Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Following the lead of His Blondness

Toronto isn't the only one with left-leaning ideologies that are worrisome to local taxpayers.

Kitchener's pinko city council is pondering 'experience bonuses', while at the same time preparing us for a massive tax hike.

Coun. Berry Vrbanovic (who BTW ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate in the 1999 Ontario election) pointed to the need for a new fire hall as part of the reason for the property tax increase. He also blamed the feds.

(You forgot to blame global warming, Berry!)

Now they are pondering these bonuses, not just if forced to do so by arbitration for firefighters, but perhaps for other municipal workers as well (and just who are these arbitrators anyway?):

David Ryrie appeared before city councillors yesterday to ask about the bonuses.

Ryrie wanted to know if firefighters get the bonuses, will other city employees be given similar pay hikes.

"I want to know if that was talked about at all," Ryrie said.

The city's chief administrator confirmed it was indeed talked about and considered.

No details were provided on who would get the bonuses and the amounts involved.

( . . . )

"You've got to get a grip," Ed Redgwell told Kitchener councillors.

"Lots of people are living with two per cent increases to their pensions, and you are talking about increases of three or four or five per cent."

This domino trend towards giving the public sector payouts that the private sector could never even dream of is worrisome. It's a big carrot for union support during elections. However, it is unsustainable.

Companies are closing up and moving elsewhere. People are having to settle for McJobs.

Yet property taxes continue to increase. Seniors are usually on fixed incomes and many are not geared toward the cost of living. What are they supposed to do?

Somethings got to give.

And frankly, I'm tired of being the one forced to do the giving.

* * * *
Related: Jeff Allan will be discussing this topic on today's show.

It isn't just a Kitchener issue. It is a socialist, union-driven trend, and it is spreading like cancer. They will keep doing this just as long as you continue to bend over and take it.

Update: Coun. John Gazzola was just on Jeff's show. He seems to be one of the few voices of reason here. He has major concerns about this proposed tax increase.

* * * *

Reality Check - With reference to Berry Vrbanovic's complaints about the Federal Government regarding infrastructure ("It's incumbent upon the federal government to support municipalities"), please check out these two links:

The first is a government site: Building Canada - Modern Infrastructure for a Strong Canada.

The second is from a National Post article - Liberals go on the attack over urban infrastructure:

...Mr. Cannon is clearly frustrated with provincial leaders, particularly with Ontario Premier Dalton ­McGuinty. In June, Mr. McGuinty announced a $17.5-billion rapid transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area and called on the federal government to cover one-third of the cost. Yet Mr. Cannon says he has yet to receive formal word of the Move Ontario plan from the McGuinty government. "There's nothing, it's just smoke," he said. "It would seem to me that the provinces, particularly Ontario, have to come up with what they want to do and how they are going to help municipalities in their jurisdictions."

So go talk to your buddy Dalton, Mr. Vrbanovic.

* * * *

Wednesday Update
: City plays salary catch-up.


Anonymous said...

Would a letter writing campaign work?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Would a letter writing campaign work?

It sure wouldn't hurt. See previous post for tips.

Anonymous said...

"(You forgot to blame global warming, Berry!)"

LOL, that was good Joanne.

You think you got it bad? My (Ottawa) mayor just got arrested. Not coincidentally, he ran on a zero tax increase budget. The cops dragged the investigation out for so long it is difficult to believe they aren't working in tandem with the Ontario Liberals.

Yes, I am sincerely suggesting a vast left wing conspiracy of police and Liberals to removed duly elected conservatives from city hall, and no, I never thought I'd see the day when I said that.

Steph said...

With all of the manufacturing sector job losses lately, this high tax hike is just shocking. They were saying the property tax increase not considering the fire fighter bonus would be well over 6% and then the bonus would cost taxpayers an additional 2.5% increase, making the potential increase almost 9%.

When people in the manufacturing-dominated city of Kitchener are having to take lower paying jobs due to companies shutting down this is going to hit people hard. Those companies that are hanging on will certainly not be offering salary increases that would keep pace with such rates of increase.

One intereseting thing to note is that it is a union that is pushing for these "experience bonuses" and yet a lot of the people who will be hit hardest by this will be people who were previously in a union but lost their jobs when the company was forced to shut down.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

yet a lot of the people who will be hit hardest by this will be people who were previously in a union but lost their jobs when the company was forced to shut down.

Good point, Steph. Talk about adding insult to injury!

Jeff Davidson said...

the firefighters are looking for a deal similiar to the cops. do you begrudge firefighters and police officers their income?

you don't provide any insight into whether or not a new fire hall is required. perhaps it is. they cost money.

crying "socialist plot" everytime a non-conservative government asks for more money to support infrastructure is a favourite tactic joanne.

harper's conservatives have spent more oney than any federal govt in history. i haven't heard much from you on that.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Another classic Jeff Davidson smear and run.

Dave Hodson said...

A bonus awarded for simply being around a long time?

I pay bonuses to my staff based on performance, not tenure. I suppose the public sector has different priorities than the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

I sure don't begrudge firefighters and cops their raises.
jeffy...do you compare the work hazards of municipal pols with people who who put on the uniform and put their lives on the line?


Anonymous said...

You're just seeing the beginning Joanne. Multiply your experience by the 100s more municipalities out there which will ultimately be doing the same sort of thing.

Is this the price we pay for living in Ontario these days?


Just wait until the teacher unions ramp things up this spring, and every other public sector comes cap in hand to Dalton's door.

The gov't could justify the Kitchener increase by saying that you have the luxury of living in a growing community and are paying for that in your increase.

Then you'll fogive everyone when the next election rolls around.

Jeff Davidson said...

i'm not sure how you were smeared or where you think i ran too.

i asked you very direct questions. you have opted to choose the path of least resistance and ignore the issues.

do you think cops and firefighters are overpaid in k-w? do you think a new fire hall is waste of taxpayers money? have the federal conservatives overpsent since winning their minority govt?

hardly a smear campaign and as you can see, i'm willing to come back to read your reponses. no smearing, no running...just asking.

Anonymous said...

BTW jeffy take time to compare CPC fed spending on actually returning funds to taxpayers (infrastructure just for one example) compared to top heavy administrative 'programs' that the Libs and NDP love so much.
Another bad comparison jeffy.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

hardly a smear campaign and as you can see, i'm willing to come back to read your reponses. no smearing, no running...just asking.

Ah, you came back. Excellent. I will be happy to respond when Jeff Allan's show is over.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Jeff I would agree with Anonymous at 9:43 that the issue is the bone-headed, knee-jerk reaction to consider these bonuses for other municipal workers simply on the basis on a likely arbitration-driven decision.

Perhaps they just anticipate unrest from their employees and want to deal with it now, but as John Gazzola and many callers have said on Jeff Allan's show, it's time for municipalities to live within their means, just as everyone in the private sector must do.

Anonymous said...

Joanne didn't say she was smeared.
You dropped some untruth's at COTM and ran...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

In any case, we're paying Jeffy way too much attention here, which I suspect is his underlying objective.

Canuck1955 said...

Note to Jeff Davidson...

I do begrudge fireman and policmen a bonus based on length of service. It has nothing to do with performance at all.

Most of us struggle to make ends meet. Both fireman and policemen are already well compensated for the job they do. Fireman work on a rotating schedule that allows them to do other jobs on the side.

Anonymous said...

Jeff makes a valid point...but then misses the entire point. Maybe K-W needs the money...maybe a tax increase is the only way to do it..but...the point missed is that 3 and 4 percent every year adds up for most 2-income family's whose yearly pay increases add up to nothing!! Both my wife and I are on our 7th consecutive year without a pay increase, and to make matters worse...in the town I live there is a fireman and 2 union hydro guys who scab on weekends doing the same thing I do except mine is a business with tax's, OHIP, remittance and Workers Comp. So...I understand where Jeff is coming from...I just hopes he understands that the bulk of Canadians are not unionized and in most cases are worried more about the yearly layoff threat then pay increases! I'm Canadian, which means that I dont mind paying my fair share of taxes and a little bit more..but when year after year when I'm taxed 3 or 4 percent and my pay is not...surely Jeff you can see the economic dangers ahead. billg

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I just hopes he understands that the bulk of Canadians are not unionized and in most cases are worried more about the yearly layoff threat then pay increases!

Exactly. And we're not just talking ridiculous tax increases either - there's also the water, gas and hydro hikes. All things we can do very little about except to try to use less.

Paying more and getting less. This is our future.

paulsstuff said...

Poor Jeffy. Ponder this Jeffy.

" The former Gatineau councillor and Quebec Cabinet minister said the Conservatives will spend $5-billion a year on infrastructure, compared with $1.3-billion a year under the Liberals. "We can keep up with the needs ... the money's there," he said."

There is some of that Conservative spending increase Jeffy. Then there is military spending, health care, etc. Yes, the Conservative's have spent pretty heavily, but they have managed to do that without illegally kicking money back to their party.

Tell me Jeffy, how is that Toronto Waterfront improvement coming? The one the Liberal's announced in 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004 and during the last election campaign. That's just one example of Liberal's promising everything and delivering nothing. Child Poverty eleminated yet? It was in the 1993 and 1997 Liberal election promises, and Dion is promising it again, without detailing the costs of course. How long did it take for your National Daycare program? What, 13 years? The Kelowna Accord, which surprisingly Paul Martin never signed?

Jeffy, you are a Liberal politician's wet dream, a voter ignorant to reality who listens to 30 second sound bites on the news and takes them as you are told, never taking the time to actually do a little research on the subject.Here is what you should do Jeffy. Go find the infrastructure funding the Liberal's gave to K-W from 1993 until 2006, and come back and give us the details.