Monday, 7 June 2010

Some things can't be Outsourced - in Support of Public Employees

A tornado hit Leamington this weekend. The town is a wreck, by all accounts.

All available Municipality employees are pitching in to clean up the devastated areas of town. Employees who usually collect garbage are now working side by side with Parks and Rec and other outside workers to make it right in Leamington.

Would the low-paid employees of private contractors be first responders if Windsor outsources garbage collection as council is considering?

Here's what can't be outsourced to private interests. It's simple. If 100 of us got together to start our own village and pooled our resources for the good of all, what would we spend our money together on what separately we could never afford? These are not luxuries. What would we provide for all, the richest and the poorest alike?

Democracy - government, governance, elections, the public library
Administration - the public service, civil servants, tax and fines collection, by-law enforcement
Security - police, fire fighting
Sanitation - sewage processing, clean water, garbage removal
Roads - that we share
Electricity and power - the grid and infrastructure
Education - together we'd hire a teacher for our kids
Health - standards, basic medical care, emergency care, social services

For the good of our little village, we wouldn't leave these essential services in the hands of "for profit" enterprises who can just pack up and walk away if it's not profitable to stick around. Yesterday's tornado in Leamington is just one reason. Tomorrow's garbage collection in Windsor is another.

As we grew in size the list of things we'd buy together would grow. Attracting small businesses and tourism might be a good example of expenditures that can yield a remarkable return on investment.

Conversely, there's a list a mile long we'd probably opt not to spend our collective resources (tax money) on. Let's hope the elected officials in our little village would discern the difference.

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