Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where's That Gravy?


Just You Wait Until 2012! says (Councillor brother) Doug Ford, we'll find it then!

"Smarting from headlines about Mayor Rob Ford bulking up the civic workforce, Ford’s councillor brother Doug says the city should “outsource everything we can,” in 2012. The budget committee vice-chair made the comments Tuesday after the committee gave its blessing to a 2011 operating budget totalling almost $9.4 billion — with a $7 million hole still to be filled.

If passed by council in late February, after a second look by the executive committee, it would freeze property taxes by siphoning a surplus and reserves while raising a host of user fees. The operating and capital budgets together would also add 448 jobs to the payroll."

Meanwhile, the collated results of the 4 geographic areas of the GTA that had budget public consultations - the last step after everybody else has set the stage - are now official. You can view the results HERE

198 deputations over the 4 meetings....some of the more common topics raised were:

1) Proposed reductions to TTC bus routes
2) Proposed reductions to the tenant defence budget
3) Continued City support for arts and cultural organizations
4) Priority Centre proposed reductions
5) Park's User Fee Increases
6) Bed Bugs
7) False Alarm Fees
8) The size of the City's structural deficit and sustainability of Recommended Budget
Most telling was that: "Many deputants expressed a willingness to pay a small property tax increase to maintain service levels while others expressed satisfaction with holding the line on spending and taxes."
Surely it seems that the Ford administration is missing the point made: no cuts to service levels, small property tax increase is okay.
Will Ford's entire term be one of saying "Just wait until next year! Then we'll find that gravy" ?

* Update:  Fordites don't get it. Government is NOT just a business like the private sector. Government is a societal enterprise, not a commercial one!
“I’ve only been here a couple months, but I can assure everyone in this room that there is more gravy here than at Thanksgiving. Have we got to it yet, no we haven’t got to it yet. We’re hitting the low hanging fruit… People have been down here too long, they don’t know what’s going on in the real world. The real world is making things run efficiently. Customers call me up and ask me for a 10% reduction or I’ll go somewhere else. The problem is the government has a monopoly. We have to break that monopoly. They have to be competitive with the private sector. Yes we should outsource everything we can. Let the unions compete, because they haven’t had to compete in their lives.”
— Councillor Doug Ford, the Mayor’s brother, during budget deliberations Tuesday National Post

So, Doug. How does one break a government monopoly in a democracy? Can I really pick which government I obey if I don't like the one voted in?