Deputy mayor re­sponds to Ross Ry­der’s crit­i­cisms

The Compass - - OPINION - — Ches Ash is a may­oral can­di­date for the Town of Car­bon­ear, and served as deputy mayor for the past four years.

Edi­tor’s note: the fol­low­ing let­ter was first pub­lished on­line at www.bn­com­pass.ca on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 18, 2013

I am writ­ing in re­sponse to Mr. Ross Ry­der’s let­ter “Term in Re­view” of the present Car­bon­ear town coun­cil, which was pub­lished on­line at www.cb­n­com­pass.ca on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 18.

Mr. Ry­der states the town has spent the tax dollars of our town cit­i­zens un­wisely. I take ex­cep­tion to that state­ment and wish to point out my rea­sons for do­ing so.

Dur­ing our term, this coun­cil has made sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments to our net­work of town roads. We have com­pleted street up­grad­ing for Park Av­enue, Butt’s Av­enue, Earle’s Lane, Val­leyview Heights and Crowdy Street.

Wa­ter, sewer and street up­grades for Lon­don Road con­tinue, and wa­ter, sewer and street up­grades for Lemarchant Street Phase I have been com­pleted.

We have used our tax re­bate and gen­eral road main­te­nance funds to carry out limited re­pairs and resur­fac­ing on the fol­low­ing roads: Pa­trick Street, Wa­ter Street East, Earl­son Heights, Kerry Lane, Oates Lane, Joe Tay­lor’s Lane, New­found­land Drive, Tyre’s Drung, Cross Roads, In­dus­trial Cres­cent, South­side Lower Road, Gar­land’s Road, Rocky Lane, Jackie Boyd’s Hill, Pow­ell Drive, Ade­laide Street, For­est Road and Hay­den Heights. Con­tracts have been called for a num­ber of other streets to be done this fall.

Also, we have com­pleted ma­jor re­pairs and im­prove­ments to our recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties and pur­chased a new aerial truck for our fire depart­ment.

There are still nu­mer­ous roads need­ing ma­jor up­grades or resur­fac­ing and we need to con­tinue to main­tain our recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, de­velop and im­prove our play­grounds and to in­vest in our fire depart­ment.

True, salary costs of our of­fice staff have in­creased, but only in ac­cor­dance with ne­go­ti­ated in­creased for our union­ized work­ers.

Our ad­min­is­tra­tive salaries are in­deed com­pa­ra­ble, and in some cases lower, than those paid by other towns of sim­i­lar size. And our of­fice staff has in­creased by one full­time per­ma­nent em­ployee.

We did not sim­ply de­velop a new logo. Rather, we de­vel­oped an over­all mar­ket­ing strat­egy and a com­pre­hen­sive in­for­ma­tion and pro­mo­tional pack­age.

I have had the op­por­tu­nity to share this pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial with some groups and in­di­vid­u­als and have re­ceived very pos­i­tive re­sponses to the qual­ity and ef­fec­tive­ness of the ma­te­rial.

We be­lieve pro­fes­sion­ally de­signed ma­te­rial and in­for­ma­tion pack­ages are crit­i­cal to pro­mot­ing our town and at­tract po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ers.

Fur­ther­more, we have to go to the de­vel­op­ers when op­por­tu­ni­ties present them­selves. It is not par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive to sim­ply wait for them to come to us. This was our pri­mary rea­son for at­tend­ing the Toronto Trade Show and ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in a num­ber of in­for­ma­tion ses­sions.

We have not spent money un­wisely or in a non­sen­si­cal mat­ter. Rather, we have spent in a re­spon­si­ble man­ner and demon­strated trans­par­ent fis­cal man­age­ment.

I too would en­cour­age all cit­i­zens to vote and also to keep ex­press­ing their own per­sonal opin­ions.

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