Wednesday, December 4th Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 12/4/2013 7:53:00 AM




City hall


Have you noticed the Ford boys are still playing their political games in a desperate bid to get Rob Ford re-elected as mayor.

They're still harping on the notion that the gravy train hasn't been derailed and as proof of that they've pointed to the proposed operating budget for next year which carries a property tax increase above Mayor Ford's promise of 1.75 percent.

Two days ago, the mayor said that promise could be kept if spending were reduced by just 18 million dollars and that he could easily find 50-million in efficiencies.

As diplomatic as he can be the city manager Joe Pennachetti is calling B.S. on the Ford's.

For starters Pennachetti says the proposed operating budget was prepared by senior staff, not city councillors so it’s not a political document and he insists that if staff could find more efficiences they would have been included.

The city manager is convinced his team has gone as far as it can without cutting into services.

Oh, one other note.  This is regarding the Mayor's claim of having the lowest taxes in North America.  On Monday of this week, city council in Windsor approved a new operating budget for next year which contains no property tax increase at all and they've done this for 6 consecutive years.   In other words another bunch of hooey from the Fords.

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  1. Frankie posted on 12/04/2013 09:55 AM
    Thanks for referencing Windsor. They're proof that it is possible to curb spending.

    Why would anyone with common sense expect senior staff to cut spending? They have no incentive to do so. It's in their interest for the public sector to remain bloated, otherwise they'd all have to work harder.

    The only effective way to eliminate the gravy train is for council to actually have the backbone to cut excess staff (management, white and blue collar), then bring someone in to implement it, ie. try running the city as more of a business than a pet project.

    This could all be done without cutting programs. Unfortunately society's attitude towards civil service is that no one is in charge, it's always someone else's money, and all we need to do is raise taxes.
  2. janice posted on 12/04/2013 10:55 AM
    I make sure I listen the 7 am news. This man can explain anything, so people like me can understand the issue
  3. Brad posted on 12/04/2013 01:22 PM
    The fact that there is this never ending goal to stop the gravy train is great. Balancing the budget is even better and getting rid of a deficit and having any city running in the black debt free is perfect.
    All I hear about, is reducing spending budgets, reducing next years spending by 1 or 2 percentage points but what I DON'T hear about is reducing civil servants compensation? Those who's income is well beyond what anyone deserves for that given job !!! Why is it that we cringe every year when the sunshine list comes out? How about reducing the amount a civil servant takes home? Cut the glutony of excessive overtime. I have a neighbour who works for the TTC, he tells about the drivers there who drive $100,000 sports cars! Driving a bus is a skill but not worthy of that kind of cash in today's economy. The unions are out to satisfy themselves and their members. There was a time when people wanted to serve their community by working for their community and the monetary income was secondary but today the goal is to get a government job for union protection and a bloated paycheck! The wages workers receive in government would never be sustainable in the private sector! How about reducing the gravy train by cutting government paychecks and bringing the cost of running a large city back in line. I see visions of Detroit on the horizon.
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