Saturday, August 11, 2007

Get Ready- The City About to Cut the Quality of Life of its Residents..

mother and child enjoying a swim at one of the city's community centres facilities, which will become the victim of cost saving measures by the city, will be closed on Mondays.

City cuts quality of Life...

City mayor David Miller said that the city must cut the quality of life to its residents and citizens as he struggles with a shortfall of $575 millions projected for 2008.

Dirtier streets, more graffiti and potholes, less snow removal, city golf courses closing a week earlier, and no Monday service at community centres.

And it is not getting any better from now on.

Read the rest of the Article and see how the Locals (the council members "insult" and shout at each others like anywhere else).

From Toronto Star on-line edition ( the blog publisher subscribes to the Print Edition).

Toronto Star is Canada’s largest daily serving Toronto Greater Area and the rest of Canada..

A subdued looking Mayor David Miller told a news conference at City Hall that the changes are unavoidable given the city's fiscal crisis. The crisis peaked during the past two weeks after councillors, in a 23-22 vote, deferred a motion – backed by Miller – to raise about $350 million by increasing the land transfer tax and vehicle registration fee.

"All of these things are a diminution of the quality of life in Toronto, and from my perspective that's why it was so important to try and avoid this day," the mayor said.

"All of it is something I don't think any member of council wishes to do, but we face a real choice. It's time for people to understand that you either pay for a quality of life in a city that you want, or you get a different quality of life. There is no way to provide good quality of life without paying for it," Miller said.

Savings from Hoy's reductions include: (Shirley Hoy is the City Manager, the top Civil Servant)
$700,000 by closing all city community centres on Mondays beginning mid-September.

$800,000 by opening outdoor artificial ice rinks in January instead of December.

$1 million by providing sidewalk and windrow plowing only when there's 15 cm of snow. The current standard is 8 cm.
(start wearing a higher sole snow boots, hehehe, by 7 cm, good for shorties)

$120,000 by cancelling December yard waste pickup.
(we can always haul our own yard waste to the designated drop off locations anytime).

$125,000 by reducing automated leaf pickup, in areas that have it, from two pickups to one.

$230,000 by releasing seasonal litter-picking staff two weeks earlier than normal.
(people just simply stop littering, problem solved)

Miller says the city still needs the new taxes and council is to vote on them Oct. 22.
Yesterday's announcement led to emotional outbursts, with Councillor Howard Moscoe, a supporter of the new taxes, saying seniors will be crying foul over the reductions in snow removal, especially the windrow service,* which is available in certain parts of the city.

*windrow service is the service provided by the city, removing the snow dumped by the road clearing at the end of the driveway. During heavy snowstorm windrow could be waist deep, though only the lenght of the driveway will be taxing to clear, especially of senior citizens. glad got myself a powerful snow thrower. neighbors ( those without) better be nice to me..

"It's going to be awful. We've got an aging population, senior citizens who shovel their driveway, then the snow plow dumps the snow in front."

An ugly shouting match erupted immediately after the cuts were revealed, as councillors launched personal attacks against one another.

"You're a hypocrite, Denzil. You're an absolute hypocrite, and you haven't done the research. You've been on council since you were 12 years old and you don't even know the details in this budget. That's embarrassing,'' Councillor Adam Vaughan shouted at Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong.

"Adam, you may be interested in increasing the ratings on your television program, but I'd like to answer this (reporter's) question ... do you mind?'' Minnan-Wong fired back, a reference to the fact Vaughan hosts Hour Town, a monthly political special on CP24.
(Although by law, Municipal politics are not allowed to have political parties, still councils are some kind of "buddy, buddy party".)

In giving her presentation, Hoy said the city's "financial issues'' are on the revenue side.
Under provincial law, the city is required to balance its operating budget every year, she said, adding it has done that over the past few years in part by depleting the city's reserve funds and exhausting all potential one-time fixes.

Hoy said the "long-term sustainable solution'' to the city's financial challenges must include: Getting the province to pay the true costs of its social programs and resume carrying half of the TTC's operating budget; obtaining new and diverse revenue sources; and continuing cost-control measures.

The city's operating budget in 2007 is $7.8 billion. One-quarter of that pays for roads, garbage collection, recycling, parks and recreation services and libraries.
A third covers provincially mandated programs, and another third is spent on TTC**, police, fire and ambulance.
(glad, ms Hoy didn't ask any savings from fire and ambulance budget, wise move)

Hoy asked for $30 million in savings from the TTC and $10 million from the police.
The TTC came up with $6 million, police $3 million.
(not enough, you two!!)

Still up for consideration by the TTC are measures such as mothballing the Sheppard subway line, eliminating more than 20 bus routes, and a fare hike. The transit commission plans to hold public consultations in September and make a final decision on those reductions afterward.

**Toronto Transit Commission (mass transit system)

Public Service from Police Services:
THE ARE 4000 bikes stolen every year in the City. To help the Police Re-unite the re-covered Bicycles to their rightful owners and help prosecute the criminals, registration of Bikes is now offered on Line Free of Charge... visit this link and help stop the crime, register your bike...