An imagined City Hall conversation

Garth Gilroy imagines a conversation between Ladysmith's mayor and town staff.


An imagined City Hall conversation …

“Mr. Mayor, Mr. Mayor … we’ve found the solution!!!”

“To what? The low ridership on the trolley?”

“No sir. That one was easy; we just broke down the round trips into one-ways.”

“Oh, gotcha … quick, send out a press release that trolley ridership has doubled!!! … Gotta love statistics — you can make them say almost anything … Can we use the same trick with the bike lane?”

“I’m afraid not sir. No one has seen a bike on it yet, but we’re looking into hiring a Manager of Bike Lane Usage to address the issue.”

“Oh well, it’s only money… Now, how are we going to justify those three electric car charging stations?”

“Well sir, I’m afraid that’s gonna be a little trickier.”

“Why is that?”

“Well, it seems that last year, there were only 468 electric cars sold in Canada.”

“That seems like plenty to justify spending a bunch of tax dollars.”

“Normally it would be sir, but you see, of all those electric cars sold, only 45 went to private owners. The rest went to governments, Crown corporations and municipalities.”

“So how many went to private owners in B.C.?”

“Statistically … about five.”

“Excellent!!! Let’s plan an Electric Car Festival. If we can get two-thirds of the privately-owned electric cars in the province to show up, we can fill those parking spaces, and don’t forget there’s grant money, so they’re virtually free.”

“Right away sir. I’ll get the Manager of Special Events and his two assistants on it immediately.”

“Good, and don’t forget to see if there’s any grant money available so we can buy a few electric vehicles for the Town. I’m pretty sure we’re the largest municipality in B.C. without electric vehicles in its fleet … One last thing — a few of those pesky ratepayers are complaining about so many local businesses closing, and I’ve been thinking … what if instead of spending 50,000 taxpayer dollars on ‘economic development,’ we just rebate that same amount as a tax break to the remaining businesses to ease their tax burden?”

“I’m sorry sir, but we’ve already started interviewing for the position of Manager of Empty Buildings …”

And so it goes …

Garth Gilroy