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REPORTING · 17th February 2010
Walter McFarlane
Former Fire Chief Bill Dawson took the stand at the City Council Meeting on Monday February 8th to speak to the topic of budget cutbacks. He opened his presentation with a joke about how he promised never to berate council but promised he was going to just voice an opinion.

“After Retirement, I chose Kitimat for several reasons. The first one of course, it’s my home. The second one came that there was a good hospital with diagnostic and surgical services. 3rd was efficient emergency services. Police, Fire and Ambulance. And four, Kitimat has excellent recreation facilities. I understand that some that some tough decisions have to be made and that service reductions might be required in all departments because of the Eurocan shut down but I want council to consider a few points,” said Dawson.

He explained the buildings in town will still be here and some of the workers may not leave. Other families might remain while a parent looks for work. Dawson was proud to say Kitimat’s taxes were the lowest in the province while he was a fire chief and suggested that Kitimat would be able to retain the ranking even with the tax increase.

“I would be willing to pay additional taxes to maintain our services, In closing, I ask council to maintain sufficient strength in the fire department to provide a fast and effective Initial response to fire and ambulance emergencies,” said Dawson.

There were no further questions from Council.

The budget for 2010 is coming forward and the people of Kitimat have been invited to present their concerns to Council. “We encourage public involvement. As you know, all our Council Meetings and C.O.W. Meetings and any of special meetings where the budget are held are all open to the public,” Municipal Manager Trafford Hall.

“We encourage any member of the public to come forward and speak to their council in this forum or to call them at home,” said Hall.

He added that there will be some solid meetings coming up at the end of February and there could be more between now and then. He encouraged members of the public to present their ideas and solutions to the budget problems to the Council.
To the Editor
Comment by Leon Dumstrey -SooS on 20th February 2010
I, as long standing citizen was amazed and confused at that presentation. I am not sure if the Presenter is aware not only of the local ECONOMIC REALITY but of the world at large as well??

ON the same night, Council approved two grants?
I thought that there is a BUDGET FREEZE...
forgive me for being missinformed,oh yes,I was told that
BUDGET FREEZE IS NOT BUDGET CUT! Sorry!

I think it was in local media "..that local Governmet is wrestling with the budget.."...additional reports
confirm this.Well,what is so difficult about it? After all Council is quick in offering others GRANTS FOR THEIR PROBLEM SOLVING...Yet with 22 mill.
at hand it appears they have difficulty in finding how to SOLVE home grown FISCAL PROBLEM!?

Perhaps for the small fee INDENPENDANT AUDITOR..could do it for them???I do not see anything wrong with this!

There was an interesting sentence in The National Media By Mr Day "We, ALL will have to be prepared to SACRIFICE!!!

So here is COUNCILS chance to take THE LEADERSHIP! Start from the top at 10% middle at
8% and bottom 4%. Keep old $200.00 flat tx.

Thank you!