May 13 Letters: Edmonton City Council should focus on core services


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Maybe before you complain about the funding you’ve received so far, Amarjeet, you should get your own house in order first. But this is not a “new” problem. Your predecessors (Iveson and Mandel) didn’t seem to know the difference between what had to be funded and it would be nice if it could be paid for. Perhaps the best legacy you could leave is a city that keeps the roads clear, the potholes filled, keeping all of its citizens safe. I am sure that a thorough and independent audit of all divisions under the control of the town hall would find significant “ways” of cost reduction. If you, Amarjeet and the councilors could be more responsible with taxpayers’ money, the province might be more willing to provide you with more funding. Just a thought.

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(More funding or not, those should be baseline goals.)


Lorne Gunter’s article on the marginal cost of transit fares (consider this deal, tip; motorists will pay more speeding tickets to support the police if transit users pay the full cost of travel , Tuesday, May 10) is not the way to go. This will make using an automobile seem less expensive and people about to use public transit or their car may start using their car again, increasing the overall costs of the road network. If one wants to calculate the total cost of transit users, the city/government should calculate the total cost of vehicles on the roads. The annual fee I pay for my car license (about $93) does not cover the cost of driving on our roads. If the city wants people to use transit, the fare must be priced to encourage transit use. The city council must decide.

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(Vehicle registration is not a municipal responsibility.)


As the realities of shrinking revenue set in, the city council struggles to balance property tax increases with maintaining basic city services. A good example of the council’s spendthrift mindset is on display as it debates the snow removal budget. On the short list of options to improve service is increased enforcement of mandatory sidewalk shoveling. This would require the addition of six more by-laws officers, at a cost of $800,000 ($133,000 per position). It’s this kind of “prudent budgeting” that leaves average taxpayers shaking their heads in disbelief.


(Some things coming out of City Hall have a lot of people shaking their heads in disbelief.)

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Can someone explain to me why people earning $180,000 receive $106 a month in child care subsidies? This is a great example of Liberals and New Democrats wasting taxpayers’ money. Remember when Notley was in power she introduced subsidized child care with no income limit. There is only so much taxpayers can afford.


(If it’s not available to everyone, then it’s not a universal program. The same argument could be made about health care. Good luck with that.)

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