It would be great if money grew on trees.
© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
A pothole is seen near the intersection of Main Street North and Diefenbaker Drive. The majority of residents surveyed in the citizen survey ranked infrastructure such as roads the most important issue facing the City of Moose Jaw.
We could have vineyards of money growing at all times without fear of running out. Imagine how much we could get done in the city with a city-owned vineyard of money. We could have it all.
We could fix the infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks and water mains. We could have more equipment in our reserves and we could have more staff to help with snow removal. Our parks and recreational facilities could be kept in pristine conditions with all required upgrades. None of our operational and capital programs would ever be underfunded.
Unfortunately this is only wishful thinking. Money does not grow on trees and there is no way we can have unlimited access to it. There is only so much money out there, which means we need to prioritize how we spend it.
At Monday’s council meeting, the majority of council voted against a motion to make infrastructure the sole priority in the upcoming operating budget discussions.
Infrastructure is certainly one of the biggest and most pressing concerns in our community. Results of the citizen survey showed most residents believe infrastructure is the No. 1 issue in Moose Jaw.
Coun. Brian Swanson is correct in saying the city has a major infrastructure shortfall and that something must be done and done soon. Both he and Coun. Dawn Luhning have argued for increased funding for infrastructure for a long time.
The other councillors have a point, too, in saying we need to strike a balance and can’t neglect other services and programs in the city. This is an important part of allocating a limited amount of money.
And it’s true, this council did increase spending to infrastructure in this year’s operating budget. Is it enough? Of course not. But it will never be enough in one year, so we need to take what we can get.
What councillors should do is see if they can find ways to save money to give infrastructure projects more funding without cutting anything important or making something less well done.
It is impossible to know if this is a possibility unless we take a look and see. That would be a worthy investment of our time.
After all, we do need a balance in this city and we want to have everything.
But seeing as we don’t have an unlimited source of money, we can’t have it all.
There is no perfect solution to the problem facing this city. Maybe there is excess, unnecessary spending somewhere in the city or surpluses we can use, but maybe there isn’t.
That’s a lot of 'maybes.'
If council would take a look to see what is available, we can turn those ‘maybes’ into ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.