Have you taken a look at your tax bill lately – an analytical look. The way I read it you are probably paying almost twice as much to city hall as you pay to the region
What would be wrong with that picture? A whole lot. The region supplies you with almost all the essential or hard services. Firefighting being the one very essential service supplied at the city hall level.
The region treats and pumps drinking water. It treats and pumps sewage. It handles waste collection and disposal. It provides traffic controls. Every stop light is owned and maintained by the region. Every stop sign is produced by the region. Major roads are maintained, sanded and plowed by the region.
Public health and food handling inspections are regional concerns as are homes for the aged operated by local government. Policing is regional and so is borrowing money for all municipal projects. Emergency planning and the last word on all planning matters is heard at regional council meetings. Welfare is debated and distributed by the region.
Our interests in all of this are represented by four people on regional council – the mayor and three others.
At city hall the mayor and eight people look after initial planning matters, maintaining local water and sewer services, local roads, firefighting, advocacy and recreation. Lately promotion has been a direction.
Let’s look at advocacy. It is to city hall that every “worthwhile” proposal finds its way. Free television coverage (which often sways public opinion) is a big draw. Council listens and then recommends to the region or the province. How much that experience is worth financially is like beauty – “in the eye of the beholder.”
Lately city council has been proactive in promotion (i.e. Wallenda and an ice project still to come). Sources of financial backing have been actively solicited by politicians, and who could say no and expect to survive?
At budget time there was great righteousness as council members spoke often about value for taxpayers’ dollars. Staff was queried.
Are taxpayers getting value from their elected folks? All of them?
City council met once in July and not at all in August. In the meantime hospital care is an issue, and so are roads and accessibility to name only a few things people want to hear about. Is it possible money raised for promotion might be needed elsewhere by ALL the people?
Something to think about.