Ottawa has a lot of smart people within its boundaries.
To name just a few organizations with those kinds of folks: The Ottawa Heart Institute, the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, the National Research Council, The Experimental Farm, the federal public service, big media, the Kanata high-tech community … it goes on and on. This is one highly intelligent town.
So why does the City of Ottawa treat its residents as though they are morons? Given what has happened at Minto Field and numerous other screw ups, the secret of splitting the atom won’t be discovered by members of city staff.
Here’s how the city addressed its ridership decrease in a release to the public:
Today the City of Ottawa’s Transit Commission received the 2017 Operating and Capital Budget Q1- Transit Commission Status Report. The operating and capital financial results for 2017 report a $1.268 million surplus. The surplus is the result of savings related to unfilled job vacancies and lower fuel and facility costs.
Transit Commission unanimously approved a motion to recommend that Council direct staff to develop an equitable single-ride fare option for all OC Transpo services, based on the principles for the EquiPass and in compliance with existing commitments and policies regarding fare ratios, the Long Range Financial Plan and the Transit Affordability Plan for consideration as part of the 2018 budget process.
Transit Commission also received the Delegation of Authority report that identifies contracts awarded from July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016. A copy of the report can be found at Service Ottawa.
Now you say the release doesn’t carry ridership statistics. Exactly. OC Transpo says a tiny decrease has occurred. But you won’t find it in this release or in the reports on Service Ottawa. One does discover however that OC Transpo had a surplus that’s spelled out quite well in the release.
In other words, print the good news but ignore the bad. Staffers think they’re pretty smart doing this. Ever hear of open government?
Nobody likes being patronized least of all people in this intelligent community who are fighting for the next big discover or trying to turn a high-tech profit in a difficult market. Smart people in particular, and residents in general, must be asking the question: “Just how stupid does city hall think we are?” Apparently very stupid.
In many large private organizations producing a report like this would result in a footprint on the posterior.
But not at city hall. No, this is called good public relations. And staffers think this is good governance.
It’s also stupid or deceptive. Or stupid and deceptive.
Perhaps it is time to shake the ivory towers in the little empires on Laurier Avenue. Residents don’t like being talked down to when they’re paying thousands of dollars to support the little mandarins who are patronizing them or deceiving them.
Just to put this in perspective, get an OC Transpo manager to pick up a scalpel at The Ottawa Hospital and perform a little brain surgery to see how it all works out. Probably not so well. Now send the brain surgeon to city hall and one can be quite confident that if he or she were running OC Transpo, they could produce down ridership figures just like we have now. Not a lot of brain surgery going on at city hall these days.
So let’s just say a little humility would be a nice break at the bylaw factory.
And give us the whole story as intelligent people should be given rather than the nice pablum dished out by OC Transpo this week.
After all, it’s our government, not the government of the challenged tall foreheads on Laurier Avenue.
We pay the freight. We are not morons.
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