I guess it's that time of year once again, and while there won't be any Christmas tree or decorations in my home, for many in the community, this is a special time of year, and it's the time of year that I ask you for a few favours on behalf of my community.
In previous years I've asked you for things like a Bylaw Enforcement Officer for our little town of Meaford (thank you very much), an integrity commissioner (you never really pulled through on that one), the elimination of our silly “Other Big Apple” slogan (again, thank you very much), and a host of other things, but this year I've got some new things on my wish list.
As you may or may not know, this community is building a new library. The hefty price tag of $5.5 million has some folks concerned, so I'm wondering if you can work some of your magic to ensure that as we move through the process, costs are kept in check, and that the Friends of the Library can raise even more than their ambitious $750,000 goal toward the project.
While we certainly need a new library, like all municipalities we've got an infrastructure funding problem, and it would be really sweet of you to deliver loads and loads of gravel and asphalt along with copious amounts of concrete so that this municipality can continue chipping away at the long list of roads and bridges that need repair and rehabilitation. The province and the feds don't seem to want to help municipalities much in spite of the fact that they control and manage some 60 percent of all roads and bridges infrastructure in the province, yet they have access to just one primary funding source – property taxes. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated – even by the scrooges in the municipality.
Speaking of the feds... we had a bit of a wind storm earlier this year during which we saw huge waves on the bay, and a number of trees were downed. Additionally a couple of the huge boulders in the breakwall were swept away leaving a few gaps. While the breakwall is in Meaford, it's the responsibility of the feds, so any chance a fire could be lit under some federal bums to get the ball rolling to repair the breakwall?
In previous years I've been a little selfish by asking you to deliver items on my wish list that have mostly been for this fine community of Meaford, but there's a big world out there with a lot of problems, and so this year I'm hoping you can help out there too.
As you know there's a madman running loose on the international stage, his current address is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500.
His domestic issues aside, the current president of the fine nation of the United States of America hasn't seemed to have learned the notion of walking softly while carrying a big stick, and instead he stumbles erratically while carrying a couple of big sticks because... well, because he thinks he can.
I can see some serious problems in the future as there's another madman out there on the Korean peninsula, and he's backed himself into a corner and has found himself trading insults with the madman on Pennsylvania Avenue. Either one of these insane leaders could lash out at any time. Any chance you could sit both of these men in a corner for a while because I fear that coal in their stockings won't have much of an impact on these two? (Especially given that the Pennsylvania Avenue madman really loves coal, and the North Korean madman relies on it.)
I think that's all for this year, Santa – I'd prefer to not push my luck by asking for too much, I've been disappointed too many times before.
Wait, I do have one more wish – that everyone in this fine community has a safe, happy, and wonderful holiday season, and that we collectively give more than we receive, and we take some time to appreciate even the smallest things, as a quick look around this blue ball of ours will tell you that many parts of the world have some serious issues to deal with that make my wish list seem a little silly and unimportant.
Stephen Vance, Editor, The Meaford Independent