It seems we were right: most Brandonites don’t want to star in a new tax documentary TV series.
For months, Force Four Entertainment, a Vancouver-based film production company, has been considering the Wheat City for its new television project. The idea for the new documentary series is for a town or neighbourhood to take matters into their own hands, and prove they can manage their own municipal, provincial and federal tax dollars.
The series would range from six to 13 episodes and would follow one town’s journey. About 25 families in a certain area would be needed for the idea to be feasible.
But as the Sun reported on Friday, there hasn’t been enough enthusiasm from the community to pursue the project.
“There was some initial interest but it seems we just haven’t been hearing from many people as we have in other cities across Canada,” Force Four director of development Nicole Lawson told the Sun.
“We’re sort of feeling like Brandon is slowly falling down on the list of places that are on our short list, simply because we're not hearing from people.”
In fact, as of Friday at noon, the last comment on Force Four’s Brandon Project Facebook page was by a person apologizing to the company for Brandon’s lack of support. “I guess people in Brandon love their taxes,” he wrote in his Nov. 6 post.
Those rather noisy voices in the community with an axe to grind against Brandon’s mayor and council might throw their hands up in the air in frustration and dismiss Brandonites as lazy or apathetic. But honestly, we don’t believe the Brandon citizens love or hate taxes any more than any other Canadian community. And we sure as heck don’t think the majority of Brandonites are lazy.
We liken the city’s apparent lack of enthusiasm for the production to the modern difficulties faced by many local organizations that look for new volunteers: finding people with time on their hands.
There always seems to be too few hours in a day to accomplish everything that needs to be done and taxpayers — many of whom have children and other dependents — have to make priorities. Unless provoked and angered into action, municipal politics and taxation are generally pretty low on that priority list. That fact has been made crystal clear to us over the last several years.
And maybe — just maybe — there are also people in this community who agree with Mayor Shari Decter Hirst who dismissed the TV project as a “cheap Hollywood thrill” and said she didn’t want her city to be perceived on a national scale in the same vein as Honey Boo Boo.
Whatever the case, we look forward to the next round of city budget discussions. May they be calm, professional, rational, thoughtful ... and as dull as dishwater.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 1, 2012