Re: "Cities must stop overspending," opinion column by Laura Jones, Friday, Dec. 28.
I totally agree with your comments, however I find that we face two major obstacles if we hope to see any change on the spending front.
One is the thought amongst the majority of citizens that if spending decreases there will be a reduction in services. For some reason people do not feel that they can expect our politicians and government workers to be able to provide a high level of service at a low cost.
Until the majority of people raise their expectation of both politicians and government service workers, services will continue to be provided on an either/or basis.
The other hurdle is the "polling" conducted by most municipalities. On a yearly basis, citizens are polled for their thoughts about taxes and levels of service. (Coquitlam uses Ipsos Reid to conduct its polls.) Our politicians put a lot of emphasis on these polls. In Coquitlam, there is about a 50-50 split between citizens wanting lower taxes and those wanting improved services.
So until we can change the mentality that, yes we can have both improved services and lower costs, and until the polling numbers change to reflect that citizens want lower taxes, the status quo will remain and our tax rate will remain unchanged.
Barry Lang Coquitlam