Thursday, April 6, 2006

Not all special interests are equal

A potential riot at city hall was narrowly adverted thanks to a quick response by Board of Control; children in Pond Mills are shedding tears over their delayed splashpad, but the arts community has been subdued:


London controllers debated yesterday how best to avoid a free-for-all for the last thin slice of a large budget surplus left over from last year.
For starters, you could give the surplus loot back to the people it was pillaged from.
Only $300,000 remains from a 2005 surplus that stood at $9.8 million, the rest committed long ago, with more than half going to reduce debt and future costs, $2 million to expand police headquarters and $650,000 to reduce taxes.

The remaining loot isn't enough to fully fund three projects identified earlier by council for consideration -- $200,000 for the Children's Museum, $50,000 for the Palace Theatre and $250,000 to build a splash pad in Pond Mills.

Controller Gord Hume urged colleagues to delay a decision for two weeks so staff could report back on the merits of each request.

"I'm trying to avoid a brawl Monday night (when council meets)," Hume said.

But his request, backed by Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco, lost as three other controllers voted to pass on the splash pad and recommend assisting the theatre and the museum.

Delaying a decision would open the doors to more requests for money, Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell said.

"It would open it up to every group," Gosnell said.
Except the people who are paying for the scheme.

1 Comment:

BBS said...

Hmmm..., who do you think is more likely to donate to various local politicians and turn out to vote?

Maybe the Children's Museum can put a horse trough on the front lawn and the Palace Theatre can screen movies of other children having fun.

In a less sarcastic view, this is one of hundreds of examples of the never-ending list of special interest groups who view various levels of government as the funding vehicle for their pet projects.

Is it any wonder why infrastructure in cities across Canada is crumbling?