The Page – November 17, 2021

Not so long ago, a High Prairie mayor a few terms back was on a cost cutting binge.
One of his bright ideas was to buy some kind of goofy rubber stuff to fill High Prairie potholes. The first problem with this gunk was potholes had to be super clean and probably well-oiled to prep the hole. The second problem was if the gunk wasn’t installed super carefully, it had a nasty tendency to stick to vehicle tires, not the pavement holes it was supposed to fill.
Many High Prairie residents were treated to “clump, clump, clump” of big gobs of this tar sticking to their tires as they drove down the streets.
Meanwhile, out in the M.D. of Big Lakes [now Big Lakes County], professional crews tarred cracks and sealed potholes with the traditional ways. This mayor told the town crews to keep using the rubber crap until it was all gone. Only took a couple of years.
Another idea flash of the same mayor was that councillors travelling to conventions should car pool to save travel expenses. And share rooms at those out-of-town meetings. This was one idea his usually rubber-stamping council voted down.
It’s always amusing to see when something looks like it might come between a council member in any community, county or municipal district and their paycheque for being a councillor. If it has the potential for saving taxpayers just a few bucks at the price of a councillor paycheque, the idea loses.
Big Lakes County was an exception to this. Just before the last election, the idea of pay raises for all the councillors hit the meeting agenda. It was soundly defeated, but quite possibly, damage was already done. Voters soundly dumped four councillors running again. Six were trying to be re-elected. One sitting member had decided not to run.
It would appear trying to get a pay raise just before an election is a silly move. But no one knows for sure exactly who had the idea. In any event it was indeed shot down.

Ah, but, take a look at M.D. of Opportunity, which is a huge area covering Red Earth, Calling Lake and Wabasca.
A newly re-elected councillor there moved just after the election to cut council wages and expenses by 10 per cent. That was soundly voted down, 10-1.
So, councillors will continue to claim 65 cents per kilometre for travel. Annual salaries will remain at around $82,000 per year.
For comparison, the councillor making the motion said the M.D. of Bonnyville pays about $25,000 per year. Lesser Slave River averages about $36,000.
A Big Lakes County councillor, who lost in the recent election, said earlier this year that County’s councillors “work for peanuts.” Before the October elections, he voted against the raise proposal, as did the rest of the previous council.

“Working for peanuts” did not discourage record numbers of candidates throwing their hat in the ring right across Alberta. Towns, cities, MDs, counties, all.
Peace River and Canmore each had 19 candidates for council, to name only a few. The M.D. of Opportunity named above had 29 running for office.
Although the old saying, “working for the good of the community,” probably wasn’t the first thought of many of those seeking office, we’re sure it figures someplace in their reasons. Right?

This newspaper was happy to gear up and live stream on YouTube the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the High Prairie Legion.
Next year, all things being positive, ceremonies across the Peace will again be open and will again bring out record crowds.
You can check out the High Prairie ceremonies by following the links at southpeacenews.com, either on your computer, smart phone or these days, if you have a smart TV, there also.
Speaking of all things being positive, every year a few more veteran photos are added to the Remembrance Day spread this newspaper runs each year. If you are in Valleyview, the Smoky River or Peace River regions, you are welcome to add your loved one’s photo to next year and years after. There is no charge with the expense supported by advertisers and this newspaper.
Contact the paper using the contact form at southpeacenews.com or smokyriverexpress.com for more information or call [780] 523-4484.

Have a great week!
Stay warm!

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