Editor, The Record:
Well, the election is over and we have a new group “occupying” Mission municipal hall. I hope they have a better sense of direction than the current fashionable “occupiers” in other cities in Canada.
It shouldn’t be that difficult to improve on the previous tax and spend council. Obviously, the previous council lost control of staff as evidenced by the out-of-control spending involving the Cedar Street Gaudin Creek realignment project. Also, the timing of this damning report coming days after the election, was suspect.
I don’t doubt the previous councillors wanted the best for Mission, however, their naiveté and lack of business acumen proved costly to the taxpayers. I don’t want to seem like I’m piling on but a few examples the new council can learn form are:
1. the outrageous CUPE contract signed during recessionary times has hamstrung Mission for years to come;
2. the spending of thousands of dollars on the infamous bike route stamps and signage;
3. the giving of tax-exempt status for a 20-acre property owned by an almost unheard of society from Vancouver who never even met the basic criteria of the policy.
4. the well-meaning but ill-thought out off-leash dog park. By not listening to the public concerns, costs escalated dramatically, as often does when the bureaucracy gets involved. The park targeted for the off-leash was already being used for this activity at no cost and few liabilities for the taxpayers. Now we have an attractive fence that dogs can jump over and go under;
5. whose idea was it to plant grass on the median on Cedar Street? The unintended (I hope) results of having lane closures and/or flag persons, citing safety for mowers, is costly.
We very rarely see staff or council being held accountable for mis-management. However, this time at least most of the council received consequences.
Mission should be run more like a business including environmental and social responsibilities. Businesses are accountable to the shareholders and in this case the shareholders are the taxpayers of Mission.