Dec 05 2009

Tough Choices at Vancouver City Hall

Vancouver has not been spared the economic blow-up that has affected the rest of the planet. This week, budget realities came up against citizens fearful of losing city services — and for some, their jobs.

Vancouver residents come out in force to an emotionally charged public city budget meeting, begging the question, ‘what are our priorities?’

There’s nothing like an economic catastrophe to concentrate minds about civic priorities. A city is not just a collection of sewers, roads and public buildings; today, we expect the city to provide services that cover social sustainability, environmentalism and public safety, just to name a few.

Some city services, like parks and libraries, are seen not just as services, but as essential to our civic space where citizens can gather and livability is defined. When the money tap gets cut off, watch out.

Read my complete article at Granville Magazine, Something’s Gotta Give.

For more insight on the budget debate at Vancouver City Hall, I highly recommend City Caucus’ coverage, Council budget meeting brings out hundreds, and high emotions.
Vancouver City Hall Politics

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One response so far

One Response to “Tough Choices at Vancouver City Hall”

  1. nancy (aka money coach)on 05 Dec 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Two thoughts:

    1. I pay approx $100/month in city taxes, on a property whose ROI has been over $1000 a month in appreciation over the past 8 years. Dear City Hall: I’m willing to step up with more taxes if that’s what’s required to not only provide barebones basics like sewage but also the elements that make things liveable (green, public space / shelters for homeless) (but don’t expect so much as a whispered cheer for the olympics)

    2. Jonathon, I’d really benefit from a 101 re: transfer payments. At some point in the past, did the fed gov’t stop providing funding to cities? Or did they only ever transfer to provinces? (and if the latter, did they used to transfer to municipalities and stop?) I should know this, but I don’t.

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