Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Topsy-turvy is an understatement

There is a difference between coming full circle and spinning out of control. I was dumbfounded this morning when I read in the SP (Aug. 18/10) that the city is considering an $8 million dollar expansion to the Art Gallery project that won't even begin construction until 2012. That is a preliminary estimate for the expansion. No doubt construction costs will increase over the next two years and in all likelihood more elements will emerge to "meet all the dreams and aspirations" of those promoting this project. Unbelievable.

What is most amazing to me is that some of today's councillors were opposed to the initial ask of $4 million dollars for the city's share of a renovation/expansion of the Mendel Art Gallery. They expressed grave concern respecting increased operating costs due to expansion. Yet at that time the Mendel operated on a shoe-string budget due to heavy volunteer involvement. This volunteerism is not necessarily in place for the Art Gallery of Saskatchewan. And no one is willing to discuss operating costs in the years to come.

When I think of a $12-14 million dollar request to fixing the existing Mendel escalating into a $64 million Taj Mahal on River Landing it brings to mind the initial $16 million dollar swimming pool on the West Side becoming a $50 million Olympic colossus with huge operating costs. Should anyone dare to suggest that the operating costs are shared with the schools boards I remind you that the school boards operate solely with tax dollars.

The only positive thing is that this project is scheduled to start in 2012 - that being the next civic election year. Hopefully by then the citizens of Saskatoon will wake up and realize the debt and tax burden attached to them thanks to this council. Hopefully the majority of voters will look to a new council with an understanding of fiscal responsibility.

As for my current "dreams and aspirations" I want to be able to afford to reside in my home in Saskatoon.

1 comment:

  1. Several councilors questioned the wisdom of spending money on shell space in the new gallery but seemed to understand that more parking was probably necessary,councilor Clark however, covinced that everyone will be going to the gallery on foot, on bicycle or on a bus questions the parking but not the shell space. Councilor Paulson ever a voice of reason suggested seperating the reports meanwhile Moe sat in his corner mumbling something about bada bing bada boom. City Council on TV may be the best entertainment out there!


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