There are essentially two types of letters written about the City of Delta that are generously published in this newspaper. One type pertains to either applauding or criticizing the nuts and bolts of financing and operating the city, the other gives a narrative of the results of those efforts.
A writer who is critical of municipal operations evokes the ire of a few who leap to defend all that is Delta. Resentment of criticism is reflected in their sentimental writings of Delta's story.
The most recent letter of this fawning genre is a magnum opus, replete with platitudes and chockfull of breathless descriptions: ooh, the pretty flowers — wow, a park — gee, a rec center – cool, a golf course — OMG, we even have schools! The letter takes us on a magical tour using a lens of rosy hue through which the writers see our fair city. It's well written, but it's a cloying screed more befitting a real estate presentation or chamber of commerce brochure than a clear and practical review of the city's assets and how they're managed.
The authors of this piece, dear Deltoids all, miss — or choose to overlook — the point of constructive criticism.
Delta City Hall has an annoying habit of acquiring property and developing projects with no apparent realistic preparation for long-term maintenance costs. We see pictures in the DCI of various city hall denizens, clad with requisite hardhats and shovels in hand, beginning another project. Later we see a picture of many of those same inhabitants of hallowed halls with giant scissors and broad ribbon, smiles all around, completing a project with perhaps (wink, wink) a cast plate immortally displaying attribution.
Other than desiring a legacy of recognition, living in the moment is de rigueur for politicians. Contrary to that immediacy, city council members need to prove that continued maintenance for their projects is reasonably and soundly funded in perpetuity. Regardless of how awestruck a minority of Deltoids are about The Golf Club, it became a financing nightmare cured only by a line item within the budget of nearly one million dollars this fiscal year. Ouch. To many of us, that's too much for the benefit of so few, or the superfluous luxury of being able to say: "...oh, and we have a golf course in Delta."
Let's put this argument to rest. Selected appreciation and defense of our city and its government is always appropriate. But questioning municipal government, which may be operating incompetently or with impunity, is a duty. In that regard, a perpetual Pollyanna perspective is not helpful.