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0% is a false promise

"I wont raise your taxes and will not cut services." This sound bite said by a politician will at least warrant a mention on the evening news as well as several paragraphs in the papers and news websites. However as people say, talk is cheap. While making for an attractive promise, it’s more insulting to the voters that the politician is hoping to sway.

I also notice that those politicians running on a 0% platform seems to ignore that when something in their own ward or riding is threatened with closure due to the very platform they were elected on.

Mondays council meeting showed an excellent example of that. The Mayor and other councilors who ran or support a 0% platform told city administration as well as all boards and commissions to bring budgets in with little or no increases. When the library board came back with their budget, one of the ways they could achieve that goal was to look at closing the Glanworth library branch as they were looking at least $250,000 cost to bring this small branch up to required standards.

At this point the community in Glanworth rallied around to fight the branch being closed. At Mondays council meeting several councilors spoke to tell the library board to reconsider. The only thing is that several of the councilors were the very same people who mandated a 0% increase. In short you can’t have it both ways. Many people who run on a 0% platform seem to think that there is a big pot of a gold that is hidden away at city hall and with that ‘extra money’ they can cut all other expenses. When they get into office they find things very different. The problem is at that point they have dug themselves into a hole and will not admit they have been wrong.

If you are going to tell your boards and commissions to bring back a 0% budget them support them when they bring back what you wanted. If you can’t then you should not have run on a 0% increase.

1 Comment

  1. Agree. Another example is the recent vote to proceed with the green bin pilot; an expensive project that London doesn’t need. Some councillors appear to not have basic budgeting skills. A no-tax-increase mandate means unessential expenses should be cut or postponed. I do it with my home budget every month; there are some things, no matter how nice they might be to have, that do not fit into the budget and we don’t buy them. If I can do it, I expect councillors to be able to do it too.

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