By Letter to the Editor on May 9, 2020.
When will “reality” set in? I reference the rampant desire of our city council to spend “taxpayer” dollars on totally discretionary projects.
Save the efforts of (sometimes) a “troika” of city council members, our city council appear and act oblivious to where this coronavirus (COVID-19 and other nomenclatures) is and could take us.
During this crisis “responsible citizens” have, for the most part, voluntarily and drastically amended lifestyles in several ways including spending. Without a doubt, the impending economic climate and perhaps dismal future lay before us. Most agree that is not the time to be needlessly spending money.
Yes, there is and may be further monies available through the provincial and federal government; keep in mind, this is not “free money”! It has not sprouted on trees. These are taxpayer dollars. It is not right or just for our local city council to have recently approved a number of non-discretionary expenses with some of them carrying a significant price tag. The acquisition of the airport, with one airline already vacated and the other providing limited service (and may completely withdraw service), will the City still go ahead with multi-million-dollar renovations?
In the recent past, city council has spent our tax dollars on “shiny penny” projects that supposedly benefit our community, but in reality “may” serve a few. I reference (1) 7 Avenue bike path (very seldomly used); (2) automatic-cleaning public washroom/toilets (now decommissioned); (3) “digital speed signs on Whoop-Up Drive (often not in service or posting incorrect speed information); (4) The “very necessary” replacement of parking meters with the robotic nuisance; (5) the costly implementation of the City “curbside recycling and Material Recycling Facility (soon to be a white elephant).
Now today, the 3 Avenue upgrade approved expenditures is perplexing considering infrastructure rehabilitation is sorely needed for water main and sewer piping. Allocation of millions of our tax dollars toward the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden at this time is totally ludicrous. Even though two of our council members attempted a motion to delay the Nikka Yuko project, their motion was defeated on the basis that the project was “shovel ready.”
Dear fellow taxpayers, the truth is that if this “unbridled” spending by our city council is not curtailed, it will be the collective taxpayers graves that are “shovel ready” as we will be killed by inevitable, ensuing tax increases!