Political Analyst and Observer, Bill Longworth's, Weekly "Eye on City Hall" Columns, as published in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada's Oshawa Central Newspaper

Monday, September 27, 2010

Heard on the campaign trail

“Eye on City Hall”

A column of Information, Analysis, Comment, and unfiltered opinion
Bill Longworth, City Hall Reporter
September 27, 2010

It is quite revealing out on the campaign trail these days. The biggest message you get immediately is the profound anger of voters at the antics of city hall.

Almost 100% of voters you meet at their doors bring up Oshawa’s high taxes and many can back up this concern by quoting facts and figures of friends and relatives tax costs in other municipalities.

One “property owner” I chatted with last Thursday, has been to city hall many times to get property rezoned and has been frustrated many times by, as he says, the insignificant peons sitting behind the desks at city hall who are frustrating and stalling progress in this city at every turn.

Invariably people point to the ineffective leadership of Mayor John Gray and want to turf him out of office.

Many residents are so sick and tired of this city council that they want to kick out the whole bunch and put new faces in every council seat.

Incumbency, they’re saying, is like a noose around their political necks. Council have fallen into every political pothole possible and have invented others to fall into if they weren’t just there naturally. People are fed up!

Voters are mentioning high taxes, the MBA’s, Cullen Miniatures foolishness, lifetime political health benefits, wasteful spending on city hall demolition and renewal, and the change to the General Vote which is producing an impossible ballot for voters to make sensible choices.

They place the blame on every incumbent council member for their role in helping city council fall into every mistake, mis-step, and mess-up possible and it falls head first drowning in every pothole it creates.

Over the last few days, I have heard the following comments:
• Hey Bill...you’re like the Rob Ford of Oshawa with your promise of tax cuts and shaking up city hall---We need it and I like it!...a lawyer...9/22/10

• Bill---saw you on the Roger’s TV mayoral debates and was really impressed. Love the way you went after the dishonesty of some of the politicians exposing them for what they are. Thanks for letting us know that Louise Parkes took a 54% salary and expense spending increase in the first 3 years of this term. I thought her press calling for 5% political salary rollbacks and her signs that say “Fair Taxes” showed she agreed with spending restraint. With her huge salary increases in this time of restraint, I know that her signs and calls for salary rollbacks are deceptive. Now with these deceptive tactics, I don’t think I trust anything she says. Boy...did she ever have us fooled!

• With the high Oshawa taxes, my wife and I want to sell and pull out of Oshawa.....heard numerous times

• The high Oshawa taxes are making it impossible for me to sell my house without taking a huge loss.

• My high Oshawa taxes are like having a second mortgage on my house---a Columbus resident who pays taxes of $12,000 yearly

• That was really stupid spending on the demolition and rebuilding of parts of city hall and I like your “Good Government Plan” that will seek public approval for these big projects and increases in politician’s salaries and benefits...A Glen’s Resident...9/22/10

• Politicians have introduced the General Vote to try to insure their election based on name recognition. Up here in Columbus, the name recognition of incumbents will lose them votes.

• Mr. Longworth---after explaining your plan to cut taxes by 3% annually, I believe you and trust you to carry out this promise. I might have been a little sceptical before I met you and heard your explanation. I now know it is completely sensible and doable after listening to you....a Glen’s resident, 9/22/10

• Mr. Longworth---thanks for stopping to chat....I’m impressed! ---a Glen’s Resident....9/22/10

• We have to throw out the whole bunch....heard numerous times

• I moved from Whitby and am really surprised at my taxes here which are much higher than I paid in Whitby---think I made a mistake!...a Glen’s Resident, 9/22/10

• Mr. Longworth----your sign---“Stop the Madness,” says it all!

• Mr. Longworth---I like your message! Can I have a sign and some of your literature to distribute in my community?

• Mr. Longworth---got your literature today. Can you come over to chat with me so I can put my questions to you face to face? My neighbours and I are mad as hell about taxes and there are a lot of votes for you here!

• How did we get this ridiculous General Vote and who is responsible?

• If Parkes gets elected as Mayor, the city will be in trouble and I’m making plans to ditch the city if that happens. Gray looks good compared to what Parkes would do!

• I see in the paper that Parkes spent $23 less on her cellphone bills than the total of 8 of her fellow councillors. Why is she calling for spending restraint when she hasn’t seemed to be exercising it herself?

• Why does Parkes have “Fair Taxes” on her signs when she seems to have the highest expenses on council?

• I know a lot of people who wouldn't vote for Louise Parkes if she was running against the devil --- a facebook comment

• When is Henry going to start saying something about his plans for this city if he becomes Mayor? By the way, thanks for telling me he was the councillor responsible for bringing lifetime health benefits for retired councillors to this city.

• Stop the press…just received as I’m writing this---I’m fed up! Council needs focussed and responsible leadership. You’ve got my vote! Please put your sign on my lawn…Doug J.
This campaigning really puts you in touch with the people of Oshawa and tells me I’m on the right track and the same track since being nominated on January 4, the first day for nominations. And, I’m not one to do a turn-around at election time!

I’m the only mayoral candidate calling for tax cuts and this is the key issue with ratepayers. They know that my tax cuts will cut out about $3.5 million annually from city hall’s approximate $115 residential tax revenue and feel, as I do, that this is a slow enough cutback to allow city hall to cut out the fat, waste, and inefficiencies, without any service cuts, and foster a mindset of restraint in every bureaucrat’s mind.

You too, can jump on the exploding “Longworth” bandwagon!

This is an important election to put Oshawa on the right track and I encourage every voter to become as informed as possible about the Mayor Platforms particularly, as it will be the Mayor who is most influential in setting the city policy framework for the next four years.

There has never been a time in the last decades that we’ve needed change more....and there has never been a time in the last decades that we need voters to be informed and get out and vote on October 25.

And now for one more benefit of this campaign….I’ve lost 15 pounds! Anyone want to help? This is better than weightwatchers.

Be sure to follow Bill’s radio broadcasts, “Eye on City Hall”,
every Monday, 6-9 pm EST, on http://www.ocentral.com/thewave/

Monday, September 20, 2010

There's a Tax Revolt Underway in Oshawa

“Eye on City Hall”

A column of Information, Analysis, Comment, and unfiltered opinion
Bill Longworth, City Hall Reporter
September 20, 2010

Oshawa has the highest assessment rates in the GTA and about the highest in Canada and citizens have had enough.

Citizens are realizing that their taxes are increasing twice as fast as costs. Politicians have increased your taxes by 13% over this last 4 year term of council despite the fact that costs have only increased by 6.56% as measured by the inflation index over the same period.

Citizens also realize that the present incumbents have run up the city debt from $10 million when they took 0ver under John Gray’s leadership to $100 million in a few short years saddling present and future tax payers with excessive debt servicing costs. This debt is due, of course, mostly to the $4 million annual operating losses and debt servicing costs of the GM Centre and the unneeded demolition and rebuilding of a large portion of city hall. To compound the problems, council is continuing to increase debt with the demolition of the Civic and its reconstruction as an indoor soccer pitch.

The demolition and rebuilding of city facilities is not the only culprit saddling the public with unneeded and unwarranted expenses.

City politicians are snorting greedily in your tax ”money trough” with their huge $100,000 salaries, their $100 per week tax free car allowances, their lifetime health benefits, their travel and cell phone expenses, their $100 restaurant meals, etc., etc, etc.

Some politicians, like Louise Parkes, are even having you pay their parking tickets, their flower arrangements ($250), their purchase of city parking tokens ($250) despite the fact she has free parking at city hall, and her blackberry costs which are only $23 less than the total of eight of her fellow councillors and almost $1700 more than the second highest spending city politician. And now she’s calling for spending restraint and a 5% rollback of city politician salaries. You’ve got to be kidding! With her history of reckless spending, can you really believe she’ll be any different than John Gray’s wild spending? I don’t!

I don’t trust incumbent politicians who have voted for every tax hike possible, including taxing family’s ability to pay for their children’s sports participation with council’s increasing user fees for our ice pads, swimming pools and other recreational facilities, and who have tried to break the bank with their own personal extravagance. Their calls, now at election time, for restraint, tax cuts, and salary rollbacks is highly dishonest when compared to their past taxing and spending record.

In fact, I find Parkes’ calls for restraint wildly offensive, misleading and deceptive being so inconsistent with her obscene spending and flagrant disregard for our tax money. Spending restraint is a value that you practise over the years....it’s not a value you simply adopt at election time! In fact, this dishonest practice makes me question the truth of everything she says. No wonder politicians have such a bad reputation for truth!

I am intrigued with Louise Parkes purchase of $250 worth of parking tokens for the downtown. She gets free parking at city hall and the parking tokens are only useful in downtown parking meters. Certainly Parkes cannot claim to use these meter parking tokens for constituency work. So I’m wondering if taxpayers are funding downtown parking for Parkes’ Campaign Workers...or if taxpayers are funding free parking for patrons of her husband’s downtown furniture business because he does have a sign in front of his store advertising “free” parking. Are you paying for this “free” parking? I don’t know, but that $250 purchase of parking tokens using your tax dollars is highly suspect when Parkes already has free downtown parking.

Parkes’ call for spending restraint and salary rollbacks is highly inconsistent with her own “take” of a giant 54% windfall gain in her personal salary and expense spending over the first 3 years of this current term with results not yet reported for 2010. How many Oshawa citizens have enjoyed her 18% annual compensation gains in this "tough time" economy? Citizens have had enough of this feeding at the public tax-trough at our expense!

Citizens are starting to realize all about this “kid in the candy store” spending. They’re beginning to understand why a $350,000 Oshawa house is taxed at about $1200 more than if it was moved across the town line into Clarington, Scugog, or Whitby. Tax savings from moving your house to our neighbouring municipalities would fund you an annual winter cruise in the Caribbean!

Citizens are beginning to realize why a $350,000 Oshawa house pays more taxes than a $450,000 house in 23 of 25 GTA municipalities, pays more taxes than a $550,000 house in 16 of 25 GTA municipalities, and pays more taxes than a $750,000 house in 3 of 25 GTA municipalities. Citizens are now finding out that a $350,000 Oshawa house pays the same taxes as an $880,000 Toronto house. No wonder the tax revolt is under way.

High Oshawa taxes discourage home purchases here depressing house values and robbing every home owner of tens of thousands of dollars in home equity. Its high taxes that give Oshawa the cheapest housing in the GTA.

That's why as a Mayoral Candidate, I am promising 3% annual tax cuts until our tax rates reach the average of the GTA. Oshawa City Politicians have to cut the fat, the waste, the inefficiencies, and the reckless "drunken sailor," spending. City Politicians have to take far more care of your tax dollars. We can only have what we can afford. As your new Mayor, my guaranteed tax cuts will put "real" money---"Bill Bucks" in your pocket every year.

Look at your city tax bill. You can check your tax bill to see what your savings will be that you can take to the bank when I am elected Oshawa's next mayor.

These tax cuts will mean that approximately $3M will be cut from Oshawa’s annual revenues of about $115M which will be slow enough for adjustments to take place without service cuts. The tax cuts along with more careful spending should get our taxes at the GTA average in approximately 6 years as we continue with tax cuts while other GTA municipalities continue to increase theirs.

Politicians will argue that 3% tax cuts are not possible, but in fact we’ve had 4% tax increases in each of the first three years of this terms and only a 1% increase this year which the city manager said would be easy in this election year. This is tax “game playing” in the extreme and really results in a 3% cut from the 4% increases of the past three years. If this 3% cut from the expected was “easy” this year, it will be “easy” also next year to come in with my 3% cut.

We’ve had enough “game playing” with your “hard-earned” cash....and it's a game I'm unwilling to play.

Be sure to follow Bill’s radio broadcasts, “Eye on City Hall”,
every Monday, 6-9 pm EST, on http://www.ocentral.com/thewave/

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Plan to Improve Transparency and Accountability at Oshawa City Hall

“Eye on City Hall”

A column of Information, Analysis, Comment, and unfiltered opinion
Bill Longworth, City Hall Reporter
September 13, 2010

Public trust in politicians is at an all-time low and changes have to be made to bring more honour and trust to politics at all levels.

Too often, politicians, once elected, forget that they are the servants of the people and act too secretly, often spending public monies with reckless abandon leaving scarce little in taxpayer’s pockets.

Federal, Provincial, and Local Oshawa politicians, all of whom voted to deny detailed publication of their expense records, simply raises questions about politician’s honesty and responsibility in spending public monies. Non-disclosure simply raises “smells” of irresponsible spending on personal entitlements.

Often, politicians will say one thing for public consumption around election time, and act quite the opposite way when their actions are hidden from the public.

Mayoral Candidate Louise Parkes, for example, has received a lot of press in calling for a 5% reduction in political salaries. Less publicized is the fact that Louise Parkes took salary and expense increases of 54% (18% annual increase) over the first 3 years of her present 4 year term going from salary/expense totals of $40,800 in 2006 to $62,469 in 2009 with 2010 totals not yet in, whose expense spending was always among the highest on Oshawa Council, and who called on Council for increased office budgets to cover her travel expenses. Her actual practice in office is quite the opposite of her “restraint pitch” to the voters. Her 54% salary/expense increase windfall contrasts over the first three years of her current term sharply to the 6.56% inflation rate and the 13% increase in taxes over the same period. We have no need for this kind of dishonest deception.

Under my leadership, we will have a new kind of politics in Oshawa---open, honest and transparent, which seeks public input, which cuts waste and taxes, which publishes itemized and dated political expense records with nothing hidden from the public. I want every member of my council to be concerned only with the public good they can sow, not the rewards they can reap.

Increased transparency and accountability will be a key objective in a new council under my leadership, and we will implement specific practices and policies to attain this objective.

We’ll start with scheduled public question periods as part of every council meeting. Within defined time constraints, no member of the public and no question or topic of city business will be blocked from holding politicians answerable and accountable to the public. All such public questions and input and political/staff responses will become part of the public record in the official minutes of the meeting and will be televised without political censure. Further, questions deemed significant enough by the press, will no doubt receive additional press coverage.

Under my leadership, there will be no blocking of citizen input or hiding of information---indeed we’ll try to seek input in as many ways as possible. This will be a real participatory democracy where citizens know they can have meaningful input. We’ll set a model for other local councils to emulate throughout the province. There’ll be no more of asking voters an important question and then saying it was not Council’s role to inform the people as the Mayor declared in regards to the Ward/General Vote Plebiscite Question.

Presently every council meeting is preceded with an “in-camera” component and Oshawa City Council has been censured by the Provincial Ombudsman for illegally conducting some public business in private. In Camera meetings will cease except under the strict Provincial Guidelines that preclude public discussion of personnel, legal, or contract matters that might be jeopardized by public disclosure. Furthermore, these meetings will not precede council meetings but will result in a recess of council when appropriate agenda items come up.

All city business will be conducted in public. I have evidence, for example, of council vote outcomes before they took place. I expected to address city council one night, and Councillor Brian Nicholson told me before the break that I wouldn’t get a chance to address council, despite being on the agenda. Following the break, he moved that my request to speak be received for information which was carried on a council vote thus denying me the chance to be heard. This obviously had been decided “in camera” before the meeting for Nicholson to be able to confidently disclose the future vote result close to an hour before it happened. This was illegal according to Provincial Law.

In terms of openness, all letters to the Mayor and Council will be linked in both committee and council minutes where they are discussed, to allow the public ease in following issues. Presently, such letters are hidden sufficiently to hide ratepayer input and concerns from the public domain. At best, the issue is voted on at council, but supporting letters are only found on the committee agendas. At one time, I wrote a letter to the Mayor and Council and it never appeared on an agenda. When I inquired about this, the Clerk informed me that she had made a decision not to include it. Can you imagine? My letter to the Mayor and Council was censured out by the Clerk! Makes you wonder just who is in charge!

In addition, Council Minutes and Agenda items are insufficiently described to allow the interested public to follow along. I will insist on all agenda items and minutes being described more fully so as to facilitate public understanding and participation. I would mount complete agendas on the city web page save for confidential matters.

I will set up more vehicles for public input and control of the significant business of the city. No major expenditure of taxpayer money, such as the demolition and rebuilding of city hall or the GM Centre, will take place without public support on a ballot question at election time. Such ballot questions will define specifically the projected average taxpayer cost for the project and will require public support to proceed.

Similarly, I would want public approval at election time for all increased benefits, perks, and allowances for politicians. No longer would they be able to vote themselves bigger entitlements at your expense without your approval. No more salary increases, no more MBA’s, no more increased office budgets, no more lifetime health/pension benefits, no more giant retirement allowances, no more $100 a week tax free auto allowances---no more!…no more!…no more without your approval.

I would want all votes recorded and voting records on significant matters summarized and published on the city web site at election time. Politicians would seek re-election on their voting records. Presently politicians do not want to take responsibility for unpopular votes like the purchase of the Cullen Miniatures, their salary increases, their lifetime health benefits, their support for the general vote vs. ward vote, their approval for huge expenditures like city hall renewal or demolitions of arenas, etc. Such long term record keeping and disclosure policies would force all politicians to take more responsibility for their votes and would not allow them to later deny their vote for unpopular issues or unsuccessful ventures. Voting records are important in American politics and easily recorded through computerization. We’d make them important here in Oshawa too!

In the city’s accounting systems, I’d want Ledger Sheets for all major projects and activities. Presently, on projects like the city hall reconstruction and renewal, only the major contract expenditures are traceable. Many other costs related to the project are hidden across various account numbers and departments all with incomplete descriptors so as to require forensic accountants to get a handle on total project costs. This hides real costs from the public. Problem is, it hides costs from everyone including politicians and bureaucrats. We still don’t have complete records on the costs or financing of the GM Center, making it impossible for taxpayers to know how much of our taxes are going annually to subsidize this project.

In the interests of transparency, I would want a detailed breakdown on our tax bills as to the actual taxpayer costs based on his/her specific assessment for each significant project or debt the city is carrying. Again computerization makes this detailed costing possible and is common in British Columbia. How much did city hall renewal specifically cost you based on your assessment? What are debt servicing costs and operating losses for the GM Centre specifically costing you based on your assessment? This kind of information will provide extra transparency and accountability and provide political incentive to keep debt under control.

We have to stop the madness at city hall. Under my leadership, we’ll have a new transparent and accountable place where the sun shines on everything that happens, and you’ll know that your voice is important at Oshawa City Hall.

Be sure to follow Bill’s radio broadcasts, “Eye on City Hall”,
every Monday, 6-9 pm EST, on http://www.ocentral.com/thewave/

Monday, September 6, 2010

Oshawa doesn’t deserve this City Council

“Eye on City Hall”

A column of Information, Analysis, Comment, and unfiltered opinion
Bill Longworth, City Hall Reporter
September 6, 2010

The municipal elections are now a scant seven weeks away and candidates are heating up their campaigns as the deadline for nominations for election to city council approaches.

At present there are 47 declared candidates to appear on the ballot. Candidates for Durham Public Board of Education or the Separate school board will be in addition to these.

Do you have a chance in hell of becoming an informed voter? To do so, you’d have to know who each of the candidates are, have a chance to meet them, and know what they stand for. An impossible task! Hell, there are so many candidates that even the candidates themselves do not know all their opposition candidates.

The latest totals for each office are Mayor---Vote for 1 of 6 candidates, Regional Council---Vote for 7 of 25 candidates, and Local council---Vote for 3 of 16 candidates.

This general vote election and the huge impossible election ballot with 53 names for Public School Supporters when trustee candidate names are included and 52 names for Separate School Supporters is compliments of Mayor John Gray and Councillors Pidwerbecki, Kolodzie, Parkes, Henry, Sholdra, and Marimpietri. If you think their implementation of the General Vote after refusing to inform voters about the plebiscite question is a travesty of democracy, they should not get your votes on October 25th.

It’s interesting that the plebiscite question was placed on the 2006 election ballot despite the fact that there was not one whimper of expressed citizen discontent with ward elections. This should raise serious questions in your head about why the question was on the ballot.

All of the action for change has come from city politicians and so the plebiscite question and the result they wanted arose simply as another form of entitlement for the politicians

We already know that they vote themselves huge salaries, lifetime health benefits, huge retirement benefits, $100 per week tax free car allowances, free advertising and campaign materials on the taxpayer’s dime, free travel, city charge cards---they even voted to demolish council chambers and city hall “A” wing at $25M to give themselves more palatial office space more becoming of their station in life.

So why not shanghai democracy to give them a lifetime council seat. This is the atrocity they’ve perpetrated on the Oshawa people.

Their manipulation of democracy to get a result they wanted is more akin to the election systems in North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and many African countries, etc.---the kinds of governments where western nations have seen serious losses of troops trying to bring justice and fairness to citizens entrapped under inhumane dictatorial governments.

To secure the desired plebiscite result, Council followed a strategy of keeping the issue secret to confront voters “cold” in voter’s booth with a question they had never heard, never considered, and didn’t understand….and then you had to vote “NO” to preserve a system that everyone was satisfied with….CLEVER!

Realizing this “ploy,” I did write to the Mayor and Council and Committee Chairman, Cathy Clarke, whose committee steered the issue through council, suggesting an information brochure explaining the pros and cons of the ward/general vote systems be sent to all residents but this suggestion was ignored in the interests of keeping the secret to election day.

I even offered to write the argument for preserving was elections but this offer of help was also ignored.

While Canada’s Supreme Court has frequently stated that an informed public is a basic necessity of democracy, Oshawa’s City Council decided on this “strategy of secrecy” to keep the public in the dark and catch them with a trick question that no one had heard, considered, or discussed, and which had confusing terminology that was never defined, and worded in such a way that the “yes” answer most will give when confronted with a confusing question they don’t understand, resulted in a change from the system everyone seemed satisfied with.

Amazingly, Mayor John Gray stated at city council, just before the adoption of the general vote, that city council had no responsibility to inform the public about the question council asked. He said it was the responsibility of the concerned public to fundraise and organize to inform the public. He didn’t say such third party fundraising and campaigning is against the Ontario Municipal Election Act, nor did he say that the same Act gave City Council unfettered and unlimited spending ability to communicate details of plebiscite questions to their publics.

Amazing, city council asks a question to get public opinion on an issue and says they have no responsibility to inform the public about the issue, and lies about this being private citizen responsibility.

This was lying to the public at its worst---or it showed a tremendously uninformed mayor. In any case, it definitely demonstrated that Gray is unfit to lead our city and lead our council.

Don’t you think that if city council wanted an accurate measure of public opinion on this question, they would have wanted to inform the public?

Because they didn’t provide the necessary information, they showed they didn’t care.

They just knew the result they wanted and followed a strategy to get it.

This is vote fixing in the extreme and is a practice we would expect from third world authoritarian fascists, despots, dictators, and tyrants….but in Canada---no way!

How can a city council that pulls this “secrecy strategy” to “trick” the public and “fix” the vote ever claim to be open, transparent, honest, accountable, democratic…and respectful of city ratepayers?

And what is just as important….If they pull a “fast one” like this on such an important question, can you trust anything they tell you?---like the city’s debt position or the costs of city hall demolition, rebuilding, and renovations….or their election promises.

Presently John Gray and every member of council are acknowledging that taxes are too high after voting for them and now to say they believe in holding the line or cutting is just too hard to believe. In fact, two months after the last election, Mayor John Gray was calling for 9% tax increases.

So why did politicians want the general vote? Easy! 1) They wanted to “semi-retire” by eliminating all constituency work. When everyone is responsible for everything, no one is responsible for anything, and besides…your vote is not important in the bigger scheme of general elections---they’re not responsible to you! And, 2) they’re virtually guaranteed lifetime re-election. This is the history of the general vote in Oshawa when for seven general vote councils counting for 107 seats, not one councillor lost their seat by the vote. All change took place by death or resignation of members. Only name recognition is important in a general vote election….not service to the public! And 3) they’ll now be able to demand more salary claiming they have twice the constituency size of the Federal or Provincial Government!

The General vote is going to cost taxpayers “big time” as politicians claim these greater salaries for greater responsibility, bigger staffs to handle a claimed bigger workload, and bigger offices to house the increased staff, more palatial offices consistent with their increased importance, and bigger office budgets to cover their bigger needs….big, big, big, $, $, $...all piled on top of the highest taxes in the GTA….ridiculous!

Service to you, the voter, is irrelevant for politicians under the general vote. Politicians can snuff their nose at you! Your single vote is relatively unimportant when 20,000 or so votes might be required for election and so no politician will put much effort into solving your problem.

Instead politicians will devote great attention to the wishes of trade unions, the golf club, large churches and organizations, etc. as they feel that these organizations will encourage their city wide membership to vote for the “friendly” and “helpful” politicians that have jumped in to serve the needs of the large organization.

Therefore the voting power and the interests of politicians shifts from individual homeowners, taxpayers, and residents to the larger organizations controlling or influencing large blocks of votes.

Our general vote here in Oshawa is proof positive that your politicians don’t give a damn about democracy. Everything is secondary to their sense of entitlement. That’s why we have a system here not used in any large city anywhere in Canada.

And don’t you think if the system implemented here was any good, it’d be widely used across the country?

The job of city voters come the October 25th election is to turf out the whole damn self-serving bunch before they do more harm to democracy and to this city!

Be sure to follow Bill’s radio broadcasts, “Eye on City Hall”,
every Monday, 6-9 pm EST, on http://www.ocentral.com/thewave/