The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Jordan Ross
Posted: 09/9/2018 11:00 AM
Reeve Lewis Weiss says he’ll make a determined effort to counteract this year’s property tax increase if voters in the RM of La Broquerie elect him to a second term in office.
"I think maybe we’re forgetting who our bosses are, and that we should be accountable to the people in between elections too," he said Tuesday.
The automotive industry veteran, who has helmed Weiss Auto along Highway 52 for nearly three decades, defeated former administrator Larry Tetrault and longtime councillor Cornie Goertzen in 2014 on a platform that stressed low taxes (Tetrault was since elected ward councillor in a 2015 byelection).
But this spring, Weiss’s motion to halve a planned mill rate hike failed to attract any council support at a hearing packed with rural ratepayers upset by the increase.
Weiss said he’s determined to combat escalating taxes if he’s handed another four-year mandate, as he worries La Broquerie’s mill rate is outpacing that of its neighbours.
If re-elected, Weiss said he would bring to his second term a valuable lesson he learned over the past four years: things take time.
"Sometimes you have to wait. You can’t just jump into (it) and do stuff right away," he said.
Fielding calls from residents continues to be his favourite part of the job, he said.
"Sometimes they phone because there is a problem, but at the end of the call they thank you," Weiss said. "That is extremely rewarding."
Meanwhile, the reeve pointed to lagoon and water treatment upgrades, ongoing road and drainage work, and cooperation with the Seine-Rat River Conservation District as notable first-term accomplishments.
"But there’s a lot more work to do," he said, including finding lasting solutions to the perennial challenge of gravel road maintenance.
Thoroughly rehabilitating fewer kilometres of roadway per year "makes more sense than all the patching," Weiss said.
He also wants to streamline the land development process.
"It seems like there’s a bit of a disconnect between developers and residents and the RM office and maybe council," he explained. "We want to try to establish rules and guidelines right at the beginning."
In June, developers Garry and Violet Brown launched a lawsuit against the municipality, alleging its staff withheld a subdivision completion certificate on questionable grounds.
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