I and am sure many of us are somewhat confused and frustrated pursuant to what we notice in our city.
We need more money, as the infrastructure is falling apart at an alarming rate. Everyone knows that and for the most part agree, but what do you say when faced with the following observations?
We have in place a user-fee system to pay for sewer and water costs, but in the summer months we threaten to fine consumers for using our product on odd-numbered days if they live in an even-numbered home. Why? We need these sales revenues as that is what keeps the system functioning.
We have enacted bylaws that should fine people for illegal dumping, yet I never heard of a single fine being levied.
We pay for street calming such as speed humps and bulb-outs to slow traffic in residential areas instead of proactively seeking redress from those who actually break the law. That's like charging grocery outlets because someone stole their carts.
We state signage alone would cost over $300,000 to change residential speed limit signs in Sudbury as a speed-calming initiative, but conveniently don't put out the cost of signage for speed humps and delineators at all the bulb-outs along with replacement cost for winter damage done to signage while plowing. We also don't factor in the yearly cost to place and remove various delineators on road surfaces.
What was the cost for the reconditioning of centre court at Tom Davies Square after repairing a garage membrane? Knowing we have a beautiful park just a few hundred feet away, many of us wonder if we really need the added fluff.
We want to spend more on road rehabilitation, but don’t follow industry specs — we pave in the rain and we paint lines in November.
We want bike lanes to accommodate cyclists, but even on our newer road reconditionings we don't seize the opportunity to isolate cyclists with minor boulevard alterations to accommodate safer cycling. We would rather repaint lines on roadways every year.
We want to protect our water sources, but can't seem to prioritize salt and sand removal in our ecologically sensitive areas first.
Some want to build a new twin pad arena while closing arenas in outlying communities to save money, Do we grasp the merits of keeping those assets available to neighbourhood children, or the inconvenience and cost to those families if they are closed?
We are willing to spend serious money on study after study, consulting and monitoring, yet we don't seize the opportunity to listen to our own people to get the most cost-effective services possible. As for studies, in many cases, we don't follow the directive from the contracted consulting firms anyway.
Those issues are just the tip of an iceberg, and I feel like we’re on the Titanic.