Municipalities must follow the road to restraint

City governments just keep spending despite economic uncertainty

We are in the shadow of recession as much of the world is in economic flux or turmoil. Families are experiencing a dollar that doesn’t seem to go far. Spending seems to be more discretionary for most wage earners. The sale of many big-ticket items seems to have slowed down somewhat. Families are experiencing this phenomenon, but some municipal bodies, including ours, are talking fiscal restraint and yet spending money, sometimes on less than worthwhile causes.

There is bantering around the city about some proposal to restructure the road format between the light a Highway 97 and Channel Parkway and the through road to the light at Yorkton Avenue.

One of the reasons cited is that it is too narrow, lane-wise.

I drive a school bus and there is little or no problem negotiating that strip of road that I have found. I drive that piece of road almost every day and have yet to find it restrictive in any way. One of the reasons cited for this restructuring is to reduce the volume of big transport trucks through that area. I have seen large trucks going through here on two occasions and two only. If this is considered a large volume, then our terms of reference probably differ.

In the last few months the city pundits have chosen to bring in high-priced efficiency experts to see where money can be saved and where efficiency can be improved. We have been given to believe that these cost-saving measures will assist in the financial crunch the city appears to be in. Yet, here is a proposal to spend money on a project that they say will improve traffic flow. I say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” If you are going to possibly deficit finance an unneeded project, why not deficit finance some project that there is a real need for?

One of the tenets of the mayor in his campaign to become mayor was financial/fiscal responsibility. How is this proposed project being financially responsible? It isn’t needed. There have been few problems, if any, with that stretch of road. Once again, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

Municipal governments work in strange ways. One week they’ll pave a road and the next week they’ll dig it up to put in a water line or gas line. I’ve seen this in many areas. If the city chooses to go through with this silly road change, it would make as much sense if they were to open a specialty shop to license and baptize feral cats.

Ron Barillaro

 

Penticton