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Mayor Can’t Count, Expert Slams Transit Plans, Live Kennedys Support Obama

2008_01_29_cityhall.jpg
David Miller delivered a balanced budget yesterday, thanks to higher property taxes, some fabulous new tariffs, and a one-time infusion of $150 million from the the provincial government. According to Miller, the property tax increase of 3.75% is in line with his commitment to limit raises to the rate of inflation (1.9% in Toronto last year), evidence that the mayor is either math-illiterate or assumes that everyone else is.
Transit expert Richard Soberman will release a report today in which he says that provincial and municipal transit plans for the GTA are overpriced, impractical, and essentially “an amalgam of politically driven wish lists.” A spokesperson for government planners responded to the charges with, “What’s his point?”
U.S. President George W. Bush gave his last State of the Union address last night, emphasizing the economy (not as bad as we think) and Iraq (better than it was). Little known fact: at one time Conservative strategists considered introducing a “State of the Dominion” address in Canada, which would have riffed off the old grocery store ads by featuring the P.M. grabbing his crotch and shouting, “Tories! Mainly because of the meat! Yeah!”
In next-gen U.S. politics, Teddy Kennedy, wizened leprechaun of the Democratic party, has thrown his support behind Barack Obama. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton, anxious to atone for decades of infidelities, continues to scuttle his wife’s campaign with ill-advised comments and appeals to the racist vote.
Researchers at the University of Florida have found that bosses who verbally abuse their employees are bad for productivity. Researching at the University of Florida has got to be one sweet gig.
Photo by arcticlamb from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Comments

  • dowlingm

    “Teddy Kennedy, wizened leprechaun”
    I’d object to this more strongly to this if I wasn’t concentrating my outrage on Irish Spring commercials and the two Patties in the McDonalds commercial, and if Ted Kennedy wasn’t a dink.
    (For the education of Toronto viewers – “Pattie” is almost never a diminutive of Patrick, and only rarely of Patricia. The proper usage is “Paddy”. Please keep this in mind this March 17)
    And another thing: why is Caroline Kennedy’s opinion of anything worth a New York Times column???

  • Patrick Metzger

    Happily, my mixed heritage gives me license to take jabs at a variety of cultures – stay tuned for politically incorrect commentary on lederhosen, bagpipes, and poutine.

  • Mark Ostler

    Lederhosen: so funny, yet so comfortable.

  • The Explosively Talented Christopher Bird

    Well, Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement was news because it came right before everybody found out about Teddy’s, and people figured she was a bellwether for Teddy’s endorsement.
    And Teddy Kennedy’s endorsement is a very big deal. Kennedy carries a lot of weight with two voting groups Obama hasn’t gotten a lot of traction with: older baby boomers and Hispanics. With Kennedy campaigning among those constituencies, plus his pull with unions – it means the Clinton campaign has to work harder to win.
    Which, honestly, odds are it still probably will, but honestly, we’re all pulling for Obama, aren’t we? :)

  • andrew

    Whaddya mean “we”, paleface?

  • Acadie

    From the responses I assume none of you are homeowners, out of list of stories the only one the jumped out at me was I am being screwed over by the city once again. Average $81 may not seem like a lot but over the years my tax bill has doubled. David Miller is a ****** ***** (Self Censored, even in this rage I am not that crude). Sick of this City council, what do they not think there is an end to the money supply? I would rant, but I am so peeved I am taking out on those who deserve it and fired off some strongly worded emails and some phone calls to the politicians.
    Now thats out of my system, what is the allure of Obama? Has anyone here even bothered to read his positions on Health Care? The Economy? Troop Withdrawal? I didn’t think so, he is a great orator but he is very weak on policy. Its no wonder we elect useless politicians because they use the word “Change” and have “Charisma”, wow that is all you need to run any seat in any government and do it effectively so.
    The NYTimes hired William Kristol the man who has never been right about anything and is a Republican Hack, although I enjoy the Times starting to wonder what really is going on over there, Kristol now Caroline, two people that all they deserve is to objects in political cartoons.

  • John Duncan

    I’m sorry Acadie, but your complaint’s not really in tune with reality.
    If your tax bill has doubled, it has little to do with David Miller.
    It may have a lot to do with real estate speculation, gentrification, Harris’ downloading of social services and a bunch of other things. But property tax increases are not the culprit.
    Take a look at the City’s budgets since amalgamation:
    Year — Budget ——- Property Tax Increase
    1998 — $5.6 billion— 0.0%
    1999 — $5.5 billion— 0.0%
    2000 — $5.9 billion— 0.0%
    2001 — $6.1 billion— 5.0%
    2002 — $6.2 billion— 4.3%
    2003 — $6.4 billion— 3.0%
    2004 — $6.6 billion— 3.0%
    2005 — $7.1 billion— 3.0%
    2006 — $7.6 billion— 3.0%
    2007 — $7.8 billion— 3.8%
    2008 — $8.2 billion— 3.75%
    You might notice that the two largest increases actually came under Mel Lastman, after the disastrous (to the City’s finances) 3-year tax freeze. Under Miller, it’s been around 3% most years.
    You might also notice that these increases are far below those occuring in rest of the GTA and even the rest of urbanized Ontario.
    In particular take a look at Mississauga. They certainly get lesser services than you do, yet they’re facing an 8.9% rate hike this year. York Region’s going for 6%.
    Sure there are the new taxes as well, but I doubt you’re paying the land transfer tax (your rant suggests you’re in the same house you bought years back), and the vehicle registration fee’s relatively small (but very annoying) too.
    If you want to take it out on “those who deserve it”, you might want to resend your peeved emails to your MPP.

  • Acadie

    It has doubled, not just due to David Miller, I just said don’t care for him. I do not recall speaking highly of any mayor. Also what makes you assume I didn’t write my MPP. MP and the PMO’s to complain on how the city is being shafted from every level. I look at my monthly Tax Bill and it is expensive and getting more so every year.
    Miller lied, he is raising my taxes far more than he promised which was supposed to be the rate of inflation, it is a lie PERIOD. If you think I thought any more highly of Lastman your very mistaken. I am not happy with all levels of Government when it comes to Toronto. So thats one Conservative. One Liberal and Miller so I am not going on Party Politics. I have no time nor interest in Party Politics, wrong is wrong doesn’t matter Party affiliation.