• July 31, 2012

    Transparent & Open Government

    The transition from private business to the very public world of politics has been both interesting and more challenging than I had envisaged. Based on my first seven months in office, the most challenging issue facing our City is financial sustainability.

    As I have reflected on this issue, I have concluded that two things may have contributed to us moving from a municipality whose Reserves totaled $100 million dollars just a few short years ago, to one where we are now the second highest indebted City ($94 million dollars), in B.C., after Vancouver.   Without a doubt, Capital spending has brought us to a place where other services vital to the health and well being of a community will have to be deferred for many years. Groupthink may be a second contributing factor, which is a subject that I wrote about during… Continue Reading

  • July 19, 2012

    Spending Other People’s Money Is Always Easier Than Spending Our Own.

    Milton Friedman, one of America’s most respected economist, statistician and the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, wisely observed that we spend our own money on ourselves very carefully. We spend other people’s money less carefully.

    As a young teen-ager, I worked on a poultry farm, catching chickens from midnight until dawn.  The money I earned went into a savings account to buy a car when I turned 16.   In addition to my earnings, my father would give me money for my birthday and other special occasions.  I still remember that this ‘free’ money disappeared relatively quickly and without much thought. The obvious truth and lesson that I learned early in life was that it is much easier to spend someone else’s money than my own.  Elected officials and civil servants at every level of government… Continue Reading

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