"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Beggar's Tick Stick

And Hairy-tailed mole.

Last night we had a meeting to consider an Official Plan and Zoning Amendment. The application was to ourselves.

We sold the land at a price and on the understanding it would be commercially developed.

We took the precaution of paying to have it assessed for environmental impact. We spend an awful lot of money for that stuff. It's how I learned about a plant called beggar's tick stick.

I asked Bob McRoberts if he was familiar,being native -born and all that. He wasn't. That made me feel less culpable for my ignorance.

I tried to picture it and the image that came to mind were the spindly sticks less than five feet high along the Industrial Parkway in the Lambert Willson Park. They were planted this year by The Arboretum. No leaves graced them when I saw them.They barely showed above the waist- high weeds that grew around them.

In two years,the Arboretum has received $100Ks from the town. In 2008, they bought a pre-fabricated tool shed with the money.

In 2009, a riding lawn mower, a watering tank was purchased. A contract for grass-cutting and weeding was let. Some other stuff like fertiliser and mulch and stones for paths and power to the building were purchased.

They didn't have time to complete tree-planting , so they had twenty-thousand dollars left in November when they came and asked for another $100Ks for 2010.

Council gave it to them. Councillor MacEachern put the motion forward.

With the best will in the world, I do not agree . It was a bad idea from the start. It took a couple of allocations of $50ks to come to terms with the reality.

We have no business handing out taxpayers' money like that to non-elected people who are accountable to no-one for how it is spent.

How do you call a very small group of well-intentioned volunteers, whose hearts are in the right place, to account for failure to perform?

Well....you don't. But when you are accountable to people for how you spent their money, you don't keep making the same mistake three times with double the money.

Another hundred thousand dollars give- away means a total of two hundred thousand in three years and little to show for it.

With the $20Ks left from last year added to the $100Ks allocated this year, that's $120Ks in my judgement, should not be in the 2010 budget.

There will be high dudgeon and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth that I would be so bold as to say so. No doubt, in several quarters, I will be the Grinch who stole Christmas.

Its a lot easier to give money away than it is to say no.

Who ever suggested the job of a Councillor should be easy?

1 comment:

Goodie Two Shoes said...

Christmas is almost here! Where are your ELVES