What services get cut when spending is reined in?

Dear editor,

Your Nov. 9 edition contained letters from those who advocate "reining in spending."

Dear editor,

Your Nov. 9 edition contained letters from those who advocate “reining in spending.”

I note that Mr. Presley’s letter has a footnote: He served 15 years on Courtenay Council, so he must have voted on 15 budgets. Murray, I will bet you a dinner at Applebee’s that you didn’t vote “no” 15 times.

Another letter on “reining in spending” talks about “fiscal responsibility” as if it is a revelation. This is nothing new: the public record and a variety of professional auditors have consistently given the City of Courtenay top marks for council’s fiscal responsibility.

As I currently serve on council, I can confirm that the two verbs “tax and spend” is actually how it all works. The citizens pay taxes and their elected council spends them on the five core areas that are the assigned responsibility of local governments. All of this is fully constrained by law and very professionally managed by City staff.

It’s a simple equation: Reduced spending equals reduced services.

So, other than offering vague criticism, why don’t the “rein in spending” candidates actually tell the voting public which core services they would cut if elected.

Less policemen? Less fire protection? Less water and sewer service? Less paved roads? Less traffic lights? Less recreation programs? Less garbage pickup? Less environmental protection? Less land use planning? Less bylaw enforcement? Less cultural programs?

Come on candidates, don’t be afraid: look at Courtenay’s budget and tell the voters what services you will cut if you get elected.

I worry about people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing, as they seem eager to throw Courtenay citizens’ quality of life onto the altar of their non-specific, election-time “Let’s rein in spending” dogma.

For me, I commit to maintaining the course: funding the core services, keeping taxes down, careful adjustments to the commercial multiplier and continuing to bring new business to Courtenay.

Now that’s real fiscal responsibility!

Jon Ambler,


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