Council needs an earful on tax-guzzling Indy - Metro US

Council needs an earful on tax-guzzling Indy

Some questions for you. Are you pleased that during the past two years the City of Edmonton has had to pony up almost $10 million to cover Indy losses?

Do you think this was a good investment of your tax dollars? Has this expenditure made our city a better place to live? Will thousands of people now want to come to Edmonton because we have a car race?

Does having a big, noisy, polluting car race fit in with creating a sustainable city? Did you benefit from this event? Is having a car race more important to you than clearing roads in winter, getting rid of the drug house in your neighbourhood, hiring new police constables or fixing the crack in the sidewalk in front of your house? Do you think this is just one more example of how the “old boy/girl” network influences the spending decisions of city council?

During the last civic election, did you hear anyone mention that they supported this kind of expenditure? Did your councillor ask you if you were in favour of subsidizing a private-sector event? Did your councillor vote in favour of spending this money? Are you surprised that a forecasted $1-million loss somehow turned into $3.9 million? Are you willing to do something to prevent more of your tax dollars being spent on this race?

That last question is the really important one. I would hope that you and thousands of other Edmontonians send an e-mail to your councillors indicating whether or not you want them to fork over any more of your tax money to the Indy. You can get their e-mail addresses from the city’s website. If you don’t know who your councillor is, send an e-mail to the mayor.

Keep in mind that your councillors will soon be deciding how much more in civic taxes you will have to pay next year. My guess is that on top of the smoke-and-mirrors approach they use to maintain that they require more money to keep up with inflation and increased costs, they will need an additional $3.9 million because of the Indy.

We will be having a civic election next year. When an incumbent shows up at your door with a handful of “gimme,” and mouthful of “much obliged,” you might want to ask them if they voted in favour of wasting your tax dollars.

Terence Harding is a corporate communicator and a keen observer of all things Edmonton; edmontonletters@metronews.ca.

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