The walls of city hall are thick. They are rarely penetrated from without by prudent fiscal consideration and common sense, yet what emanates from within and easily passes through those walls is too often silly.
Delta's acting city manager recently endorsed an opinion of the need to increase taxation for city operations. It is based upon recommendations from an ad hoc committee, Citizen Financial Task Force (CFTF), which encouraged city council to authorize spending $20,000 in taxpayer funds. (The interestingly named Citizen Financial Task Force has several members who are not even citizens of Delta.) This particular expenditure is for an unnamed consultant who will advise city staff and council how best to raise taxes on residents and taxpayers of our fair town. Yes, spend the taxpayers' money to figure out how to raise their taxes.
What followed at a city council meeting was textbook government spin: Our acting city manager called spending of $20,000 an "investment" because it would result in some unspecified "return" meaning even more tax revenue for city hall. The story line is that all reasonable avenues for reducing municipal spending have been exhausted and reserves are being depleted.
Only someone entrenched in our local government, subjected daily to the rarefied air of its hallowed halls, can possibly consider funds from city coffers that are spent specifically with the goal of finding new ways and means of taxation are an "investment."
There are better means of "investing" these fund; consider the following suggestion. The earmarked $20,000 sum ought to be spent on plywood, nails and a simple plan. The supplies can be delivered to the Devil's Thumb Golf Course and the plan prepared by Parks and Recreation. Perhaps you can see where this is going. Board up and shut down that dollar-gobbling golf club whose continued operation is a drain on city funds to the tune of some $450,000 per year. The percentage of Delta residents who actually enjoy those facilities is likely very near zero. Most of us know little of customer traffic and usage of facilities at Devil's Thumb but such a huge annual loss tells enough of a story of mismanagement. It's a story that ought to be a stinging embarrassment to everyone at city hall involved with such an unarguably regrettable white elephant.
It may come as a surprise to our acting city manager that spending $20,000 to reduce the annual burden on taxpayers by $450,000 might be more fairly referred to as a "return on investment" than the scheme he supports.
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