Can Councillors Vote For A Wildly Inaccurate Budget?

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by The Voter 8 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #739921 Reply

    Ken Gray
    Keymaster

    This budget is just politics … a way for Mayor Jim Watson to say he is meeting his pledge to raise taxes by two per cent.

    It will be followed after the election with ways to cut the massive deficit.

    Are we dealing with politics or good government here?

    How can councillors vote for such a lie?

    cheers

    kgray

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    #739927 Reply

    Ron Benn

    The starting point for this budget leger du main was when city council voted, at the start of its four year term, to support a resolution put forward by Mayor Watson that restricted the very nature of debate about the budget. Among other things, they agreed that a councillor can only propose a new line item or different amount for an existing line item if they can offset the new amount with a savings from an existing line item. This abdication of authority is inconsistent with what the councillors were elected to do, which is govern. What most of the city’s councillors do not appear to have grasped is that their willing abdication of authority was not matched with a reduction in their responsibility. They are responsible for the budget, whether they like it or not and what was presented to council is inadequate on a number of fronts. Two shortfalls have been identified within the Bulldog news site.

    According to Mike Patton, extended care facility funding has been reduced, which flies in the face of a significant number of failures identified by the provincial regulator, and is totally inconsistent with the explanations given by the union representing the front line staff, senior managers and the committee chair. All have identified a need for improvements in the level and quality of service. How, pray tell, will improvements be made to service levels when funding has been reduced? A public explanation by the Mayor, who tabled this budget, should be demanded by councillors during the council meeting that presides over this budget.

    The second area identified as underfunded relates to the maintenance/repairs of roadways. The snow removal line item falls within this category, and it remains under the amount expended in the last few years, while fuel prices and wages have escalated. The city has also acknowledged that it is underspending on recurring maintenance of its key infrastructure, including roadways, by tens of millions of dollars a year. Begging for more infrastructure dollars from a higher level of government does not solve the problem. It is just an illusionist’s gambit to distract the residents of Ottawa from where the responsibility lies – in the council chambers.

    Politcal theatre is best left for the stage, and only if it is clearly identified as satire.

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    #739929 Reply

    Ken Gray
    Keymaster

    Ron:

    All good points with “leger du main” no less. Very respectful of two of the founding cultures.

    ps Your comment is going tomorrow. k

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    #739951 Reply

    The Voter

    What Council should be doing is overturning that 2% motion. You can’t revisit something within the same term of Council UNLESS there is new information. I would suggest that the massive deficit plus the depletion of the reserve funds to dangerous levels constitutes information that was not in front of Council when that motion was approved.

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