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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Mayor Of Ottawa Faced With Rising Costs ...

NOTE: The content of this poem - originally created by John "The Engineer" Turmel can be adapted to suit any municipality. On this occasion, I have chosen to adapt it to suit the City of Ottawa - the urban area where the Mayor is asking for input from local citizens.

The Mayor Of Ottawa Faced With Rising Costs ...
(adapted from John Turmel's original: 'A Mayor Faced With Rising Costs'...)

The Mayor of Ottawa faced with rising costs and shrinking revenues,
To study any proposition, he would likely not refuse.
So many think the job of being Mayor is such a snap,
But the decisions that he is faced with are an ugly trap.

With tools, materials and trades that cover total range,
Yet one ingredient is lacking, money to exchange.
If snowstorm hits Ottawa and there are no funds to pay,
What does his council have to do to clear the snow away?

They pledge a huge dollar bond to commercial banks to get the cash,
With which they pay the skillful men who clear the snow in a flash.
The merchants gladly take the funds for soon they have to pay,
The taxes for the snow removal that was done on that day.

But though a great sum of principal was spent, they must request,
That citizens be taxed for the principal plus the interest.
To budget who gets scarce resources isn't ever fun,
But interest on any township debt is always number one.

Whatever rate the bankers set is due amount they pay,
Unhappily, which projects live or die is our only say.
But if it's true and local currency serves as well as locals tell:
Why shouldn't municipal government be one to try it out as well?

When another snowstorm hits without the funds to pay,
Why not test to see if Ottawa Hours are a better way.
This time we could pledge the total bond to Treasury instead,
And see if use of Ottawa Hours will get us very much ahead.

The merchant should accept Ottawa Hours as another way,
His taxes needed for the snow removal, he can pay.
Again the Mayor will spend the equal sum but the tax to be assessed,
Will include only principal without the interest.

Before the budget allocations are completely spent,
Could Ottawa Hours help reverse project abandonment?
If council members for their tax took part of pay in Ottawa Hours,
There'd have some cash left over which indeed would be ours.

If the municipality took some Ottawa Hours for property taxes due,
The extra cash would guarantee that extra jobs ensue.
Ottawa Hours could be offered to fix a pothole to a local company,
Wishing to pay their tax with unemployed capacity.

With Ottawa Hours road repairs could be financed and all would gladly take,
Ottawa Hours from the working men so payment all could make;
And we could build our local infrastructure and all would take as pay,
Ottawa Hours to buy local products and services they purvey.

Today, in our society, where money clearly lacks,
Who could refuse some paper anyone may use for tax?
Ottawa Hour paychecks could be earned by all desiring work,
The opportunity to pull their weight so few would shirk.

With local currency the unemployed in the city will save the day,
Without it they will idly sit and die their lives away.
And best of all, the Ottawa Hours would help to save environment,
A way to pay to save our lives and make us affluent.

The only question left is how the municipal tax should be assessed,
For goods and services? A simple formula to test.
For services, the Mayor would levy a property tax at end of every year.
For assets, a tax to pay depreciation. It's so clear.

The municipal government that spent the most and had the fairest tax,
Would be the municipal government providing citizens the max.


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