Sunday, August 12, 2007

Taxes are playgrounds for some

In the minutes of Board of Control's last meeting on Wednesday (PDF), it's reported that London's Board of Control acceded to Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Fielding recommendation (PDF) that the city set aside $25,000 from the Neighbourhood Parks Capital Budget account to "offset any potential shortfalls" in fundraising for the "Let Them Be Kids" project.

In addition to building a playground in north London, the project plans to send city staff, including union executives from both Local 101 and 107, to Honduras early in 2008 (read "winter") to install used playground equipment donated by the city of Sacramento in California.

As Alt-London notes in breaking the story, it sounds like an "honest-to-goodness, proud to be an Oakie from Muskogie, touchy-feely happy happy happy made-in-Melonville tear jerker" to which no one with a humanitarian bone in their body could possibly object, and the kind that is regularly taken to be proof of the good intentions of politicians and bureaucrats. But,

Couldn't you just send the playground equipment down there with a set of instructions and a screw driver or two?

Surely this couldn't be a good-ol fashioned junket disguised as a mission for God?
Board of Control also recommended that administration report on potential ways to support fundraising "including the possibility of providing matching funding for the amounts raised by staff." It's not clear whether staff will be on paid-time while in Honduras.

It's not so much as it would appear that politicians and bureaucrats have contempt for taxpayers. It's just that they are closeted in a managerial society in which actions and thoughts are scrutinized and approved almost entirely by peers with which they share similar codes and purposes, and only rarely by taxpayers. Much like children who are only infrequently attended and then usually from a distance, their domain is a playground, and taxes are the equipment.


Fenris Badwulf said...

Its not so much that the union and management are going to screw over the people of london with this taxpayer paid vacation, it is the fact that they were so dumb as to put it down in the minuites of the meeting. And if they have to put it down in the minuites, then they should make sure that nobody reads them.

Twenty five grand is a pretty big vacation. There is more to this than a few lard arses going on a trip.

Does Revenue Canada care about this at all?

Maybe the message is, instead of complaining, one should get in on the gravy train too.

Elaine said...

Does seem rather dumb on their part to announce they are stealing taxpayer money to go on a vacation. The majority of Londoners are stupid, and they know they can count on that stupidity to steal taxpayer money for their junkets.

It is like the town of Windsor proclaiming they are a hezzasshole terrorist enclave. Everyone knows it, but to come right out and brag about it, doesn't seem like an overly bright move.

mariposa said...

Your PDF links aren't working. Did the City remove this information?

mariposa said...

Never mind - they're working now.

So, is there any point in complaining or is this little taxpayer-funded vacation a done-deal?

MapMaster said...

The Board recommends to council, which tends to rubber-stamp the Board's recommendations on what it will likely see as a trivial matter if it's not brought to their attention before. So it's not a done-deal yet, although I expect it will be.