On behalf of the CORE Steering Committee and members I wish to extend season’s greetings to the residents and taxpayers of Golden.
CORE hopes that you and your families had a merry Christmas. We wish you a healthy and prosperous new year.
As we approach the end of 2012, its time for reflection and planning for the future.
CORE wants to thank you for your support and encouragement during the year. We would not be where we are today without you.
CORE also wants to thank the many individuals who have volunteered their time and effort and have agreed to continue to work as volunteers. You will be instrumental in helping us achieve our aims and goals.
In many ways 2012 was a good year for local democracy.
CORE, with your help and votes was successful in overturning an expensive and wasteful proposed Bridge to Bridge project.
In the end this project would not have solved our flood control problems.
During the municipal election one of the candidates endorsed by CORE won and another came within a hand full of votes of winning. Congratulations to Keith Hern and Andrew Commons.
Keith Hern has proven to be an energetic and engaged councillor, bringing many useful proposals to the council table.
CORE championed the opening up of competitive bidding by engineering firms for all major Town Projects.
We congratulate the Mayor and council on adopting this process.
The days of one firm receiving the lion’s share of the contracts (over $3.3 million in three years) are over.
On the other hand Council failed to grasp the nettle and establish a Standing Committee on Flood Control as proposed by Councillors Hern and Oszust (all other councillors and the mayor opposed the motion). The committee would have enabled the Town to benefit from those citizens who have greater expertise is this area than currently exists in the town administration.
CORE also has a number of initiatives under way and these will continue into the New Year.
One of our major concerns is the ever increasing salary and benefit costs of the Town of Golden.
We are reviewing the financial statements for many like sized communities in British Columbia and Alberta. We are comparing their budgets to the cost structures of our own Town.
While the full report won’t be available until later in the 1st quarter of 2013 there is significant evidence to show that Golden’s costs are too high and out of line with these other communities.
This is especially true in the areas of Senior Management and other Management positions.
CORE is also looking at various Economic Development models as the current arrangement with the CSRD is not effective nor cost justified. It is a major tax burden on not only the citizens and taxpayers of Golden but also those in the regional district.
CORE had hoped to have some representation of the Town’s Economic Development Committee.
Unfortunately this has not come to pass. CORE has concerns the Committee, which the Mayor has appointed, lacks representation from the major private sectors in Town, and indeed from business in general.
CORE still plans to be active in this process and looks forward to putting forth recommendations that make sound business sense, reduce duplication and costs, lessen the financial burden on the taxpayers and result in meaningful and measurable economic activity.
From a reporting and accountability perspective CORE is working on the development of a new website which will allow it to interact with members of the community.
Watch for this early in 2013.
CORE remains committed to our community.
We want to enhance and protect our environment while ensuring citizens and taxpayers received maximum value for their hard earned tax dollars.
We want to see Golden become a leader in providing critical infrastructure and services in the most fiscally responsible manner.
Thank you again for all of your encouragement and support.
We look forward to working with you during 2013 and beyond.