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Our Taxes - Where Do They Go?

posted October 27, 2005, from the October Newsletter

OUR TAXES: Parks and Recreation staff will often say that the millions spent on major projects (and the consultants hired to carry them out) come from a different pocket than operating funds that are used, for instance, to run the rinks. In the end, though, all the money the city takes in taxes comes from the same pocket Ė ours. Taxes are a pool of money intended for the good of us all. City staff are there to help us make the most of this pool Ė thatís their job, even if they donít always remember it. In this huge city, their days are often chaotic and itís hard to for them to keep their focus. Park friends can help remind city staff of whatís needed Ė we need to remind them to 1. talk to us, be open and 2. Collaborate!

[ed: A few years ago, some Friends wondered why there wasn't enough money to paint the park's picnic tables (they still don't get painted), sow grass seed, or pave the walkway. We started to ask questions. Here we present some early answers. The information is still a bit raw, but some more general concerns are emerging, such as:

  • Is the City's planning sensible, and well grounded?
  • Are project mandates clear, sensible, and measurable?
  • Are City management practices appropriate?
  • Why are City staff so often non-responsive, obstructive, or incapable of responding to queries for information?
  • Why are City financial and operational controls often poor or non-existent?

We invite you to browse the material we have accumulated so far.

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