My commitment to you
When I first ran for Council, I made a commitment to be accessible by holding monthly “Coffee With Your Councillor” sessions to allow our citizens to have the opportunity for a one on one conversation about Beaumont. I have fulfilled that commitment except for those months that were effected by Covid and in those sessions, I met with hundreds of citizens.
As your Mayor, I will continue to do my monthly “Coffee With Your Mayor” sessions to provide you with the opportunity to have access to your Mayor.
In addition, I will ensure that when you call to speak to the Mayor, I will return your call within 2 business days. Communication with citizens is very important to me and returning a person’s phone call is the right way to conduct myself as your mayor.
The Mayor is the leader of our community and needs to be active, visible and accountable to it’s citizens.
I believe very strongly that the Mayor needs to show leadership by engaging with the people of Beaumont on a regular basis. As Mayor, I will conduct a "Mayor's Forum" meeting every 6 months and in those meetings, I will review what Council has done in the previous 6 months and what Council will be working on in the next 6 and beyond.
I will review key documents such as the Recreation Master Plan and the Transportation Master Plan and other strategic plans and initiatives. I believe that by reviewing these documents, it will help to inform our citizens of the guiding principles upon which City Council is working towards a better Beaumont.
As your Mayor, I will make myself available to attend the meetings of various local groups and associations such as the Beaumont Society for the Arts, The Kinettes, The Lions Club, Beaumont Business Network, a School Parents Association or a Senior’s residence to listen to the concerns of those groups.
As your Mayor, I will create a Mayor’s Advisory Committee which will consist of 5 to 6 members of our community which will meet at least 3 times a year. The purpose of this Committee is to provide feedback directly to me as to how our Council is doing, what is happening in the City and what are the needs of our citizens and so on. This Committee will provide another avenue for citizens to bring forth their ideas and concerns and in turn, help me to be more effective.
When I ran for Council, I was very concerned that my property taxes kept going up by 2 to 3% every year but nothing was being built and services were not improving.
During our term in Council, our tax increases have been +2%, +1.82%, +1.6% and 0% for 2021. During these years as I mentioned earlier, we have built the Beaumont Sports & Recreation Centre, an outdoor basketball court, 2 outdoor rinks and this year we are building the 5 ball diamond and 12 acre dog park complex as well as the new Multi-Use Artificial Turf Field in 4 Seasons Park.
At the sametime, we have increased our service levels for snow removal and park maintenance.
I am proud of our record of minimal tax increases but we could have done more. In 2020, when the economic downturn was really having an impact in Alberta and here at home in Beaumont, many people were losing their jobs. As a result, these people had to make hard decisions in their lives to ensure they could provide for their families.
Municipalities are no different. I do not believe in “take what is needed” approach. At our 2020 budget review, I pushed hard for a 0% increase in taxes as I believe we must conduct ourselves in the same way that our citizens are when facing an economic downturn. I was not successful in getting the 0% in 2020 but I was successful in 2021.
Fiscal responsibility to me means that Council must balance the service needs of the community with the communities’ ability to pay for those services. Economic growth is also a key factor in fiscal responsibility as the more business we attract to Beaumont, the more business tax revenue that can be generated to lessen the reliance on residential property tax to fund the operations of the City.
Fiscal responsibility also means to ensure that projects that come to Council are priced properly so Council approves the project, it comes in on-time and on-budget.
As your Mayor, I will work tirelessly to ensure that any tax increase is at the absolute minimum that is required to continue to offer our citizens the amenities and the level of service they need and expect while at the same time is reflective of the economic climate we are in.