• David Armstrong

Where is the Accountability & transparency?

Hi Folks….. Welcome to another story at The St George News Network.

My story today is about the lack of accountability and transparency by our local municipal government.

It annoys me when a person from the general public has a question, and the mayor and CAO are not forthcoming with an answer. Do these people not realize this secrecy and these deliberate stonewalling tactics look like they are trying to hide something.

Let me explain. If you have been out driving or walking recently at the west end of town, that is the St Stephen end of town. You may have noticed the increased size of the parking lot out there. I travel out that way pretty much every day and I watched a big excavator and a dump truck working there for about a week. When the work was completed, it sure looked like an expansion to the parking lot.

I reached out to a counselor; she didn’t know what was going on. So I reached out directly to the Mayor and asked him. “What was councils reasoning to spend thousands of dollars in the expansion of a parking lot, rather than spending that money on repairing some of the safety issues on our town streets.

We have street crosswalks that you can’t even identify cause the paint is completely worn off them or there is just no crosswalk signage. We have potholes and trip hazards on our streets and sidewalks. We have broken curbs and missing and damaged street signage.

We’ve got cars and trucks traveling on our streets over 100km/h, within 2 feet of sidewalks. We’ve got 4-wheelers and off-road vehicles, racing up and down our streets, all hours of the day and night. Yet, with all these unsafe street and sidewalk issues; Why would our town Council choose to enlarge a parking lot rather than fix some of these safety issues?

The mayor gave me some wishy washer answer and stated that the work at the parking lot had only cost a few hundred dollars. Clearly, he did not know what was going on, nor was he willing to find out.

As most of us know, this heavy equipment work is not cheap, and you are not going to get a week’s worth of work with a big excavator and a dump truck for a few hundred dollars.

So, I made a formal request to Jason Gadet, our CAO, he’s the guy who should know exactly where every penny is being spent. At the time of this podcast, he has yet to provide me any information on the cost of that work.

I don’t think they want us to know the true cost of some of this excessive spending.

I think they forget. This is taxpayers’ money they are spending, yours and mine. I rather see my tax money being spent on equipping every crosswalk with a solar powered flashing sign and bright new paint on all of them, rather than taking our hard earned tax dollars to enlarge some parking lot on the other end of town. It makes no sense to put the safety and the well-being of our Towns residents on the back burner.

When we have folks being nearly run over on our crosswalks, especially the one between the post office parking lot and the Bayview Credit Union, or when our residents are confused because they cannot identify a cross walk, our councillors are not doing their job!

When we have residents who will no longer walk on our sidewalks because they are afraid of being run over by one of those, wild west, out of control drivers, our councillors are not doing their job!

When we have drivers who have broken rims and busted tires from potholes and missing asphalt, our councillors are not doing their job!

Folks, if we don’t start holding our elected officials more accountable, who will?

That is how I see it !

David Armstrong

The St George News Network

(The voice for ordinary folks)

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