Commentary

At Least My Councillor Home-Delivers Blue Bins

If you had to complain to the manager every time you tried to buy a cup of coffee, you would conclude that the restaurant was not very well managed.

By Joey Coleman
Published April 10, 2017

Why do we settle for "Good Enough" Hamilton? When did the Ambitious City become the Striving For Average City? It was probably around the time we settled for politicians who provide home delivery of blue boxes, instead of delivering solutions to the challenges facing our City.

Blue boxes at the curb (Image Credit: City of Hamilton)
Blue boxes at the curb (Image Credit: City of Hamilton)

Somehow, we've come to be satisfied with two construction cranes in our downtown and believe this is an "economic boom". Meanwhile, other cities would be concerned if they were down to two cranes building.

Somehow, we've created dozens of plans at great cost for economic development and sustainability, yet never implement them. Vision 20/20: you didn't even need hindsight to know even 25 years ago that it was never going to be implemented.

Our roads are in horrible shape. I was standing on a packed bus the other day and jammed my knee - not from hitting a pothole, but the bumpiness of one of our poorly repaved streets.

It didn't help that I was on one of the new poorer-than-ever quality HSR buses. Sure, we'll have to spend a lot more money maintaining these cheap buses, but they were Good Enough for - as City Council sees us - the losers who use public transit.

Good Enough Strikes Again

Looking to renovate your front porch? Good luck with the City Hall red tape. Eventually, you'll turn to your Councillor, who will give you personal service and help you navigate the red tape their decisions created.

Somehow, people think this makes their Councillor great, but ask yourself: If, every time you went to the drive-thru to get your morning coffee, you had to speak to the manager just to receive your coffee, would you be promoting that manager or thinking they should be fired for mismanaging the fast-food outlet?

At least you can call your City Councillor, and they'll home deliver a blue box.

Now, if the City hired people to deliver blue boxes, paid them $94,000 per year plus free lunches, and didn't require any education for the position, we'd be hollering about government waste.

Our City's actual deficit is approaching $1 billion, and our unfunded infrastructure deficit is triple that. But at least your Councillor delivers blue bins.

A version of this article was first published on The Public Record and is licenced under Creative Commons BY-SA.

Joey Coleman covers Hamilton Civic Affairs.

Read more of his work at The Public Record, or follow him on Twitter @JoeyColeman.

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