Re: Wright defends himself, The Record, Sept. 14
The opening salvo in the mayor's "war of words" in the civic election campaign appeared to remind us of the Greek writer/poet Aeschylus who said, "In war, truth is the first casualty."
It's great to hear that the city is "far under its borrowing capacity," but that is written like it's OK to borrow up to capacity despite the impact on future generations of taxpayers - not a hallmark of fiscal responsibility. Just ask today's Greek society, who spawned Aeschylus, to say nothing of warnings from Finance Minister Flaherty and Bank of Canada Chairman Carney about "borrowing to the hilt."
The "robbing Peter to pay Paul" philosophy embedded in the liquidation of city assets is a sure recipe for long-term taxpayer discord and shortchanging of future generations. The action of diminution of assets to front-end current expenditures impinges on the legacy gifted for the benefit of future generations.
The mayor "said the city has focused its efforts on developing sites that had been vacant or derelict, including the Westminster Pier Park, civic centre and Degelder properties.
"There has been no loss," he said. "We are getting taxes where there has been no taxation" Really! The pier park and civic centre are going to pay taxes! We aren't living in Fantasyland.
If we were, the mayor must be judged by voters as to whether he is a grandfatherly Geppetto, carving out a legacy, or a Pinocchio on strings whose nose is growing faster than city debt.
As far as being "the best man to get things done," informed voters will decide, given his oft-quoted message that he needs one more term to finish what he started. There is no vision in that, just a cleanup and exit strategy. The problem with such "legacy laps" is you get all of the plaque space acknowledgments but aren't around to pay for the structures to which they are pinned.
The mayor seems to believe that provision of Freedom of Information is akin to "open government." If we had open government there would be no need to use either an FOI process or appeals to the privacy commissioner over refusals to provide information, as was my experience. As I said to the city manager in a meeting where he opined that sometimes "the truth can be embarrassing," my retort still stands: "The truth can only be embarrassing to those that attempt suppress it."
E.C. "Ted" Eddy, New Westminster