A doozie of a column in today's Toronto Sun on the city's budget crisis. I'm going to borrow liberally but you should read the whole thing.
While 150 bureaucrats sat glued to the unfolding spectacle, Hoy patted herself and her officials on the back for the bang-up job they've done controlling staff growth.
This, as her own budget documents showed that it costs $300 million more each year just to maintain city services ($100 million of that to pay for employee wage hikes!) -- and the city plans to add $501 million more to the operating budget bottom line this year.
Then came the ultimate insult: Soknacki and Miller -- insisting their hands are tied because the province has downloaded so many programs on the city -- presented no remedies to balance the books other than more "conversations with the province" for a permanent funding fix, more draws on their reserve funds and a possible 6% residential property tax hike.
Hoy's massive efforts to control staff growth? According to her own budget documents, the city has added 2,410 new positions since amalgamation (which was supposed to be a downsizing exercise) and they've all been in soft social services (560 alone in public health) at the expense of "hard" services like garbage and transportation.
[And then the coup de grase...]
Tasha Kheiriddin, Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, called yesterday's budget presentation a "theatre of the absurd" and the mayor the "chief clown."