When will politicians budget like real people?


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/07/2021 (676 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Are you shocked about how governments spend our money? Why does the city pay $3 for something that would cost you and me $1? Why can’t the city take care of our parks and boulevards?

We pay for all that. We shouldn’t have to pay more each year and always get less in return.
There are so many political claims of perfection and grandstanding but no discussion or evidence of the facts. We have another budget before us, and I’m sure you can predict what will be said by the savvy career politicians. Things like:
• “This budget isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we can do.;
• “Record spending on public safety;”
• “No water and sewer rate increase in the budget.”

Is that true? No, this council approved four years of rate increases outside the budget. It’s a half-truth, political mumbo-jumbo, nothing but spin.

Look back in time. List all the promises and check off those achieved. There will be a big difference between the two lists.

All this reminds me of a conversation I had with Ron Joyce, a Canadian business icon (Tim Hortons), who said:

“Put a dollar in a jar for every promise a politician makes. When they get elected, take a dollar out every time that politician comes good on a promise. You will always have money.”

When you do a budget for your home, you don’t have the luxury of giving yourself a raise to bring in more money. You can’t stop the regular maintenance of your home or your vehicle, and you certainly can’t keep increasing the amount of debt you take on year after year. 

Imagine you hired a group of people to budget your money and provide the basic needs of life, and that group gave you less for more each year and doubled your debt. Then, what if the group didn’t tell you how they spent each dollar of your money? We all know the answer.

Politicians are elected to represent the people of their community. Too often, once elected, what they do is more about them.

What if you wanted to ask your employee a question on how your money is spent? You called and left a message but got no reply. You called again days later, and still got no response. Nothing. Crickets.

What would you do?

I urge you to become engaged and let your voices be heard when services drop, taxes go up, crime increases, and the city continues to crumble before your eyes.

The mayor and his inner circle are preparing for another year of increased taxes and reduced services in the budget, making now the time to say no to the status quo.

Call your employee (your city councillor or the mayor) anddemand answers. Tell them how you want your money spent and on what.

The City of Winnipeg’s primary responsibility is to provide you with essential services. These services are not free. You pay for each service the city offers, which is how government should spend your tax dollars.

Ask as many questions as you want, and demand honest answers.

Kevin Klein

Kevin Klein
Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood ward report

Kevin Klein is the city councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood.

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