Esterhazy Mayor’s Message – September 2017

As promised, this month’s Mayor’s Message is going to deal with operational costs over the last three years. It should be noted that the financial data that is being reported here was the result of decisions made by the previous Council and not the Council of today. As well, the costs outlined are operational costs and do not include capital expenditures which, in reality, are the largest costs faced by any municipality these days as they struggle with repairing and replacing obsolete infrastructure.

 

Expenditures Amount
General Government $585,563
Transportation $927,934
Protective Services $327,051
Environmental $485,150
Planning & Development $125,510
Recreation $893,837
Utilities $463,437
2016
Expenditures Amount
General Government $572,956
Transportation $977,659
Protective Services $343,799
Environmental $541,411
Planning & Development $130,211
Recreation $848,632
Utilities $543,955
2015
Expenditures Amount
General Government $545,830
Transportation $1,091,297
Protective Services $302,140
Environmental $447,508
Planning & Development $145,876
Recreation $840,104
Utilities $444,533
2014

*Information was gained from audited financial statements*

Occasionally we hear some citizens’ state that Council is spending money in an irresponsible way. I have never witnessed this either when I sat as a Counsellor or since I was elected as the Mayor of Esterhazy last October. Below I will outline the year-over-year changes in percentage terms of the items above to add some context to the actual numbers.

2015               2016           2014-2016 Total Change

General Government          +   4.97%        +  2.20%         +  7.28%

Transportation                      –  10.41%       –   5.09%         –  14.97%

Protective Services              + 13.79%       –   4.87%         +  8.24%

Environmental                      + 20.98%       – 10.39%        +  8.41%

Planning & Development   –  10.74%       –   3.61%         – 13.96%

Recreation                            +   1.02%        +  5.33%         +  6.40%

Utilities                                   + 22.37%       – 14.80%        +  4.25%

 

So, as you can see, some categories actually recorded a net decline in costs over the two year time period. The “Protective Services” category is dominated by our contract with the RCMP for policing services. Your Council has no control over that as we are simply price-takers not price-setters. It should come as no surprise in this day and age that the “Environmental” section is on the increase given provincial and federal government mandates in this area. The “Recreation” section is driven by demands by the public for more and better recreational facilities as well as low user fees. There is an old saying and it goes something like this; “The government” doesn’t have any money except for what it takes from its taxpayers”. So the lesson here is be careful what you ask for as it could very well end up costing you more money.

In conclusion, our total operating expenses for the Town of Esterhazy over the last three years are summarized as follows; 2014 – $ 3,817,288.00, 2015—$ 3,958,623.00 and 2016 – $ 3,808,482.00. Operating expenses are not incurred in a linear fashion; some years certain expenses are higher and others are lower. But, here is the bottom line – Over the time period 2014 to 2016 the Town of Esterhazy’s total non-capital operating expenses have actually decreased by $ 8,806.00 or 0.23%!

If you would like any further information over and above what is outlined here please feel free to contact our CAO, Donna Rollie. Donna has a very solid grasp of all things financial and I have a great deal of confidence in her abilities to guide our municipal government in the right direction.

Sincere Regards,

Roy Spence, Mayor of Esterhazy

RM of Spy Hill pledges a second round of $600,000 towards hospital and care home

Recently, the Rural Municipality of Spy Hill pledged a second donation of $600,000 towards the hospital and care home project in Esterhazy. In this picture we see two cheques being displayed to signify the now $1.2 million dollars being donated by the RM.

In the picture:- Back row: Glenn Blakely – Councillor, and Don Hood. Front row: Don Bernath, Jack Neyedley – Councillor, Cheryl Odgers – Councillor, Bob Bruce – Reeve, Corrine Delmage – Councillor. Missing from picture is Marsha Sabo – Councillor.

Job Posting for North Valley Credit Union

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
CONFIDENTIAL SECRETARY
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

THE POSITION:

North Valley Credit Union is seeking a highly motivated financial services professional to provide complex and confidential administrative and secretarial support to the CEO/General Manager. This position will carry with it numerous responsibilities that will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Acting as the recording secretary at board meetings and various other meetings.
  • Filing of the corporate annual report.
  • Maintenance of the Director listing and minute book.
  • Co-ordination of CUDA training for directors.
  • Direct assistance with special projects as assigned.
  • Maintenance of the master policy and procedural manuals for NVCU.
  • Maintenance of documents for new employees.
  • Assistance with Annual Report preparation and meeting co-ordination.
  • Assistance with compilation of audit materials.
  • Administrative assistance in Marketing, Advertising and Newsletters.
  • Maintenance of contracts for NVCU and subsidiary.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Grade twelve diploma.
  • Ability to work with a variety of software applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook.
  • Strong co-ordination and organization skills.
  • Ability to work in a fast paced environment that requires multi-tasking at times.
  • Good people skills.

 

COMPENSATION:

  • This position will be classified as a Job Level # E-305 on the provincial Compensation Grid.
  • This position offers a base, starting salary that will be attractive to anyone currently earning less than $ 20.00 per hour as well as an industry leading variable compensation program that is linked to individual performance and pays out annually.
  • In addition the successful candidate will have the opportunity to progress through the pay scale to full job rate over a three year time frame which includes annual cost of living adjustments.
  • An annual training budget is provided.
  • A comprehensive benefit package including dental, vision and health care as well as various insurance coverage is provided.
  • Participation in a defined contribution pension plan wherein employee and employer contributions are equally matched. Pension contributions are segregated and held within the Co-operative Superannuation Society Pension Plan.
  • This is a full time permanent position based on 37.5 hours weekly / 1,950 annually.
  • This is a non-union position.

 

THE COMMUNITY:

The town of Esterhazy is a full service community of approximately 3,000 located north of the Qu’Appelle Valley approximately 90 KM South East of Yorkton and 61 KM from the Manitoba border. It has a hospital, dentist, veterinarian, K-12 schools, day care, hockey and curling rinks and a 9-hole grass green golf course. It also has an RCMP detachment along with a strong commercial sector consisting of two grocery stores, two pharmacies, hardware store, bargain shop, bowling alley, two motels and three hotels and a successful Ford dealership. The potash mines in the immediate vicinity provide for a stable diversified economy.

 

Please submit your resumes to:

Roy Spence CEO & General Manager

North Valley Credit Union, Esterhazy Branch
P. 0. Box 1389

Esterhazy, SK. SOA-OXO

This position is available immediately. Telephone enquiries are welcome.

The closing date for receipt of resumes is September 5th, 2017

A bigger vision for world-class healthcare in the Esterhazy District

By Kenneth James Kerr

On September 11, 2017, the 17th Annual Esterhazy & District Charity Golf Classic will take place at the Esterhazy golf course. The event is the major fundraiser for new healthcare facilities in the area, and its continuation each year is due to both the determination of a dedicated group of people who organize it, and the incredible support of the many companies, local authorities, and individuals who donate or pledge towards the building of a new hospital in Esterhazy.

For those visionaries who keep the dream alive, the journey has been characterized by both victories and disappointments. Every successful fundraising event is a victory, as is every positive meeting with a government representative. However, there are times when some disappointment is also experienced, when another year goes by without the hoped-for government announcement, or changes take place that alter the plans.

Recently, the Saskatchewan Minister of Health met with representatives of the St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation, and representatives of the Charity Golf Classic to discuss the hospital project. The meeting was positive, but it clearly communicated two important realities that some people might see as disappointing. First, there is no government funding available for the project at this time, and second, for the project to move forward it must be a combined hospital and care home at the same time, which means it will be more expensive than originally expected.

So how should people respond to this news? There are two choices. Choice one is to get discouraged and give up. Yes, that is a choice, but what will the end result of that choice be? It would resign everything that has been done in the past to failure. Choice two is to acknowledge the situation, focus again on the dream, and be inspired to carry on.

Which choice do you think offers the better ultimate result?

Yes, it is going to take more money. The larger project requires a larger community contribution to move it forward. Right now, with donations and pledges combined, we stand at $8.8 million already committed to the project. (Already contributed donations are held by the St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation and the Esterhazy Charity Golf, and are invested and gaining interest.) With the upcoming Golf Classic, it is anticipated the total will rise to $9 million. That’s staggering! However, with the larger project, the 20% share must now increase to $11 million.

How important is it to have this increased community contribution in place? Look at it this way. It’s the ticket to the dance. If we don’t have the 20% in place when government funding is actually available, Esterhazy won’t even get invited to the dance. However, with the 20% in place, we’re at the dance. It doesn’t mean we’ll be invited to take to the dance floor with the government (get guaranteed funding) in any specific year, but at least Esterhazy will be at the dance and eligible for taking the spotlight when the opportunity arises.

So what is the best way to inspire continued fundraising to attain a higher figure? It’s to get a clearer vision of what we’re really aiming for. It’s not just a hospital, it’s the bringing of world-class healthcare to Esterhazy and the surrounding region. That’s a bigger and more powerful dream, and it will give this region something even more valuable.

What does the dream of world-class healthcare look like?

  1. With an integrated hospital and care home, local seniors will have the facility, the staff, and the medical support, to live a quality life in their sunset years. When critical medical care is needed, they will already be in the right place at the right time.
  2. With an integrated hospital and care home, the local and district population will have everything they need to receive essential and periodic health care when it is needed.
  3. With an integrated hospital and care home, it will become easier to recruit new doctors to the area. Doctors are human too, and if they have a choice between working in a dilapidated building or working in a new state-of-the-art facility, where do you think they will gravitate to? Doctor retention is a key factor here. The same goes for nurses, continuing care assistants, and ancillary/support workers at every level.
  4. With an integrated hospital and care home, this district will be better equipped to handle any disaster, whether by natural causes, commercial incident, or traffic accident.
  5. With an integrated hospital and care home designed from the ground up, even such factors as a dedicated landing platform for STARS can be envisioned, as well as ambulance bays, and other essentials that are easily overlooked.

This is the real dream. It’s not just about a building, it’s about a quality of life for our parents, for our children and grandchildren, and for every soul in Esterhazy and the surrounding district. Is that a big enough dream to inspire continued fundraising? Is it a big enough dream to enable us to overcome momentary disappointments? Yes, it is.

The Town of Esterhazy knows it, and they pledged an additional million dollars to the project! The RM of Spy Hill knows it too, they pledged a second round of $600.000 just recently. But now the call must go out to all other local municipalities, and corporations, and service groups, and individuals.

Yes, the Golf Classic is coming up, and while they don’t need any more golfers, they do need more financial donations and pledges. These are the people to contact to make that happen…

Jerry Halyk – (306) 745 2136. Heather MacDonald Maga – (306) 745 2404. Gerald (Chip) Bernath – (306) 745 6510, (306) 740 9252. Ed Zimmer – (306) 745 6249.

But, it’s going to take more than the Golf Classic to get the 20% in place. We’ve got to begin thinking outside the box. Will a private investor step up and help? Who do you know in the world of entertainment, or sport who would be altruistic enough to pledge their financial support out of their deep pockets? Are there any “local man or woman makes it big” people out there who originally hailed from this area? What ideas can we come up with? What avenues have not been considered? A bigger dream can stimulate incredible creativity if we put our individual and collective minds to it.

If you have ideas, contacts, etc, please get in touch with Don Hood – (306) 745 6100, (306) 740 7035, or Don Bernath – (306) 793 2008, (306) 740 9975.

The Esterhazy district plays an essential role in the provincial economy. It’s an important place, and that’s why it is still growing with new subdivisions, still attracting new businesses, and still building new community amenities. These are tangible evidences of the ability to dream. And, the people of this area must never lose sight of the dream, the vision, and the goal of world-class healthcare.

We can make this happen!