City Reserves: What If Another Ice Storm Strikes? THE VOTER

 

Here’s a priority for the city. Rebuild its reserve funds.

We have no idea what’s coming down the pike and we have been eroding our ability to be ready for it.

We know that climate change is going to bring challenges and we have a housing crisis in our community. What happens if we experience another ice storm? How will we provide all the emergency services we know we will need and how will we house people so that nobody is sleeping rough? It will be bad enough that we don’t have skilled people such as former regional chairman Bob Chiarelli and ex-CEO Merv Beckstead at the helm to shepherd us through a disaster. If we have no money, we’ll be in even worse shape.

Although we know that transit services are in trouble, we don’t know what it’s going to cost to solve the problems. Our transit reserves are down to virtually nothing. Even if city council can’t see this, the rest of us know the feds and the province are not going to rescue the transit system so it will be done on our dime.

Reserve funds were never designed to compensate for wishful-thinking budgets the year before which is what happened to the Transit Reserves. In the good old days, i.e. pre-Watson, reserve funds were dipped into very cautiously and in response to unforeseen events but never as a remedy for poor planning or budgeting. Those days are obviously long gone. Now council sees a shortfall and automatically heads for reserves, if they’re available, to plug the hole.


Another priority is not approving any new expenditures that are not essentials and reining in spending on existing projects unless the initial parts of the project are successful. Yes Lansdowne and LRT. I’m looking at you but you are far from the only irresponsible spending on which  the city has embarked. This would include cancelling or trimming back any non-essential work that doesn’t already have shovels in the ground and reviewing those projects that are underway to see if they have bells and whistles that can be trimmed. We can barely afford bread so why are we making cake and slathering icing on it?

The Voter is a respected community activist and long-time Bulldog commenter who prefers to keep her identity private.

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