Random acts of small town randomness

Sometimes I lament living in a small town. You have do drive to the city to go shopping for the kids; or to go to events, museums and such. When your small town has only one or two attractions in the area that are overpriced and that you’ve already done those, you complain about what you don’t have and think maybe you should move to the city… then I read about problems in cities and think am glad that the biggest problem in my area is the lack of sidewalks in our town and the biggest controversy is the basements flooding of some people in a richy-rich part of town. Case in point:

Reality cheque tough to swallow – Ottawa Sun

$8,000 to get a CBC host to talk to city employees about how to save money… Step 1, quit hiring people to come in and talk about how to save money.

Ogdensburg housing fiasco report delayed – Watertown Daily Times

Ongoing issue summarized in a paragraph.  Rental house taken over by City of Ogdensburg(NY) for back taxes. House was rented at time. Family allowed to stay, but ended up not paying rent for 3 years as city never set up agreement to do so. City applied and received renovation money from state and federal governments to fix up properties they owned to resell. House renovated, family still lived there. Family wanted to buy house, agreed to price, city government found grant money so that all family would have to do is pay closing costs and get house for free. No mortgage. Some people in city found out, city planner resigned, city manager under fire and city council trying to get to the bottom of it, during an election campaign so they are also making hay out of it.

It was once said that municipal governments are the closest people get to direct democracy, where they see the firsthand efforts of those they vote for. What were those voters thinking?

Cornwall Will Spend Progress Fund Income On Benson Center – TheCornwallDaily.com

Summary here: Cornwall built a big honkin’ ice pad complex with some other things too like indoor soccer fields. People in the city gave over $2 million in donations to help build it plus the Federal Government and the Provincial Government chipped in paying towards this facility. The plan all along was for the city of Cornwall to use the yearly interest from it’s big savings account to pay for the loan to cover their part. That was the plan 3 years ago when they decided to do it and now that it’s done, that was the plan. Until last night when some councilors wanted to defer deciding to use the interest from the “Progress Fund” to pay the bill. Only in Cornwall would they agree to easily finance something with the money they have in the bank only to second guess themselves and then ask where the money is coming from.

Common sense appears to be in short supply in these three cities. With examples like the above, it makes me very glad that I live in a township where the government doesn’t charge much for the things it doesn’t have to do. Roads, fire, police, trash, and changing the burnt out street lamp bulbs. Not hard to do that right.