03 December 2010

Budget Notes

I made my brief presentation to City Council last night, asking once again for full funding for the Park Board. After more than $4 million in reductions over the past two years the Park Board cannot afford a further $1 million+ cut again this year. After last year's charade at the same hearing I decided not to stick around for questions and let other people have the opportunity to speak.

There are many issues within the budget proposal but I chose to focus on the closure of washrooms and the reduction in maintenance of passive areas. I would be very surprised if Council ignored the plea to fund public washrooms and fully expect them to "find" $300 thousand to keep them open. I can't imagine the ruling party going into an election year with that legacy. I do wonder about our park maintenance though. Visitors from all over the world come to Vancouver because of our beautiful parks and gardens and any reduction in their care and attention could give the city a black-eye.

I want to take this opportunity, while talking about park maintenance, to thank and commend our hardworking gardeners and caretakers for the wonderful job they do keeping our parks and public spaces looking so terrific. With every budget reduction their work gets harder to do, but they still keep our city beautiful.
I know that my plea didn't fall completely on deaf ears. I received this e-mail this morning:

"I just wanted to let you know that I found your short statement at the budget meeting extremely moving. As a citizen, I'd like to thank you for your thoughtfulness and commitment. DC"

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