Monday, January 22, 2007

LFPress letter to the editor: Budget editorial fails…

This is the text of a letter to the editor published in Saturday's London Free Press (letters are not archived) regarding its editorial coverage of the public input meeting in front of board of control as part of the 2007 draft budget process. The author, Mary Lou Ambrogio of London, was one of the presenters of the submission to board of control referred to below, and reprinted in The London Fog. Additional commentary on the presentation can be found here.

The editorial, Give each budget bid fair review (Jan. 12) following the public budget session daintily tip-toed around questioning the kind of spending council was asked to do, and finally alighted on the opinion that the spending should be done but helpfully asked council to make sure they consider each request carefully and give each beggar their due.

I was hoping The Free Press might make the point that already overburdened taxpayers shouldn't continue to fund these requests that have no tangible or immediate benefits, especially given that they acknowledge in the same editorial that there might be more pressing spending needs, such as road and sewer work.

Contrary to the Free Press reports, not every presenter at the session was asking for money. One group was asking council to stop spending like drunken sailors. Arguably, this one group might just represent the 57 per cent of Londoners who didn't bother to vote in the last municipal election because they felt their voices wouldn't be heard anyway. It seems that 57 per cent of the voters were right and despite all the lip service paid to fiscal restraint by candidates, council is still determined to use tax dollars irresponsibly.