This is just me talking and discussing a few observations. No news articles to link or talk over. Just me, talking, opinionated on a few things I have read and observed from different sources. Both media and friends.
This past October, Rob Ford was elected mayor of our fair city in what was termed a landslide. He ran on the concept of stopping the gravy train down at city hall. For the past 8 years, and longer, the city has had the yearly budget deficit get worse and worse and worse. We have had unions ask for, and get more, in their negotiations. Usually after some of them have gone on strike. The garbage strikes of 2001, and 2008 come to mind. Not mention the TTC wildcat strike in 2006 and threats of one a couple of years ago as well.
The unions have always been up there with their hands out looking for more cash for their pockets. City Hall has usually obliged and hit up the tax payers for more money to fund these deals. Now there are a lot of areas that get funding from the city. Where do we cut?
Cutting is simple. You don't cut just one area and trim it to the bone. You cut from EVERYWHERE! spread the pain around. You cut from areas and look for ways to get by with less. The problem is that there are too many people out there that don't want to get by with less. Some of them actually say that they need more.
Sorry folks, we are spending more then we have already. Everybody needs to feel the pain. Governments of all stripes for some reason are the only group that can run a continous deficit and not get their "credit card" cut off and cut up.
We finally have a mayor in Toronto that gets this and is trying to do something about it. This brings me to what I am hearing from my friends. Rob Ford is not a small guy, in fact you can call him obese. One group of people I hang out with not only attack him for his ideology, (conservatism is evil), they also deride him for his weight and constantly make slurs about that (one acquaintance has a bad case of pot/kettle).
Now lets look at what Ford has done so far. He has cancelled bike lanes from a couple of major through fares in downtown Toronto. Good for him. All the bicyclists however got incensed that he had the audacity to hurt their sacred cow. They are looking at closing some library branches in the city. Out of 98 branches I am sure they could find a few that aren't really doing anything and are really not that important. Of course all the people are screaming that Ford is harming the people of the city. Rob's brother, Doug, made a comment about Margaret Atwood and said that if she thinks she could do a better job then she should run for council. Put her money where her mouth is. Of course he then said that he wouldn't know her if he ran across her on the street.
HERESY!!! Another reason for all the socialists to lambast this knuckle dragging neanderthal council. They don't know who Margaret Atwood is? Personally I wish I didn't know who she was either. Her opinions tend to get my ire up.
So what do we do? The unions have told the mayor and city council that they won't cut, all other departments have said the same thing. So what do we do? Unfortunately the mayor is only one voice in city council. No matter what we think of him and hopes we had, he's still only one voice in the whole budget battle. All the leftists and socialists that survived this past municipal election will fight tooth and nail for all their sacred cows, perks, and members.
I hope the budget battle is won by the good guys. I also hope that the cuts will be fair and balanced and spread out over all the city departments. The city can't function for long on a huge credit card. Eventually some one will come and cut it up by not giving us anymore money.
We are told constantly to live within our means, and keep personal debt down. Why can't we hold our governments to the same standard?
Now personally, I don't like the ideas of some of the closures that would happen. I liked libraries and was a big fan of them when I couldn't afford to buy many books. They were a refuge from cares and the hustle and bustle of the city. Some of the park zoos, like High Park and Riverdale, are great places to visit and look at the animals. If they have to be cut, I will mourn the loses.
Things have to be done now or there won't be anything to salvage later.