This letter is in response to the public input survey regarding the 2011 budget process. I was pleased to learn that a survey was available in order to submit my opinions. But upon reading the survey, my frustration was simply increased.
I find this survey to be insulting. It seems that the Township is painting a picture that says “Unless we cut these services to the public, taxpayers will be seeing a tax increase.”
I’ve been reading newspaper articles for years that always say the same thing when it comes to budget time, “this is the bare minimum.” Last year I remember reading a quote, “staff sees no opportunity for savings.”
Why are all of the suggestions related to public programs and services? I want to see a much more extensive listing of items.
For example, where are the opportunities to cut things or increase the efficiency of the staff? What about vehicles, vehicle allowances, cellphone contracts, expenses, training, or computer replacements? These are just some areas and items that come to mind.
One of the reports on the Township site states that 20 per cent of our money is going to “general government.” Where is the breakdown of these costs? And more importantly, where is the option to cut or review these costs?
The small list in the survey is not a complete list of opportunities that exist for review. Therefore I hope that this list is not the only thing that is being considered by the council.
As a taxpayer, if I had to choose between a hanging basket on the side of a lamp pole in Aldergrove, or a Township staff member working at a desk in city hall and being provided a cellphone, I would pick the hanging basket.
Brad Fournier, Langley