Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

Enough with the tidings of comfort and joy



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I’ve gotten soft; I’m sure you’ve noticed. Maybe I’ve been doing this too long or maybe we’ve all gotten soft as our happy mountain home has segued into a mature, possibly over-ripe ski, er, mountain resort.

After the Muni spent nearly two million bucks to build the hard-being-green Fire Mahal down at Spring Creek, for example, there was an item in the capital budget allocating another two million bucks or more to renovate the fire hall in Alpine. Renovate? Who are they bringing in, the Designer Guys?

As far as I know, there’s been nary a whimper about it, ‘cept for almost every firedude I’ve spoken to who complains – privately – about how much dough’s being squandered on gee-whiz equipment as opposed to people to actually put the fires out. But you can’t see people; you can see jazzy buildings and shiny rigs.

And I’m pretty sure I’ve been way too nice about the never-ending consultant’s wet dream we’ve been embroiled in for so long I’ve actually forgotten when it started: the Official Sustainable Community Plan. If I were Hizzonor or one of the sitting councillors, I’d be sweating bullets over the plan. Why? For the simple reason that anything that takes this long and costs this much and freezes or displaces real action during the interim can’t possibly live up to its billing. It has to disappoint when it finally comes.

Look at its history. The citizenry were engaged to select consultants. The citizenry were ignored. Consultants consulted, time passed, the citizenry were engaged again. Time passed. Time passed. Time passed. Five highly-skewed, unimaginative scenarios that could have been knocked out on the back of a napkin over drinks were presented. The citizenry were engaged in a three-week frenzy in November voting for their favourite, like it was a swimsuit contest. A month has gone by now without even an announcement of which scenario got the most lesser-of-the-evils votes.

And now we wait.

In the meantime, bad decisions get made because we have no plan… or the old plan(s) aren’t good enough given a new plans a comin’. Am I the only one here who feels like he’s trapped in a Beckett play?

#2 No More Mr. Nice Guy

Enough pickin’ on the Muni; I’m not looking for this column to be a multi-parter. I’d hate to pass on the chance to resolve to be less nice to my fellow man.