Saturday, November 18, 2006

I'll keep mine, give me yours

Make way for Executive Director of the United Way of London and Middlesex, Helen Connell:

Since new municipal councils don't take over until January, freshly minted representatives have some time to think through what they want their community to look like at the end of their four-year term.

And here's a place to start. "Holding taxes" and "lowering taxes" are not visions. Rather, they are political mantras repeated throughout elections in an effort to win favour with curmudgeonly voters. Taxes represent a method to fund your visions and you are expected to invest wisely.
You know what they say in Paraguay -- it takes a poverty pimp to know a curmudgeon (That rhymes in the Paraguayan dialect).

Note the esteem in which Connell holds "visions", above the actual desire of actual non-phantasy humans to flourish by keeping what they earn. These phenomena, "visions", were known in other times and places as illusions, dreams, daydreams, trips, trances, hallucinations, fantasies, and mirages:
A vision is what a community can and should be -- not just for the people who supported you and funded you, not just for your ward constituents, but for the entire community.
When I hire a plumber, I want him to fix my pipes. I don't want him to have any vision beyond getting my pipes working as quickly and inexpensively as possible and then going away. I do not want him to bill me for his thoughts on my interior decoration or to add on service fees to establish a plumber's working group on my landscaping situation.

Likewise, the city and its people are not Barbie's Dream Castle waiting for Helen Connell and friends to play house. City government is hired to maintain infrastructure and protective services. It's boring, and it doesn't help anybody feel good about themselves splashing about other people's money, but it's the only thing government can try to do with any chance of benefitting the citizens.

1 Comment:

Little Big Man said...

I have a vision of municipal governments being reduced to administration for fire, police, road and sewer. I have a dream where, as a result, people have money with which to invest in things like arena/conference-centre ventures...or not, depending upon such things as PROFITABILITY. I have a vision of municipal governments taking pride in having a police force that reponds to calls about trespassers, property damage and theft. I have a vision of Stalinists moving to British Columbia.

Free at last! Free at last! Great balls of fire! Free at last!

;-)