I am perplexed at some statements in door-to-door pamphlets and letters to the editor regarding the folks running for Council seats and Mayor. Seems like everyone wants to fix roads and increase economic activity without raising taxes, or even reducing them, without saying where to cut expenses. We know this is currently impossible as the city budget and financial statement indicate little wiggle room. The Province only funds particular projects in their attempts to exert control over municipal spending. They find funds for a municipality with no people, scattering caribou over western North America and wining and dining LNG officials, but not for installing badly needed culverts. Many necessary and frequently urgent expenditures must be covered by our property tax dollars. For example if the RCMP dictates a salary increase for their personnel it takes an unexpected chunk out of the City’s spending money.
The pressures of running for office can bring one down to a lower level where innuendos, labeling and pointing out past perceived mistakes emerge. To those intent on criticizing some of those running for office this week, I would suggest they reread the recent column by our local curmudgeon (Townsman-3 November) and determine whether they see themselves as an exception to his statement, “Why does an apparently sane person become involved in such shenanigans? Is it an ego trip? His take on the use of statistics to back up biases is also apropos. Further, as Aaron Levenstein has stated, "Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”
It seems to me that the current Mayor and Council have done an admirable job of balancing the priorities and warding off the devil (higher taxes). I would not resent paying higher taxes to enlarge the contingency fund and maintain and improve existing infrastructure. It’s a thankless task being on Council, because the city needs to be attractive for potential new business entrepreneurs, so we have to spend to keep up appearances and keep the pipes intact to bring healthy water in (with fluoride) and waste out. To paraphrase a common proverb, “We can satisfy some of the people all the time and all of the people some the time, but not all of the people all the time.”