Red Deer County Council Division 2 candidate Edward Collins looks to ensure that taxation is clear to County residents.
“Even in this depressed economy, my personal property tax went up,” he said.
“They didn’t change the mill rate, but they changed the value of the property. When they say they hold the line on taxation, they don’t change the rate but they change the assessments—which gives them more revenue.”
The candidate, who describes himself as cautiously to the right, feels that he has the prerequisite experience to be an asset to council.
“I farmed in Saskatchewan for 35 years,” he said.
“We had livestock and grain-land, so I understand farming. Since I moved out to Red Deer County in 2003, we bought an acreage—so I understand acreage living. I have a small business building sheds out on Highway 595.
“I understand acreage living; I understand small business and I understand agriculture. I think that gives me a wide range of ideas the County could use.”
Collins, who previously served in elected municipal government in Saskatchewan, hopes to bring some changes to the County—including further addressing safety issues that are frequent throughout the region.
“I think safety is on everyone’s mind in the County,” he said.
“The County is limited to lobbying the provincial and federal governments. Policing is one thing, but the consequences for crime are way too light. The police are worked to death in investigating and bringing someone to court.
“They (the perpetrators) are often out in days or have never been in. It is frustrating.
“That is not a County issue but I think the County can lobby the government to perhaps change that.”
Collins explained that there are many issues that can be addressed, once the new council has a feel of the day-to-day operations of the County.
He did note administration needs to be looked into in the next term.
“I question the amount of staff in the County,” he said. “My understanding is that the staff has increased by 30 to 40 per cent.”
He said a large administration is okay for an institution as long as it is purposeful.
Collins said it could be advantageous financially for the County to look into the amount of staff they carry.
“That is what I would like to see,” he said.
“By myself, can I change anything? No, but with the help of other councillors—we can look into things.”
Collins said he has no intentions to make any promises he can’t deliver on—especially if the request falls outside of municipal jurisdiction.
“I know in the past, candidates have made promises that are not County or municipal issues—they are federal or provincial,” he added.
Collins said he has no ill-will or personal gripe against the Division 2 incumbent Jean Bota, he would just like to be elected to accomplish some of the things that aren’t currently being accomplished.
He feels he would fit in well with the new council in the next term
“I am able to fit into most situations,” he said.
“I am not concerned with getting along with people because I am easy-going, however, I am not an easy push-over either. I absolutely look forward to the opportunity of serving on council.”