue interference and micromanaging of the Administration by the elected officials. However, it fails to create an appropriate sense of balance between improper interference by Councillors and managerial responsibility by our elected officials. It creates a system in which the CAO has complete power over the Administration and its Staff and prevents Councillors from inspecting, supervising, or improving anything in the Administrative sphere of things. Hence the elected officials are pratically powerless to prevent waste and inefficiency. The Carver model needs to be replaced with a system which restores the appropriate balance.

Create an Internal Auditor
The City needs to create an Internal Auditor by adopting the legislation used by the City of Edmonton to create that position. At this point in time, the Administration is attempting to water down the position to make it ineffective. The City needs an internal auditor who is independent, effective, and is answerable to Council. Such a position would ferret out a lot of waste and ineffeciency.

Zero Based Budgeting
There is no sense complaining about tax increases as long as St. Albert follows the current budgeting model. That model is designed for one purpose .... to continuously increase the number of capital projects, increase the number of employees, and maintain the existing empire. At present, all the entire budget process does is determine how many new projects the City will undertake in the next 12 months. Depending on those decisions determines how much the taxes will increase. Since Council is precluded from examining the existing programs and infrastructure to determine if they can be eliminated or reduced in scope, or made more efficient, there is no other possibility but for taxes to increase. The entire budget question is not ... do we need a tax increase ... the only question is "how much do we increase the taxes this year." Until that is changed ... taxes will continue to rise inexorably.

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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #14 
It's interesting that the mayor's little retrospective of 2016 in today's (12/24/16) Gazette made no mention of lawsuits (both as plaintiff and defendant), the firing of the city manager, a citizen's court challenge (on pecuniary interest) or a pending Municipal Affairs' investigation. Such a missive can probably be attributed to the fact that he is singularly the central 'player' in all of these matters. It's no small wonder that they slipped his mind, don't you think?
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #15 

The truly hilarious aspect of Crouse's 2016 soliloquy is that he hi-lites two areas namely land "development" and "safety".

Of course, the land developing is being done by the private sector which raises the question as to why Crouse is attempting to vicariously take credit for that endeavour.

And when a politician is claiming "safety" as an accomplishment, it has to be recognized that he is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. We are so lucky to live in the safety bubble of St. Albert. After all, if you go to Red Deer or Lethbridge, you'll witness nothing but out of control homicides, racial riots everywhere, and an ever present threat to your personal well being as you traverse their massive ghettos.

Thank God for the safety bestowed upon us by the benevolent hand of his Lordship since the life span in Red Deer, Lethbridge, and Sherwood Park is about as tenuous as it is in Aleppo.

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Rick F

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Reply with quote  #16 
In regards to this and all the other civic reporting by the "St Albert Gazette"

I guess the questions that need to be asked of our city council are not in the repertoire of the so-called reporters on the paper.

Not an 'investigative reporter' among them.
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #17 
I can't help but agree with Rick F as I have often wondered if the Gazette does much in the way of investigative reporting? More often than not, the content appears to consist of what is simply provided to them without digging more deeply into a story by asking exploratory questions of the source.
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