Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Its Your Dime

Today was Andy's six month anniversary ... gosh where has the time gone? It seems like just the other day that I drove up through the pouring rain to meet his foster mom at the Kentville Agricultural Center. ( as a sidebar to that, I have often wondered what anyone watching the whole thing must have thought of us exchanging a fee and a dog in parking lot : ))))
In January, the society presented the HRM council with their groundbreaking proposal for a low cost high volume spay/neuter clinic. Everyone was so excited at the time and the presentation was very well attended. So does that mean that HRM residents can look forward to having a low cost spay neuter clinic?
Not if the Council meetings ( 2010 Council Agendas ) are any indication.
How much were they asking for? $208,000 for a one time injection of start up money.... with an annual subsidy of $95,000 in following years. That might sound like a lot of money, but its actually on the low end of the scale for a council that has spent:
  • $134,969.48 for two new sweeper/scrubbers ( 10-162R )
  • $118,813.85 for electrical equipment for the Halifax Commons ( 10-034 )
  • $91,949.00 for Two ,2010 4-Door 4X4 Utility Vehicle (10-020)
  • $112,966.10 for Heavy Duty Storage Shelving At the Ragged Lake Transit Centre ( 10-005R )
  • 154,651.80 for Library Shelving- New Woodlawn Library ( 10-003),
  • and of course the whopping $1,127,489.14 that has been approved for Phase 1 of the Stone Masonry Restoration for Halifax City Hall

( The subject of how those numbers pale beside the seven million spent by the bid team from HRM before the city withdrew from the Commonwealth Games Race is a topic that has been well discussed in news stories and blogs with a different focus than this one )

At the end of the day, responsible fiscal planning is about more than providing receipts. Real value for taxpayer dollars is measured in the impact of each investment in the community.

Given the limited space for sheltering cats in the new Homeward Bound City Pound, if ever there was a need for a low cost/ high volume spay neuter clinic capable of altering 8000 animals a year it is now. ( The credibility of the new facility's claim to be promoting pet adoption as a lifesaving alternative is already diminished by the fact that their proposed new website, has a phone number with a note that the website is coming soon : (((( Its hard to imagine adopters flocking to the door when there is no information about adoption fees and the application process ... nor are any pictures available of any adoptables.

But I'm wandering afield here. If you are a resident of HRM, please let your Councillor ( know that you strongly support this lifesaving initiative that will be of such benefit to HRM residents.

What time is it? At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, its always time to remember that the way ahead for the animals has to be paved with strong voter feedback. In these tricky economic times ... its just frosting on the cake that it doesn't cost a darned thing to talk to our politicians.

One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others. - Lewis Carroll

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