This is the first of two opinion pieces from David Daniels which will appear in the Mud Creek News:
MAKING DO WITH LESS
Have you ever walked through a store, say the kitchenwares department. There is a sale on an item, half price. A pot or pan or some kitchen gadget. Beautiful design. But before you make the purchase you think to yourself: “I’ve been cooking for the past 20 years, and have done fine without this item.” And then you ask: “Do I really need it? And could I use the money for something more worthwhile?”
These same questions should have been asked by Council when it approved the Town Centre and Central Avenue projects. Did the Town really need to construct the new Town Centre and reconstruct Central Avenue? These two projects had a combined cost of $416,683.00. Could the Town have spent the money on more worthwhile projects, like helping less fortunate residents in the Town?
I would suggest that asking these questions are consistent with the principles of sustainability and fiscal responsibility, which are two of the Guiding Principles adopted by Council in 2004 and were two of the Core Principles of Governance and Service Provision adopted by Council less than a month ago. These principles and others are meant to serve as the foundation for the Council’s decision making.
In what way were these projects environmentally sustainable or fiscally responsible?
At least 5 percent of humanity’s carbon footprint comes from the concrete industry, both from energy use and the carbon dioxide (CO2) byproduct from the production of cement, one of concrete’s principal components. Preliminary figures show the Town has a infrastructure deficit of $13,500,000.00.
Why take the time and expense to devise principles to guide decision making, when the Council makes decisions contrary to those very principles.
Yes, the Town Centre and the new Central Avenue may make the Town more attractive. And some could argue that these improvements might indirectly benefit the Town’s businesses. But were these sufficient reasons to expend residents’ tax dollars?