Follow the pea

If I was a downtown business owner I would have to wonder, especially in light of a recent opinion-piece published in the Guelph Tribune, if the City’s powers-that-be basically regard Downtown Guelph as their political play-thing — investing in it, being sure to get their pats on the back if all is well for me and my neighbours, despite all of my work, our work to keep our businesses afloat and the risk we are actually, very personally on the hook for — and if the revitalization doesn’t pan out as expected, well, oh well. THAT really isn’t their job. Kinda stinks if you are part of the pitch for all of the mess and additional debt in the first place.

Bottom line: We must have pre-determined objectives and measures of success before we take on a capital project, especially if the word “revitalization” is attached to it. In other words, there has to be some way of knowing if what we’ve done proves to be a success or a flop, all things considered. What were the total costs, and what are the public goods that we passed over for them (and debt reduction is a public good).

Enough with the shell game that follows pitches for downtown revitalization.

It’s not good enough for the powers-that-be to stand up at the end of it all (though there really is no end to it!) and state that in their opinion the place is a more pleasant place to be. Talk about subjective outcomes for millions of dollars of public money. Taxpayers deserve a whole lot more than that, so frankly, if that’s going to be someone`s election-time message, good luck to them.

About Craig Chamberlain

Ward 3 Guelph resident, dad and step-dad.
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