Fly in the ointment at the budget dance - Metro US

Fly in the ointment at the budget dance

Is the current economic climate getting you down? Are you tired of hearing the word “recession?”

Would you rather not think about the number of unemployed people in Edmonton? Would you like to avoid hearing stories about the working poor in this city who are struggling to make ends meet? Would you like to be able to ignore yet another whack of whiners whining about the increasing cost of public transit?

If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, I know a place where you can go to escape all thoughts of how the economic downturn has affected people in this city. It is a clean, well lit place where jobs are secure, a thought is as good as an action and if you want more money, all you have to do is ask for it.

And just where is this current day Nirvana? You don’t have to travel far, just to city hall. But if you are going by transit, do it soon before the cost of a ride goes to $2.85. But given the superb transit service we have here, I suppose that would be a small price to pay.

If you like to boogie, you are in for a treat at the municipal mansion. Every year there’s a dance fest called budget deliberations. If you like simplicity and continuity, the budget dance is for you. Each year it’s the same without fail and there are only two dance steps involved.

The administration will ask for a big tax increase and council will pare it down to a smaller number. The small number will then be presented to the public as good news. It will be positioned as even better news if the decision to take more money out of your pocket was done without acrimony on the part of the councillors.

Of course, there is always a fly in the ointment. This time, Coun. Kerry Diotte had the temerity to ask why the tax increase was running ahead of inflation. According to Coun. Don Iveson, Diotte only did this because he’s a newbie and hasn’t learned the dance yet. Apparently, the next time around he will know better and will just get with the program. Apparently, Kerry didn’t know that he wasn’t supposed to lead, but just follow. I thought he was just trying to keep his promise to those who voted for him.

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