LOCAL EDITORIAL: Finding a balance

Historically, governments have been more free with their spending than the private sector.

Historically, governments have been more free with their spending than the private sector.

Aside from the fact that politicians are taxpayers along with the rest of us, when they approve a proposal that requires spending, they commit the rest of us.

Unless it’s offset by spending cuts, taxpayers don’t have much choice but to pay to cover the new costs of a decision by a local, provincial or federal government.

Customers of a privately owned business, on the other hand, often have alternatives to paying higher prices.

Consequently, business owners must be extremely sensitive to the price points of their customers.

Truthfully, politicians are being forced these days to more carefully consider the effects of their decisions that make us pay more.

That’s because it’s become harder for people to pay their bills. We’re scrutinizing the people we elect and their decisions more closely now.

These new times are a fertile ground for fiscal conservatives who believe the state should spend, and tax, less.

The other half of this equation is that lower taxing and spending results in fewer services.

Unlike the private sector, we hold our elected officials in the public sector to an expectation – sometimes unrealistic – that they will provide amenities that make Canada, B.C. and Comox Valley communities better places in which we can live.

The not-always-straightforward recommendations by our public servants and subsequent decisions by politicians must be informed by considerations such as how many people use these services and how much do they cost?

The request being considered by the Comox Valley Regional District to borrow $1.8 million to renovate the Comox Valley Curling Club’s building is a great example.

It’s hard to imagine a community of 65,000 people in a Canadian community without a viable curling club, yet taxpayers’ finances are stretched.

A new $10-million facility is not an option. Voters should decide on the compromise repair plan.

editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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