Tuesday, August 14, 2007

City staff Honduras junket update

Re: Board of Control's recommendation that the city set aside $25,000 from its Neighbourhood Parks Capital Budget account to "offset any potential shortfalls" in fundraising for a project to send city staff to Honduras in early 2008 to install playground equipment, apparently a task that's too sophisticated for Hondurans and requiring the expertise of union executives from London, Ontario.

Alt-London reports that Board of Control has deleted its recommendation to have city administration "report on potential ways to support fundraising 'including the possibility of providing matching funding for the amounts raised by staff,'" as indicated in the 22nd Report of the Board of Control, clause 18 (b) (PDF). The Board's recommendation to allocate $25,000 in reserve to the junket, as Alt-London describes it, apparently remains.

See: Taxes are playgrounds for some.

As always, email addresses for councillors who may or may not be aware of are available here. Consider also emailing Ian Hill, whose charitable organization The Changing Point is organizing this otherwise worthy Let Them Be Kids project, to let him know that his organization's fundraising could go a lot further if it weren't flying off some little municipality's staff to do a job that any local handymen could do… unless, of course, that's the secret to raising funds from taxpayers these days.


mariposa said...

After reviewing the Let Them Be Kids project, it looks like such junkets, as the one London is proposing, are expected.

The City of Calgary installed playground equipment in the Dominican Republic. Perhaps private donations funded that trip, or perhaps tax dollars did. I don't know. It looks like cities taking part are expected to send people to install the equipment. I don't know how much good it would do to contact Ian Hill.

MapMaster said...

No, probably not, it looks like junkets are one of the standard operating procedures for fundraising there. At the same time, though, any sort of charity — even ones that count on government support — must be sensitive to public relations to some degree.

Anonymous said...

Er, remind me again which horrible disease and/or life-shortening syndrome is brought on from a lack of exposure to yellow, plastic playground slides? I don't remember what it is, but it must be gawdawful, judging by the incredibly nasty, short lives our parents endured after having to play baseball and "tag" and swinging on tires during their formative years.

Anonymous said...

Would the paint on this surplus equipment happen to have lead in it ? And is the wood the pressure treated kind that leaches out arsenic ?

MapMaster said...

Could be, but we shouldn't let the health and welfare of Honduran (where dat?) children make us lose sight of the golden opportunity for city staff photo-ops at hand.

Elaine said...

I live in an area of the city where there are lots of young families with children. I call the street incubator ave. I really like it. Well anyway on garbage day this week, I drove my bike into work. I noticed that there were tons of mattel toys put out in the garbage. Newer toys they were. I imagine this was repeated all over the city. People are ditching their kids toys because of the lead paint scare. That is going to be a big economic blow out for China this xmas.