Friday, October 21, 2005

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Taxpayer's Lament

I'm nothing if not a passionate advocate for the little guy. Although I’m a big believer in the basic tenets of democracy, I feel today’s governments at all levels have become too large to truly understand and appreciate the perspectives of those who elected them in the first place – and who pay their salaries and related expenses.

T
he inability to prioritize expenditures isn’t limited to The Simpsons’ Mayor Quimby. And I wanted to send a message to London’s City Hall that it’s time to get real about funding the stuff we need and dumping the stuff we merely want.

The whole concept of wants vs. needs seems to be lost on today’s governments. I wanted to remind ‘em a little.

BTW, this piece comes with a cool geeky back story: I wrote and filed it wirelessly late Wednesday night from the hotel's lobby. I read the paper off of my PalmPilot - which I had synced just before settling on the topic. I'm getting used to the virtual office thing. I can think of worse ways to get work done.

London faces tough budget decisions

Published Friday, October 21, 2005

The London Free Press

It’s good to see the city seeking public input as it tries to pare down the wish list of capital projects for next year’s municipal budget.

We are no different than any other city: relentless downloading by provincial and federal governments has severely strained London’s ability to provide a full range of municipal services while keeping tax rates in check. It’s been a losing battle for years, and it won’t get better.

Piled on top of this government-caused mess is a global economy that grows more tenuous with each passing day.

The time for municipal austerity is now. Whatever we don’t absolutely need should be pitched – now. Extra overpasses are nice, but not critical to the city’s well-being. Widened roads make little sense in a city where rush hour is 11 cars at a red light. The police headquarters expansion might need a rethink if costs continue to balloon.

City leaders must learn to ignore the special interest groups who scream the loudest. The taxpayers who pay the bills deserve no less.

-30-

2 comments:

kenju said...

Carmi, do you have what we in the US call "pork barrel projects"? Each politician has his own pet project for his district, some of which are not really necessary at all - and cost too much to be considered. But consider them, they do - and sometimes put them through - to the detriment of the budget. ICK!

Michele sent me.

Serenata said...

Good morning, Carmi, You inspired me to Google you - and I see you have quite an enormous amount of good looking reading material, which I will look at more closely later in the day. Meantime, I already spoke to my son about modernizing my website - believe me, he was well aware of the ideas you presented - but as I am only his mother, I will be the last on his list to receive the benefit of his knowledge. Oh well. DON'T FORGET TO ADD ME TO YOUR MAILING LIST! Great to have met you! Renee