Well Harumph Indeed

By Mike Archer. I always get a kick out of watching the Abbotsford News attempt to lead from behind. This weekend, Editor Andrew Holota wrote a column about the layoffs, firings, dismissals, downsizings or whatever each of the bloodlettings in the upper ranks at Abbotsford City Hall last week turn out to be, and professed to sense that “the winds of change are blowing in city hall.”

Very incisive Andrew. Did somebody fart, or what aspect of the wind emanating from City Hall was it which alerted you?

He made reference to his newspaper’s panting and excited publication of new City Manager George Murray’s statement to them last week that a zero tax increase was now within the realm of possibility. It is always within the realm of possibility. The problem is that no one at the City of Abbotsford ever sees fit to do it.

Aside: Everybody tighten your sphincters in anticipation of the increases to water rates, Parks and Rec fees and other ‘nickle and diming’ measures that will likely be needed to help us achieve a “zero tax increase.”

Whatever you say boss. While we’re here, is there anything else we can tell the people on your behalf. Thank you so much for the scoop boss*.

[*Parody sponsored by the Servile and Subservient Media Employees Union]

He finished off his sentence with, “. . . and high time.”

Well . . . Harumph and I might even say again, Harumph indeed!

Listen to him as he begrudgingly admits that all of the giant spending projects he and his newspaper endorsed and promoted have caused exactly the problems the people he ridiculed as naysayers predicted:

“This city dug itself into a very deep financial hole with a $100-million plus sports centre, and financing a professional hockey team to play in it. Along with that, in recent years there have been some expensive but at least justifiable** [bold typeface ours] infrastructure spending on overpasses and airport expansion. And meanwhile, much to taxpayers’ chagrin, the number of city employees earning over $100,000 annually ballooned from 55 in 2010 to 88 in 2011.

“Needless to say, a strong measure of fiscal conservatism was due.”

Ya figure Andrew?

Welcome to the party. Where was this enlightened view of civic administration when you were promoting Plan A, the Abbotsford Heat, the $300,000,000 new water supply we didn’t need, the list goes on …

** By the way . . . who says the millions spent bailing the federal government out for the cost of two overpasses on a federal highway was justifiable? Who benefited from the massive hole which those two projects blew in our DCC fund?

pr pretzel contortionistAfter years spent parroting, defending and supporting whatever he and his reporters were told by those who have joyfully bankrupted the City, he now feels it is “high time” somebody did something about the crater-sized pool of red ink he helped create.

The contortions through which members of today’s corporate media must put themselves in order to look like reporters while acting like PR hacks must be creating a veritable boom for ergonomics specialists and bone crunchers.

Having carefully dipped his toe in the water of post procedural criticism, all the while managing to deftly avoid criticizing himself or his newspaper for helping us get where we are today, he will now likely pull back abruptly and get back to blindly supporting and reiterating anything the new and reduced number of senior people at City Hall tell him.

Hooray for contrition.

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