Sloppy Fiscal Management Has Human Cost

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For all those people who don’t think municipal politics matter, who think that debate at council is overrated and that the most important thing a mayor and council can do is show up to another chicken dinner and press the flesh, we say this.

A lot of people in the upcoming weeks at Ottawa City Hall will be losing their jobs. That’s because the mayor and council, emphasizing public relations over efficacy, have let the city operating budget deficit swell to $42 million … the largest such debt in the municipality’s history. That’s a terrible example of fiscal performance.

Were this deficit just numbers on a page, it wouldn’t be so bad. But people are going to be hurt to dispose of this deficit. People will lose their jobs, maybe their homes, perhaps their children’s post-secondary education. They will try to scramble for a job in a market that offers spindly contracts rather than real employment with benefits.

The nature of the private workforce will be a shock for those newly unemployed.

How a government avoids this sort of thing is by running lean. No one loses their job if that position is so valuable that it can’t be cut. Don’t hire people you don’t need.

Hire people you don’t need and eventually you’ll disappoint them with a pink slip.

When you hear of the layoffs, of course think of the people who are hurt by this, but also consider about who caused this sorrow.

 


 

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3 thoughts on “Sloppy Fiscal Management Has Human Cost

  1. If the positions being terminated now are really ones we don’t need, did we need them last year? At what point did they become unnecessary? None of these people are, as far as I know, showing up to work every day and doing nothing. The City should have to identify to us what functions will cease to be carried out when these people are shown the door.
    As you point out, those responsible for putting the City in this mess are sitting pretty. I don’t think there’ll be many politicians invited to the farewell parties this year.

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  2. Real people will be losing their jobs at the City, and I sympathize with them and their families. There is a definite human cost to this, but that’s life in the real world to the rest of us who work for private corporations or even for ourselves.
    We also see the cost of keeping what some could view as ‘dead wood’ just for the sake of permitting them to keep their positions. Out of control tax rates and user fees abound.
    I think we can agree that government, at all levels, is bloated. In what areas we need to make cuts, I’m not certain but that is what we have tasked management to oversee and implement.
    I think that the initial move to restructure the higher levels was a necessary one in ‘thinning out the fat’ closer to the top.
    I do NOT think, contrary to what may be popular ‘wishy-washy-its-not-fair’ opinion, that those making these decisions need to consult with us with respect to whom they are letting go. Management’s job is to make these difficult decisions. They won’t be perfect but nothing, except God, ever is.

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  3. Ken,

    Unfortunately, those who lost their jobs will not be known for some time as, though management has not appeal/recourse, union employee’s do. They can transfer to another position and ‘bump’ someone with less seniority, thus, we may be ending up with lesser employees rather than those most deserving of employment.

    What a ridiculous state of affairs.

    Anne Marie

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