Langley City spending decisions questioned
Editor: I read with interest about the City of Langley’s plans on spending over $50,000 on art projects for the coming Seniors Games.
In the opinion of at least one councillor, they should get the project off the ground to create a sense of “belonging in this community.”
Please, could someone explain to me how a mural on a pump house, or washroom walls at an underutilized park, or artistic signage pointing the way to facilities to be used, brings the community together? The only coming together these murals will bring about is the coming together of graffiti artists and those who clean up after them.
The Games participants will surely find their way to the facilities from the printed material available to them from the organizers.
If there are expenditures to be made on artistic projects for the Seniors Games ,they should come from moneys raised by the Games committee, not by the City.
There is an excellent precedent for this, going all the way back to the 2000 BC Games for Athletes with a Disability, which I had the privilege to chair.
Our committee raised $450,000 in cash and equivalents. All of it was donated, except for a small amount of seed money donated by the City and Township. The bulk of that seed money was returned to the City and Township at the end of the Games, out of a surplus.
Why is this not the case with these Games?
The dollars provided by the developers do not belong to the art groups. They belong to taxpayers, just as all monies raised by the City belongs to the taxpayer. It should not be squandered on the nonsensical and ill-thought out whims of a few.
If the purpose of the so-called art works are to bring the community together, then raise money specifically for them. If anything does get people working together, it is working for a specific cause that is of benefit to the whole community.
That has far more of a lasting effect than council’s conceptual idea of what is art.
If the money is already in hand, it does not have to be spent on art. Instead, it should be put toward items like failing infrastructure, keeping budget costs down, keeping the cost of the proposed Timms Centre down, or a myriad of other items in this community that are of far more pressing need.
I, for one, expect much better of my elected council and I am sure the majority of other taxpayers in this community do as well.