Question of the week: What is the most important issue Golden is facing right now? (See last week’s question)
I believe that the most important issue that Golden faces is the same issue all small rural communities face. How do we all work together to make the most of our opportunities and assets?
Every town faces difficult times and tough decisions, but communities that are successful are those where community members don’t lose sight of all of the things that make their town a special place.
I believe that we need to elect new councillors who have a positive vision for our community and are willing to work hard with the existing council to make our community even better.
Every issue facing Golden is the most important. Constant attention and focus is needed in all areas of planning, review and delivery of services, utilities, infrastructure, economic development and fiscal responsibility.
We need economic development to bring new residents and employment, we need new residents and business to increase our tax base, we need to increase our tax base to increase our revenues, we need to increase our revenues to improve and maintain our services, utilities and infrastructure. It is circular, never ending, and all the most important. We cannot take our foot off the gas for a second.
It is frightening the amount of people leaving Town. Everyone knows someone who has or is about to move from Golden. Families are being forced to leave in search of work. For every family that leaves, the knock on effect is we loose funding for Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, etc.
We must focus on Jobs. Remove the barriers that stop existing businesses from expanding, and help new businesses start up. We have to think outside the box with regards to attracting new industries and business while also encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit. We should be working towards sustainable growth for Golden.
One issue that appears to be facing Golden is the number of houses for sale, locals going elsewhere for work, and decline of young families raising their kids in Golden.
If elected as councillor I would work towards building a strong prosperous community that the people will be proud of, want to stay, others would want to join, and make it a community for all ages.
This is one of many issues facing Golden. As councillor I am not going to let tunnel vision cloud my judgement since it is the big picture that has to be taken into account.
Obviously the declining population is a serious concern. However before we can tackle higher-level issues the town must re-establish a sound financial footing.
I believe regaining control of the town’s finances is the most critical issue facing us today. Over the last 5 years our cash reserves have been depleting and long-term debt increasing. As of December 31 2011, the town has Net Financial Liabilities of $1.4 million.
The town’s general government expenses for 2011 were 14% over budget and up 17% over last year. Over the last 5yrs they were up 89%!!!
We must live within our means