Tuesday, August 14, 2007

No-o-o-o-body's better than Mel!

Mel Lastman has a few suggestions for David Miller:

The 9 per cent salary increase councillors recently voted themselves has got to go, as does the $40 million overhaul of Nathan Phillips Square. Councillors' annual office budgets also need to be reduced.

"If you don't bleed yourself, how can you ask the people of Toronto to bleed?" Lastman said.

"You can't cut necessary services. That's stupid, completely stupid with four O's," Lastman said.

So, that would be 'Stoooopid', right Mel?

"They have to cut staff. They can't continue this way. Their budget has gone up by $1.5 billion since I left," he said. "Politicians have got to learn ... to say: `We can't afford it.'

Maybe voters should learn how to say no, too.

Lots more suggestions.

Straight talk from a brilliant businessman. Miller would do well to read the whole article and give Lastman's ideas serious consideration.

* * * *

Update: Great piece by Terence Corcoran - City kowtowing cause fiscal woe. Check out the stuff about union sick leave!!! You won't believe it.

No-0-0-0-BODy would!


valiantmauz said...

I cannot stand that leathery little huckster. Of course he can open his yap now and say whatever he likes, knowing that he'll never be accountable for it. Mel left Toronto with a significant deficit to start with, and this only six years after the forced amalgamation of Toronto. Since then, spending has indeed snowballed - not least because of massive provincial downloading of costs, which are cumulative.

Take a pencil and paper and start adding up the cost of running the city of Toronto: transit, police, social services, schools, roads, housing, garbage collection, water and sewage management, parks and recreation, highways, and snow removal to name just the bare minimum.

See what kind of numbers you can come up with, and then take into account that of the 250,000+ annual immigrants to this country, the vast majority choose to settle in Toronto, which adds a whole new level of expense. Keep in mind that not only new immigrants and refugees land there, but as a large city where services are concentrated, Toronto also tends to attract the poor, sick and disabled. Then add to that the sheer population of non-poor, non-sick, non-disabled, non-immigrant and non-refugee that live there, and also require the essential services of a large metropolis.

I say this as someone who loathes David Miller, and wishes John Tory had won the 2003 election. Toronto Council is an unmitigated disaster, no argument there, but still an unmitigated disaster that anyone with a pencil and paper could have seen coming.

Toronto, like it or not, is a special case, and the only answer is pragmatic, non-idealogical leadership, not to mention a foot in the arse of the federal and provincial governments - specifically the provincial government, which happily dumped even more onerous fiscal responsibilities on the municipalities. Oh sure, they gave Toronto more taxing powers, but look what happens when they try to USE them.

Shrieking, that's what.

It costs money to run a city the size of Toronto - a whole lot - and if you can't do it by property taxes alone, then the only other alternatives are a greater cut of federal and provincial taxes, or increased taxation by the city.

No amount of cutting swimming pool hours, library access and council salaries will suffice - not when the great vacuum is transit, policing, schools, social service, roads and water treatment. Those are the essentials.

paulsstuff said...

Here's what I posted earlier on another blog.Lastman had it right,cutting the number on the Toronto payroll by 10%,which put the number of those drawing paychecks from the city at roughly 30,000. AS of today that number is close to 60,000,nearly double the amount when Mel left. Not to mention the city was actually cheaper then.So read this.

2000 Operating Budget Highlights

For the third consecutive year, the City of Toronto Council has approved a zero per cent tax increase. This $5.9 billion gross budget meets all existing financial requirements to operate City services while enhancing some programs and services by a total of $76.6 million.

Toronto City Council's approval today is the result of months of work by the Budget Advisory Committee and the Policy and Finance Committee.

Or 2002, the year before Miller became mayor:

City of Toronto 2002 budget information

News releases

March 8, 2002 - Toronto City Council wrapped up its final 2002 budget session approving a $6.2 billion operating budget and $954 million capital budget for a total of about $7.2 billion.
January 8, 2002 - Maintaining existing programs, managing the city's debt, keeping taxes down and increased accountability are key components of Toronto's 2002 budget

The same also went for the 2003 budget, the last budget under Lastman. So you figure it out. As for the salaries of council not being that big a deal. It's called leading by example. With Miller, Moscoe, and the moron Adam Vaughan(the one who wants to tax you for standing on the sidewalk),it's no wonder the taxpayers of Toronto finally said enough is enough.

PGP said...

Mel's always good for a chuckle....

It is precisely because of the mindset (ideological or otherwise) of the Toronto mayor and council that the current situation is out of control.

Do they take responsibility?

No! They continue to seek others to blame.

Anonymous said...

First of all, Mel shouldn't be saying anything - he's no longer mayor. It's inappropriate for a former mayor to make comments.

The amalgamation by Harris didn't help, but I really believe a study should be done by union government employees and the over the top salaries and pensions. They never stop the grab.

Have you ever watched the TTC maintenance people working on the streetcar tracks - one or two work while the others stand around until it's coffee time. I thing a study is really needed here.

Candace said...

Wasn't Miller et al just re-elected? Aren't you guys kind of stuck with the idiot now?


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Aren't you guys kind of stuck with the idiot now?

Not me, but the lemmings in Toronto sure are; for a few more years anyway.