For editorial writers, sometimes it can be tough coming up with a good issue.
That’s why we can understand how someone would plagiarize someone else’s work. Columnist Allan Fotheringham once wrote that if you read a good piece in the paper, rest assured the author probably stole it from somewhere. While we can understand how it happens, it can never be condoned.
While it can sometimes be tough to come up with a good topic, some days the editorial fodder just comes waltzing in the door. Sometimes it’s just too easy.
Case in point City council this week.
Council has taken Coun. Cameron Stolz up on his suggestion to siphon off some of the surplus in the police budget to help balance the books.
It’s a logical and sensible thing to do. The city is no different than any other organization in that if you have an area that continually does not spend its budget, then the budget should be adjusted. That’s why, in some organizations, there is a run on office supplies at the end of the fiscal year as managers make sure they spend their budget to avoid a smaller one the next year.
Council’s decision is a good one. Kudos to Stolz for bringing it forward.
So, and he’s where the editorial writers start salivating, what does council decide to do with some of this re-allocated money?
They put almost $900,000 into road rehabilitation. Excellent. Money is needed there. Let’s do it.
They put more than $100,000 into neighbourhood park maintenance. Fantastic. Let’s do it.
And they put $200,000 towards the mayor’s crime prevention task force.
The mayor’s crime prevention task force is going to cost $200,000?
That’s a lot of doughnuts taken away from our police force and given to the mayor’s hand-picked elites who will sit on the task force.
Don’t get us wrong, a task force on crime prevention is a good thing. But does it really have to cost $200,000?
And then there is the incredible irony of taking money out of the police budget to fund a task force on crime prevention. Some, who don’t have the benefit of the wisdom of a pricey task force, might suggest that the $200,000 could put another officer or two on the city’s streets. Crazy idea.
So, as you can see, there are times in an editorial writer’s life when material is handed to you on a platter.