Here is the result of the finance committee vote on the claims by the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group at Lansdowne. Yes means the members of council support the proposed agreement between the city and OSEG:
TagCity of Ottawa
Bulldog contributor Ron Benn says the only time city hall wants to hear from residents is at tax time.
His comments are below:
When faced with the litany of errors, mistakes, over budget disasters, ad-hoc zoning decisions etc. that have plagued this city for the last decade (we could look further back, but …), the common theme is a lack of respect for the residents and taxpayers of Ottawa.
What does Mayor Jim Watson too often want to do?
Get on with it.
Watson refused to push the reset button on a bad light-rail project and look what we got. Billions spent on an ineffective line. Let’s get on with it.
On Lansdowne, Watson tells us we should just get on with it.
The only person ahead of Gloucester-Southgate Councillor Diane Deans on having the auditor general look at the Lansdowne mess was the AG himself.
Ken Hughes says he wants to look at the Lansdowne management though exactly what he means by the term is open to interpretation.
So someone should probe this. The city expected to get back $23.6 million on the Lansdowne deal and now that paltry sum is in jeopardy because of extra costs on the site.
The auditor general looked at the city’s snow operations.
The auditor general was certainly correct about problems in tech services.
The Bulldog was told the auditor general’s report would be available on ottawa.ca by late morning Thursday … just an estimate.
By around 2 p.m., your agent thought he’d better go back to computer school because he couldn’t find the report. So then two people told The Bulldog it would be ready around 3 p.m. …. no not then either.
This is a release from the City of Ottawa.
Particularly interesting is the line near the bottom of the release on the unnecessary paving of the Mackenzie Bridge which The Bulldog boldfaced. An arbitration was held in a dispute related to the project and the results can’t be released to the public.
But one wonders at whose behest: the city’s or the other party to the mediation.
The release is below:
Andrew Zenner, a financial expert and Bulldog reader, takes on the Lansdowne financial report and finds it wanting:
Interestingly, when the city put up $140 million (or so) to rebuild the stadium, the city and OSEG claimed that this really wasn’t equity because the city was borrowing the bulk of the money.
If only the city could manage as well at the Redblacks.
The rumour mill for the past few days had it that the city’s revenues were likely to be less than expected from the vaunted “waterfall” agreement the municipality signed with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. And so they are as shown by a memo from city manager Kent Kirkpatrick to the mayor and council obtained by The Bulldog in the previous post.
But then, realistically, one could see this coming years ago when the city and OSEG bound themselves to a P3 deal on Lansdowne.
Mayor Jim Watson’s close associate Bay Councillor Mark Taylor just sent out his community press release on the budget.
A copy of the first part of the release is below and it shows how city hall is spinning the budget.
The budget is “predictable” and “prudent” and has a two-per-cent property-tax increase. The deficit will be eliminated by finding efficiencies at the City of Ottawa. Good luck with that. AND it shows some areas where the city will spend.
Residents will remember that Mayor Jim Watson didn’t just succeed in getting his two-per-cent tax increase, he spoke very loudly about carving it down to 1.75 per cent.
Obviously given the $52-million operating deficit, Watson has made a mistake … a big mistake.
Watson can talk around the deficit and the debt for that matter, but the facts remain the same. All charm in the world (and Watson possesses no end of it) can’t wish it away.
Somerset Councillor Catherine McKenney says the City of Ottawa is in a state of crisis.
McKenney looks at the $52-million operating deficit, the fact that there are no permanent deputy city managers in place, the current city manager Kent Kirkpatrick is leaving, acting deputy city managers are being stretched by doing the deputies’ work and their former jobs and the threats to current programs by the deficit. McKenney calls the current situation “alarming.”
Bulldog contributor Sheridan takes a look at where the gas-tax money goes:
The province and feds have encouraged gas tax money to go into public transit (at least in those cities with public transit). The province uses transit ridership and population to decide how much money Ontario municipalities receive in gas tax revenue.
Where things get tricky is when this gas tax money gets dumped into the city’s general revenue pot, and then it is hard to trace.
The City of Ottawa might have missed the Ottawa Senators in its fall public relations release but The Bulldog hasn’t forgotten. A bit of free PR for the Sens is above.
The public impression is that Mayor Jim Watson and the Ottawa Senators had forgotten their differences following the casino question.
This is a letter on the taxi question from a Bulldog reader: