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IMHO
02-13-2016, 07:57 AM
I hear taxpayers moaning about the city tax hike of a possible 5 plus percent hike. This is all smoke and mirrors folks. They throw out a high figure like that and then when they finally come in at lets say 3 percent...we all feel they did a great job and we got a deal. Every industry is cutting back. Should the city also be scaling back the number of employees? Why are city jobs so sacred? The city is getting smaller each year yet we have the same number of employees?

ctf
02-13-2016, 11:10 AM
Yah and when the Essar thing is settled and the city gets some/all of their money back, they'll make sure to reduce our taxes. Not.

Our council must engage City administrators to review their department operations; not just come to council to try and explain away how they try so hard and how effectively they manage their departments. It is time they looked at maintaining wages (staff, council, and labour force), review staffing levels for redundancy and obsolescence - why should it be a job for life in this economic turmoil? Review how services are deployed and seek alternatives.
Why does council not mention the fact that regardless of levy increases, they get an increase in budget yearly, automatically. From our 2012 MPAC assessment it is stated that the average phased-in increase to MPAC values for the city from 2012 to 2013 is 6.66%? This was whether the city raised their levy or not. This trend continued for years to 2016 when we will see yet another MPAC assessment done. Could you not manage your home budget with a guaranteed increase. The money tree (taxpayer) is slowly dying. Our labour force is shrinking and population demographics are shifting to a fixed income base.
Email or call your ward councillors and make your opinions known. They must realize the decisions they make are NOT their own. They represent us and our opinions matter. If you don't get a response at first, keep pushing back.

Anapeg
02-13-2016, 11:55 AM
I hear taxpayers moaning about the city tax hike of a possible 5 plus percent hike. This is all smoke and mirrors folks. They throw out a high figure like that and then when they finally come in at let's say 3 percent...we all feel they did a great job and we got a deal. Every industry is cutting back. Should the city also be scaling back the number of employees? Why are city jobs so sacred? The city is getting smaller each year yet we have the same number of employees?

They went from three man garbage trucks to one man, the snow removal has been drastically reduced, spring street sweeping and flushing has been reduced. Without ceasing something, there can't be a lot more they can do, unless I have missed something?

ctf
02-13-2016, 12:29 PM
They went from three man garbage trucks to one man, the snow removal has been drastically reduced, spring street sweeping and flushing has been reduced. Without ceasing something, there can't be a lot more they can do, unless I have missed something?

Let's be fair here. Yes we as a city have become more efficient.The City contracts out 50% of so called garbage pick. We have gone from a 3 man crew to 2 different trucks with a one man crew. The recycle crew is also automated. City snow ploughing has been reduced, however there seems to be an increase in salt usage which in turn allows more untreated water to enter our ecosystem. There is always areas of improvement. What must happen is that now that the low hanging fruit is gone, they look at ways to get further efficiency. Have we reduced manpower and overtime? Do we really need a 4 man truck, with an asphalt trailer, out on days when it is -15C filling in potholes? This was the occurrence on Thursday of this week. How did they expect that to work out? Do we really need to use the snow-bank removal equipment and all the Contracted trucks associated with it to remove snow banks that are less than 2 feet high? It is all about managing resources, you don't spend the budget just because their is money in it. Afraid to have a surplus and maybe have less next year? Maybe we do cease some operations, or modify how they are done. That's why we pay the city administrators the big bucks to manage their departments. But maybe like in private enterprise, if you can't do the job of saving the corporation money, then maybe get someone who can. The city needs to be run as the Corporation it is supposed to be. You don't spend the shareholders money and keep coming back every year telling them they have no dividends coming and expect to continue down that road.

IMHO
02-13-2016, 01:28 PM
They went from three man garbage trucks to one man, the snow removal has been drastically reduced, spring street sweeping and flushing has been reduced. Without ceasing something, there can't be a lot more they can do, unless I have missed something?

Reduce staffing in ANY dept where savings can be had. Combine depts. Reduce supervisory positions.Freeze on wages.

Anapeg
02-13-2016, 01:46 PM
Reducing those doing work simply puts people out of work and the jobs being done by someone else. Eliminating a job while the work has still to be accomplished is simply passing on responsibility. Accomplished by whom becomes the question. If it is handled by the city simply in another manner, fine. If it is farmed out to be accomplished, fine. If it falls on the taxpayer to take care of as they see fit and there is not an accompanying tax break, where is the saving? You and I both know there would never be an accompanying tax break so now there is no one doing the job but you and your tax bill remains the same. How can that be any good?

IMHO
02-13-2016, 02:02 PM
Reducing those doing work simply puts people out of work and the jobs being done by someone else. Eliminating a job while the work has still to be accomplished is simply passing on responsibility. Accomplished by whom becomes the question. If it is handled by the city simply in another manner, fine. If it is farmed out to be accomplished, fine. If it falls on the taxpayer to take care of as they see fit and there is not an accompanying tax break, where is the saving? You and I both know there would never be an accompanying tax break so now there is no one doing the job but you and your tax bill remains the same. How can that be any good?

I do not think taxpayers should have to support a worker that is not required simply because HE may be put out of work.

Anapeg
02-13-2016, 02:43 PM
I do not think taxpayers should have to support a worker that is not required simply because HE may be put out of work.

Agreed. My point is, the work the individual did will still need be done. Done by whom? If it falls to the taxpayer, where is the savings?

IMHO
02-13-2016, 03:25 PM
Agreed. My point is, the work the individual did will still need be done. Done by whom? If it falls to the taxpayer, where is the savings?

Perhaps there are more workers than work for them? It just seems that when companies feel the financial crunch...they lay off or at least reduce workers hours. The city carries the same work force in good times and bad. I just wonder why they should be allowed to increase taxes at will to support a workforce that may have too many workers for the jobs to be done. Why are these jobs so "sacred" in tough times?

ctf
02-13-2016, 04:37 PM
It is high time that this Corporation, as it bills itself, started to act and be run like one. Private industry does not have an never ending pot of money from which to avail itself. The managers must be held to the same level of accountability as their private sector equivalents. Hard decisions that need to be made regarding labour, resources etc must be borne by them. It is too easy to come to council, hat in hand with promises galore seeking an increase in funds to manage their respective departments. Private industry puts together annual budgets as well. When their pot is empty, the pot is empty; they have no additional opportunities to get extra funding. So it should be with the city. Set a budget of x number of dollars to operate and then determine how you will work within that dollar amount. In the city it is backwards. Departments each seek an operating budget and then if there isn't enuf in the kitty to cover all their requests, council raises taxes to meet the new threshold. It is high time that our councillors acted like private industry boards of Directors; leave their personal opinions at the door and do what their membership wants done; no increase. Many on our council feel that this city is or should be something it isn't. Realise that it can't be all things to everyone. Special interest groups can be addressed after all the basics are met, not in addition to.

Anapeg
02-13-2016, 07:34 PM
Perhaps there are more workers than work for them? It just seems that when companies feel the financial crunch...they lay off or, at least, reduce workers hours. The city carries the same workforce in good times and bad. I just wonder why they should be allowed to increase taxes at will to support a workforce that may have too many workers for the jobs to be done. Why are these jobs so "sacred" in tough times?

What you then are going to have to do is call for an outside personnel audit to look at the day to day operations. I don't see something such as that being readily accepted by anyone involved from the Mayor on down. People, especially union people and government people do not like outsiders telling them their people are redundant.

Anapeg
02-13-2016, 07:48 PM
I am with you all for the city to show austerity measures but it will never go smoothly. Those left behind would do everything in their power to sabotage the exercise. Work to rule or possibly less. Mass sick call-ins to gum up the works. The list and methods would be endless.
I will try coming at my idea from another angle. Will the be less snow to move when people are let go? Will there be less garbage to pick up? Will there be less office work to do? All these are answered in the negative. How do you decide to let go when the amount of work necessary will not vary? The City's output is static or increasing, unlike a private business in the same economic distress. A private business will experience a drop in output thereby rendering people redundant, not so with this or any other city.

Barry Morris
02-13-2016, 08:18 PM
So maybe we could discuss the fundamentals, as I have a limited understanding.

Socialism is when you pay your taxes and the city plows your streets.

Capitalism is when somebody pays to have his driveway plowed and nobody plows the streets.

If there aren't enough taxpayers, or if the unions get greedy, street plowing goes downhill because the city can't afford it.

So we all buy four wheel drives.

rez
02-24-2016, 11:49 AM
I bought a house in 2011 that was assessed at 1800/year. 6 months later they reassessed and it went to 2600/year.. now they want 5% more... Its about time to move out of the city i think..

Do you guys know how bloated our local government is? They have something like 12 managers for the city rinks.. Of those 12, all are making 80k to over 120k a year... Back before my dad retired he said the city rinks had 2 managers and 1 supervisor.. Yet they wanna raise my taxes so these clowns can give their buddies jobs? Screw that..If taxes go up, I am leaving this city.. And if I was them, I would think real hard about a tax increase because there are a lot of pensioners in this town that don't need to live in the city limits.

They need to reduce city managers and assistants which are way out of control..

If they wanna run a corporation i.e our city, they should look into generating their own income like maybe put up our own power dams and wind mills to sell power to the grid..

I can't believe how poor and inefficient governments are run. If this city was run like a normal private corporation, it would lay people off and trim the fat that way, not automatically go to the easiest way of increasing their budget through taxation. People are losing their jobs and homes.. The only ones not affected are government employee's, and that will change soon when they figure out they can't sustain this system.. You can't run a country or city purely based off of taxing the private sector when the private sector is practically gone to china or mexico.. Tenaris is finished, at least for the next year or 2 its that bad there.. Essar steel will probably be sold soon too because of how much money those indian guys owe around town.. It is easier for them to sell the mill and leave. They will never see a dime out of whatever Essar owes..

And another thing.. We let these foreign corporations come in here and buy up our industry.. And they bring in their own foreign workers to work the high paying white collar jobs.. That needs to be ended.. We might as well change our countries flag to a big for sale sign. And they actually go out of their way to lay off local people and move around their foreign workers just so they don't have to lay them off and ship them home...

And wait till the TPP garbage passes... OMG, if you people had any clue at all what they are trying to do lol.. That TPP thing basically allows foreign corporations to come into canada and strip mine everything, not only that but they can bring in their own workers.. Then, whatever they strip mine for resources, those foreign companies can ship straight back to their own countries to make things... Which then they will try to sell back to us in NA because they think we will have money/jobs to buy the stuff? The whole thing is fubar beyond belief. I fully expect to see this city bankrupt like detroit, and the country as a whole not far behind it.