A common sense approach to municipal government.
That is the idea City of Lacombe Councillor Grant Creasey is running with in his mayoral campaign for the 2013 election.
Seeing himself as a problem solver, Creasey said he would like to approach council issues with a common sense problem solving approach to each of them. He added that he does not want to come up with wonderful ideas and solutions to problems and simply adjust taxes to meet goals.
Instead, Creasey said he would like to see Lacombe’s infrastructure taken care of first and then find creative ways to bring other amenities to the City. He added he would like to see the cost of such things spread out a bit more rather than taxpayers bearing the bulk of the burden.
Having said that, Creasey also said he does not by any means intend to never raise taxes.
“That’s part of the common sense things,” said Creasey. “Anyone who told you taxes were never ever going to go up would not be telling the truth. But to say they have to go up each and every year just as a course of business, I don’t think is correct either.”
Creasey said he ran for council last term because he saw room for improvement at City Hall.
Economic growth and creating a more business-friendly atmosphere within Lacombe were areas he wanted to see more focus on.
“While we have definitely made some positive strides in that area, there is still a long way to go,” said Creasy. He added that is a big reason why he decided to run for mayor after his first term on City council.
Creasey said that not enough progress has been made in the areas of economic growth and business development. He added he feels he would make more progress as mayor than he has as a councillor.
Through his work, Creasey has developed positive relationships with developers and builders. He said that this, combined with his good working knowledge of the processes and steps necessary for building, particularly for building infrastructure, puts him in a good position to bolster Lacombe’s economic growth.
Creasey added that he has even helped a number of developers through red tape at City Hall and hopes to continue doing so on a larger scale as mayor.
Some may feel that Creasey does not support the recreational and cultural amenities of Lacombe, he said. He added this is not the case.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Creasey. “I want all of the amenities for our City that we can have. It’s just that I’m a little more pragmatic in that respect.”
Creasey said that it’s not that he doesn’t want such amenities, he just wants to be sure Lacombe has the means to pay for them first. He said he would rather see more business in Lacombe first. Thereby, there would be a stronger commercial/industrial tax base in order to pay for recreational and cultural facilities as well as other amenities in the City.
When building any facility, Creasey said it’s easy to come up with a plan that is ‘$X million’.
Some might think that the next step, finding those funds to build the project, is difficult but Creasey said that the real hard part is the maintenance and operational costs after the facility is built.
“I guess a case in point would be our LMC (Lacombe Memorial Centre),” said Creasey. “Beautiful building!
“It really is the gem of the City, as far as structures go, but I think there are a lot of people who don’t appreciate the fact that it’s costing us $1 million a year.”