Just When You Thought They Couldn't Spend Anymore!
Never underestimate the ability of an underworked city staff to invent more creative ways of spending YOUR tax dollars. Of course their efforts will be met with the usual complacent oversight supplied by this sleepy city council.
The latest scheme to blow off several millions more of tax dollars goes to the latest plan to build an 'emergency' water line which would allow the city to share Harmac's water supply in the case of an emergency, the emergency of course must only have affected our new $65 million plant of course and can't have impacted Harmac's system. So I guess, that would rule out some catastrophic event such as this greatly feared earthquake we are spending $16 million to keep staff safe from.
There was little discussion at last night's council meeting (as usual city council says no more than they have to in public) but an article in today's Daily News says that the city can also supply water to the mill in case their system goes down. A skeptic might also think this is actually a long range plan to be able to supply developers in the area with much less costly water supply should they proceed with their mega projects on the drawing board for the Cedar area.
Taxpayer Gets No Say Again
City staff of course like these 'Alternate Approval Process' ways of appearing to get the public's approval to blow off millions of more dollars without actually making it easy for the public to have their say. For example, instead of having a referendum in conjunction with the upcoming civic election giving the taxpayers a chance to have their say about borrowing $22.5 million for the plant we don't need. They have chosen to use the same non-democratic process to gain approval for this latest multi-million dollar expenditure.
Of course, city council just 'smile and nod' and then drift off as they get out the rubber stamp to give their 'thoughtful' consent to whatever staff recommends.
At the end of the meeting local advocate Gord Fuller asked Councilor Holdom if he really believed the alternate approval process was a valid means of getting public approval, without even cracking a smile Holdom gave a bit of double talk in true political fashion. Councilor Unger chimed in with the comment "that less than 30% of the electorate voted in the last election", I'm not sure what his point was other than to draw attention to the fact that he, like all on council really only have the support of 15% of the eligible vote.
Hopefully, this next election will create enough interest among the sleeping electorate when they realize just how much money this council has been persuaded to spend, and much of it, done in secret out of the glare of public scrutiny.