Priorities

July 11, 2012

Priorities, priorities, priorities. The people want priorities.

Congestion. Public transit and infrastructure deficits. A spike in gun violence.

All these hot button issues facing the city and what was council debating for the majority of the meeting this morning, the last meeting before October? Policy Changes to Facilitate Councillor Office Operations.

Office chairs, constituency offices, floor space at 80 cents a square foot. Councillor house calls. All in search of the holy grail filled with gravy.

How much gravy?

I’m not exactly sure. But consider this. The total cost to the city’s coffers, the amount picked from the taxpayers’ wallets annually, for councillors’ expenses — all of it, all in, the whole enchilada, salaries, staff, office expenses, everything — about $19 million. Throw in about $1.6 million to keep the mayor in the lifestyle he is accustomed, and that’s just around $21 million.

A year. $21 million of an annual operating budget of over $10 billion. And what the debate focused on this morning was a tiny, tiny fraction of that. A minute slice. A speck. Tens of thousands of dollars.

This was not a good use of time by any stretch of the imagination. One might even call it inefficient. Generating gravy to uncover gravy. A gravy wash, let’s call it.

Mayor Ford fiddles and the city struggles.

miserly submitted by Cityslikr