I live in a small town in Ontario, part of a so-called city. The taxes on our home are easily twice that of those homes with similar values in North York, as far as I can determine from real estate listings. So I know about paying taxes and worrying where all the money is going.
I would welcome a KPMG review in my city, especially if it found that yes indeed, all the money was needed and wasn’t being wasted, as apparently the firm found in Toronto.
What is upsetting is listening to the Ford brothers, who seem to planning to turn the city into a gutted version of itself, in order to “save taxpayers money.” Never mind that the taxpayers didn’t elect them to save money, but to eliminate the waste. The citizens seemed to like their city and their services; they just thought, because Rob Ford told them so, that it was riddled with excess.
Today, the news reports that “buy-outs” of police or library workers, will help cut this 10% the mayor is demanding from the budgets of these services. Check out this story in the Globe and Mail for the numbers.
It seems odd to me that first the mayor decided that there should be a 10% cut. I’m not sure why—just a nice round number I suppose—and then all the departments had to find areas to cut cost without cutting service. So I suppose that means that all the workers will have to spend 10% more time at work to make up for their lost co-workers. How likely is that? Or have the extra 10% been bone-idle all this time?
At the same time, if the Fords can find a way to spend money to help the BIG developers, and play Lego with the city—ferris wheel indeed—, then that’s the way they choose, and money be damned. If I were a resident of Toronto I’d be annoyed at having all the money spent to ensure environmentally sound and citizen-friendly development wasted because some junior politician decides that he knows better. And have to pay all that money for environmental assessments again because the plans have been changed.
Did someone elect Doug Ford co-mayor or maybe king of Toronto when I wasn’t looking? How can an official elected by just one area make decisions for the city because he’s brother of the mayor?
It’s too bad the election is so far away. Perhaps the council will decide that the emperor has no clothes in time to save the city.