By Letter to the Editor on April 8, 2021.
Editor: The City of Lethbridge undertakes hundreds of millions of dollars in expenditures within the Capital Improvement Plan. Considering the incredible size of these expeditures and the ongoing costs to maintain projects, we would expect the greatest citizen input, transparency, and scrutiny!
However, the City is only now asking for citizen input, and the ask is quietly hidden away. It seems self-serving to seek this input after projects are already recommended, and when so little information is provided to make an informed assessment.
Consider that infrastructure has a lifespan far beyond when it is built, and requires ongoing costs to maintain.
Isn’t it important to know how many citizens will benefit from the project? Will there be cost recovery from users? What are the yearly expenses for staff, utilities, and upkeep?
Also lacking from the CIP is any real groundswell request from the public. We only see what City management wants, not the prioritized desires of the public. Further, there appears to be an inherent assumption that citizens find the current level of taxation acceptable! Did the City ask us?Â
We object to any process that seeks input after a project is basically a done deal!
The LTC will challenge any project that 1. Is not justified by a proper needs assessment, 2. Is not broadly supported by taxpayers, and 3. Does not have a business plan that clearly and accurately shows real need, who benefits, anticipated usage, and lifetime costs to maintain and operate.
Lethbridge Transparency Council