By James Breckenridge. Abbotsford has location, an international airport, the US border and the Trans-Canada Highway which are all assets that should make Abbotsford THE city businesses want to locate and do business in. Yet the only one of these assets that businesses are currently using is the Trans-Canada – to drive past Abbotsford and set up in Chilliwack.

Sustainable was a popular buzzword at all candidates meetings; sustainable this, sustainable that and sustainability.

Sustainable: adjective
1) capable of being supported or upheld
2) Able to be supported as with the basic necessities or sufficient funds
3) able to be maintained or keep going, as an action or process
4) a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse and renewal

The key to sustainability for a person, a business, a municipality, a province, a country is long term financial stability. Long term financial stability requires thoughtful, realistic planning of the yin [revenue] and the yang [expenditures].

Sustainability requires the amount spent to operate the city matches [or is less than] the tax revenue raised to fund the city’s operations. Spending capital funds in order to avoid raising taxes to reflect what is spent to operate the city means a council lacks discipline and responsibility; a council is lazy and takes the easy way out.

If you spend your capital funds on operations you lack the money to build infrastructure for development or to upgrade infrastructure to meet the needs of a business that requires the upgrades to do business in Abbotsford.

Sustainability on the expenditure side also requires the planning, commitment and discipline to, year after year, make the expenditures needed to upgrade and maintain infrastructure and add to city resources.

Abbotsford needs more sports fields [soccer, softball, baseball etc.] you add one a year; and you maintain the existing fields because you gain nothing if you build new fields but existing fields become unusable because you failed to maintain them.

Roads are another piece of infrastructure that requires a council committed to maintaining and improving. Otherwise you end up were Abbotsford is today, where major routes are in a state of disrepair and deterioration, where rain turns stretches of other roads into ponds and the city’s solution is not to address the reason water puddles but to stick up yet another sign warning that the road floods here.

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What business is going to locate in a city where the roads are falling apart?

Sustainability requires that Abbotsford attract business. In order for Abbotsford to be sustainable the city needs the taxes those business would pay into the city’s coffers and the wages the businesses would inject into the local economy.

And that is why sustainability is Reason 1 that we need to replace the current council and councillors.

Because Abbotsford’s sustainability requires 1) a council and councillors that will stop promoting Chilliwack’s economic growth and start promoting Abbotsford’s economic development and future; 2) electing new, different councillors to send a loud clear message to businesses that Abbotsford is not only now open for business but that Abbotsford will work to get you business.

On November 15th keep in mind that if the core of council does not change, nothing will change.

On November 15th:

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