So this is the best we can get for $120,000 a year? Calgary’s city councillors charge the taxpayers a 7.8% increase in municipal taxes, bring in a bylaw to force retailers to charge for bags — surely a business decision best left to the retailer? — and hand themselves a 2.4% raise.Seriously.These people are trivial.And to some degree, stupid: For one thing, bags do not cost what the retailer is mandated to charge. Therefore, the council is just building in a profit at the till, to the benefit of the retailer and at the cost of the already hard-pressed consumer.Did nobody consider that? Apparently not.Meanwhile at drive-through, no bags and if you want ketchup and napkins, you have to ask for them. Maybe some people can eat a burger with clean hands and dry lips but most of us are going to want the napkins. And likely, the condiments too.In other words, it’s all virtue-signalling.Certainly, it’s not a particularly useful regulation. But it pleases our city councillors, climate-emergency heroes as they believe themselves to be, to strike these symbolic poses and cherish the idea that they have done something beautiful for the Earth.O tempora, o mores.Thing is, if they’re there to do something beautiful for them to do, let it be done for the poor old taxpayer. That’s actually what they’re there for.You know, councillors like to call city departments ‘business units.’ Why then do they not insist that their administration do what businesses do when income is tight, which for municipalities it is especially so right now, and look for ways to cut costs?The answer, I fear, is they don’t know how or even that perhaps they should.Note to incumbents; when times are tight, it is alright to cancel programs and lay off staff. That’s what businesses do. Usually they do it with regret, but if that’s what it takes to stay in the black, they do it with determination.Imagine if you will, a public-spirited citizen who, as a capstone to a successful career in business or the professions, decides in their later years to give something back to the community by offering themselves for a few terms on the local council.That probity, energy and wisdom upon which they built their lives is now there for the good of all.I am old enough to remember people like that on city councils. And they took what they knew about putting the interests of their customers first and used it to see that the poor old taxpayers weren’t hosed.And that is why, when you know that better is possible, it is so painful to behold the trivial things to which the municipal government of Calgary now devotes itself, even as it passes on these monstrous tax increases while rewarding itself with a raise.Triviality indeed and the affectations of trivial people who think that matters beyond their comprehension are nevertheless within their purview.As my friend and colleague Cory Morgan wrote recently, we have only ourselves to blame. It really is time for people of accomplishment and good judgment to get organized and get elected. And once elected, stick to roads, sewers and public safety. Do that, and forget about Hamas, and trampling upon people's legitimate rights of free expression, trying to charge people for parking outside their own houses and above all, interfering with the little things of daily life.It's not why we have city governments.Enough already!