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Duly Quoted: City CFO Robert Rossini on Money-Saving Mayors

City releases budgetary War and Peace in effort to clear up questions surrounding Rob Ford's "billion-dollar savings" claim.

“They both saved billions.”

-The City’s chief financial officer, Robert Rossini, responding to a question about who saved more more—Mayor David Miller or Mayor Rob Ford. The City has released a new 15-page budget document intended to address the confusion and controversy surrounding Ford’s “billion-dollar savings” claim. (Rossini refers to this 15-page document as “the War and Peace version,” but we think “2007–2014 Budget Reductions and Other Budget Balancing Strategies” is a far more evocative title.) The new budget epic has not yet managed to resolve all questions and un-muddy all waters. As the Star‘s Jennifer Pagliaro tweeted: “Working on a basic summary of what city is now saying about Ford’s $1 billion costs-savings claim. Disclaimer: It’s not at all clear.”


  • mixandserve

    Hee! Am looking forward to see how Sot twists this fact.

    • OgtheDim



      Ur Sick

      Doesn’t as much twist as ignore.

    • Notcleverguy

      Miller…blah blah blah…………….NDP…..blah blah blah………….(some made up things he will try and pass off as fact)…..blah blah blah (insult insult insult……..blah blah blah.

      There now you won’t have to read his drivel, I summed it up a a public service.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      Of course, the billions Miller saved were Communist Dollars that were up to no good anyway. Ford saved good, honest non-elite billions so of course it was better for the city. Something like that.

    • spicygarage

      In French, “sot” means “dullard”, so it would be interesting, indeed, to see what “the dullard says”…

    • estta

      I figured he’d love this one, but he’s a no-show!

      • TheSotSays

        Well I’m voting for Ford to eradicate NDP influence at Toronto City Hall and here are just a handful of hard reasons why:

        a) Miller of the NDP gave us tax increases of approx 28% and he spent the money.
        b) Miller of the NDP gave us the vehicle registration fees and he spent the money.
        c) Miller of the NDP gave us a special land transfer tax and he spent the money.
        d) Miller of the NDP gave us a grocery bag tax but allowed his buddies at Loblaws etc. to spend the money.

        But on top of that Miller of the NDP increased our City liabilities by $6.6 billion and he spent that money too..

        In addition, Miller of the NDP neglected maintenance on the Gardner for ideological reasons and according to the latest reports it may cost a billion dollars to repair the thing. So Miller of the NDP left us with that bill as well.

        • dsmithhfx

          Keep the faith, bro! A vote for Ford is a vote for Chow.

        • OgtheDim


          Ur fake voting for Ford because you fake support, as that commie rag the Toronto Sun says:

          A RACIST




          Thus, you are play acting being a racist sexist homophobic pig.

          And on that note, with RoFo having finally jumped the shark into KKK land, tolerance for trolls who don’t really believe what they are typing is getting to a new level. .

          Ur going down the route of KKK playacting.

          From now on, little troll, ur going to get the whole racist, sexist, homophobic thing thrown back at you. The whole “enjoy your white sheet” thing. The whole “Oh, look, its the owner of the Clippers” thing.

          You can try yelling about NDP blah blah blah…… But, ultimately, your playacting here. Play acting at being a racist sexist homophobe. Now, you might enjoy this little tittliation that you get from all this. But its going to get increasingly difficult for you to internally rationalise this crud in your mind.

          My suggestion?

          Pivot to an “anybody but Chow” troll position.

          In that way, you can face dealing with female relatives without the subtle thing in the back of your mind that, online, you are having fun supporting a guy that thinks your female relatives are second class citizens.

  • OgtheDim

    Hmm….Matt Elliot posted that according to the City Manager, the savings through collective bargaining were actually higher under Miller then Ford.

    • dsmithhfx

      Well that just doesn’t fit the Ford narrative. Nooo.

  • AboveTheCity

    But I thought Miller & Co, spent, “Like drunken sailors”! The reality is that Rob Ford has claimed massive savings, while drunk! :)

    • bjhtn

      But not while sailing. Sailing is only for the elites.

      • AboveTheCity

        . wait, but so is having condos in Florida, a cottage in Muskoka, driving an Escalade, access to the VIP lounges at the AC . . oh never mind. It’s so confusing! :)

        • tomwest

          Shhh – don’t confuse us with facts!

  • Notcleverguy

    Ford’s life is not only him lying to everyone, but sadly it’s also steeped in him lying to himself.
    So with this detailed analysis (which Fordnistas won’t have the capacity to read and understand) It is now abundantly clear, if it wasn’t already, that Rob Ford is in fact the very last person anyone would want watching the public purse, he just has no clue what so ever about finances………………………or anything else not drug and gang related.

    • AboveTheCity

      Indeed. Rob Ford cavalierly tosses numbers around to the point that they are meaningless. Didn’t he say he would have $1billion dollars in private money in one month for the Sheppard subway! That businesses were lined up at his door to get in on it! Sure, Rob!

  • Angie Mac

    Miller 516 tax Ford 287
    Miller 2399 Ford 2162
    Interesting read and certainly nowhere near the picture Mayor Ford was painting.
    The simplest way to summarize this report is;
    Tax dollars that counted towards savings;
    Miller = $516 million, Ford $287 million.
    So Ford used less tax dollars than Miller in his savings, to a tune of $229 million.
    Actual savings and revenue generating
    Miller = $2399, Ford = $2162
    So Miller had more actual savings and generated more non tax paid revenue by $237 million.
    So, final numbers suggest Miller, even if tax dollars aren’t used or if they’re used against the other savings and revenue, was financially doing better.
    The other number that I think really plays into this is “Other Revenues Sources”. Miller found $911 million to Ford’s $596 million. I find it ironic that Ford constantly says he’s going to find funding by “creative sources” and yet that’s obviously not a strong suit for him…

  • Angie Mac

    Hey, they forgot to include Bobbleheads in the report. That could make the difference!

  • CYW

    I don’t care if he saved TEN BILLION DOLLARS. I won’t vote for him in October and I want him out of the mayor’s office. The End.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      He has yet to explain why a Mayor who buys drugs from criminals and smokes crack with gangsters who are running guns into our city should be re-elected. Government is about much more than wise management of our tax dollars.

      • Ronda Zwierz

        Respect the Taxpayer means more than just keeping an eye on the money. Rob has done nothing but disrespect the taxpayer with every lie he tells.

  • Alex2

    The real story may never come out until after a new mayor is installed. Joe and Rob will rue the day that they played into Robbies’s hands. “Budget Savings” numbers are a non standand item for good reason. Never been done before. They are garbage numbers. They are unprofessional and ment to be deceptive. Now Joe and Rob have spent more and more and more time trying to mitigate their biggest mistake and save their own asses. Maybe the Province should weight in on this type of presentation for municiplaities as unprofessional.

  • Scottdaryle

    There once was a Mayor who lied
    All his lies cannot be denied
    But his cult will believe
    Common sense not retrieve
    And sadly this mayor, abide

  • dsmithhfx

    Motivational speaker? Talk show sidekick? 411 Operator? VP of “Efficiencies” at Decco? Barfly? Drug mule? Kathy’s Parole Officer?

  • Mack Attack

    Miller needs some better PR. Ford sympathisers run amok pretending that the city was in ruin under Miller. That is so far from the truth but no one stands up to refute that claim. I’d love to see Miller make another for mayor if for no other reason than to give himself a platform to set the record straight.

    • SonuvaScrimbro

      “That is so far from the truth but no one stands up to refute that claim.”

      I’d counter that no one has to because it’s so self-evident to all but only the most deluded that Toronto hummed along very nicely under Miller (and even Lastman, to give him credit). All those cranes Ford likes to crow about didn’t pop up the second he took office; this city has been on an upswing for a long time now — sometimes in spite of our politicians’ decisions, but more times because of it.

      The real tragedy here is that, if Ford and his idiot supporters had kept their cool and kept quiet with the boastful claims (and also, you know, made some decisions on the spending front that weren’t monumentally stupid), he’d have a pretty solid financial case for his re-election: found some savings, tried some things different from his predecessor, but all in all not that big a difference from Miller’s record.

      But because of pride, stupidity, or something else, he can’t just go with the “keeping the house in order” message — no, everything was a DISASTER when he came on board! We were on a CLIFF! He’s the BEST MAYOR EVER! Because he saved a BILLION dollars! And so on, ad nauseam. Overpromise and under-deliver — everything I’m sure his salesman father taught him NOT to do.

      • AboveTheCity

        Rob Ford seems to live in a world of delusional extremes. Everything, and I do mean everything is either the best or the worst, things are either spectacular, amazing, or a disaster.

        Ford seems to think that economic progress turns on a dime. What you are seeing in Toronto these days, is the build-up from over 10-years, of progress. Indeed, all those cranes in the sky, that Rob Ford likes to go on an on about, are not there just because he’s Mayor, but it’s an easy symbolic visual connection, that he can capitalize on, and Ford Supporters, to be polite, seem little concerned about the facts and details, are keen to make that connection. But the fact is, the cranes in the sky have little to do with Rob Ford.

        I agree with the OP, that David Miller has taken an unfair beating, from Rob Ford and his supporters. Why all the vitriol and hostility? Why no defense from Miller? Perhaps, he’s just tired of it all.

        • bobloblawbloblawblah

          All those cranes are there because Council decide to amend the Official Plan to allow intensification in the downtown and west end after much of TO’s manufacturing moved out. That’s a good twenty years ago. Ford, Miller and Lastman can claim to have nurtured this growth but it goes way back. It doesn’t matter though, the people that love Ford(and hated Miller) want to believe Ford is responsible for those cranes — politics is all about perception. To Ford Nation Toronto was on the road to ruin under Miller and Ford stopped it. Ford spent most of his term partying, all the heavy lifting was done by Holyday, Del Grande etc — that’s the part that Ford Nation doesn’t see. Even were Ford re-elected(God help us!) they won’t get a guy who can accomplish even what he did in his first year. He’s simply burned too many bridges.

          • AboveTheCity

            That’s where there is the real disconnect with Ford Supporters – they want, “Their Guy” to be the Mayor. However, in the system that we have, for a Mayor, any Mayor with any agenda, that person needs to be a great communicator, be able to build consensus, be able to reach across the aisle politically, and work with the other side, be able to give and take, be able to meet in the middle on things . .etc I note those are skills, that Rob Ford does not have, never had, and never will have. So while Rob goes on and on about being “the best Mayor Toronto has ever had”, the reality given what I’ve just talked about, is he’s actually the worst Mayor Toronto has ever had, because, he has no idea of the way the system works, nor the skill-set to work within that system.

          • Notcleverguy

            You would have hoped by now, the “mayor” would have learned that tunnel vision and public contempt for anyone that doesn’t agree with him 100% is really a road to failure. Sadly he has become worse not better, and it’s the blueprint for horrible governance.

          • Ronda Zwierz

            It’s not working for Harper either.

          • Ronda Zwierz

            Exactly! The job of Mayor is very different from councillor and Rob doesn’t have a clue of what the real job is.

            Those cranes are in the air because of work that started 10 or 20 years ago by mayors who met with people, encouraged investment in the city, met with counterparts in other municipalities and other levels of government – Mayors who learned and kept up with what was going on all of the world on important files like transit.

            The job calls for reading and analysing large amounts of information. it requires tact, diplomacy, collaboration, consensus building and a long term focus – and Rob just isn’t that guy.

            His schedule tells us a lot. How could he possibly be doing his job when he waltzes into work at 10 or 11 am and leaves around 3 pm? How many meetings were delayed or cancelled because Rob wasn’t there and no one knew where he was?

            As a councillor, presumably he could get away with this. He did a good job for his constituents, and that’s one place where he does shine and he seems to enjoy it.

          • Ronda Zwierz

            What is it with the right wing? Ford can’t work with anyone, can’t compromise, and does nothing but brag and issue ultimatums. Harper is cut from the same cloth. Hudak, shares many of these same characteristics.

        • Notcleverguy

          Rob Ford exhibits all the characteristics of an extreme narcissists with grand delusions of self importance. This is also backed up by nothing ever being his fault, and regardless of evidence to the contrary any misstep is is an attempt by others to derail him.
          These sorts of character flaws can only be exercised by long term quality therapy, not by more election bids.

          Everyone who calls Toronto home is far worse off because of Rob Ford.

          • AboveTheCity

            In the grand pantheon of Rob Ford antics, blunders, and buffoonery, the one episode that stands out for me based on your comments, is actually rather benign, but it says so much about the man. It was the diversion of the school buses for the Don Bosco football team. Afterwards, Rob Ford like a kid in the school-yard, refused to take ANY responsibility for the matter. None! This after, his own Etobicoke constituents were dumped on the side of the road in the rain, in the middle of rush hour. He had no feelings or compassion for those people, his only concern, was that he was not responsible for any of it. (Of course the greater, issue was that he was at the football game at all – council was sitting that afternoon – but Rob couldn’t see that either!) Note to Rob – you are the Mayor, ultimately, because of who you are, you are responsible for EVERYTHING in the city. It goes with the job! Oh . . I forgot . . you did not even read the briefing manuals for the office of Mayor!

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            The crazy thing about that episode was that he tried to get people to believe that it was the police who made the call for the shelter bus. Would the Police have done that of the Mayor Of Toronto wasn’t right there on the field? I don’t believe for a minute that he wasn’t shouting at some cop to do just that. His anxious calls to Andy Byford of the TTC prove he was more than an innocent bystander. Yet he claims no responsibility and couldn’t care less for the people that got tossed off that bus.

          • Ronda Zwierz

            Steve Harper is cut from the same cloth. I suspect Hudak may be as well.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    I think he should just move out of the province.

  • Notcleverguy

    Also if you look closely at the numbers, Rob Ford’s claim (although inaccurate) is largely helped by Miller’s deal on land transfer taxes, something Ford has gone on and on about abolishing. Ford is a joke, and a bad one at that.

    • Ronda Zwierz

      I also believe that some of the costs aren’t fully accounted for. The one that bugs me is the decision to sell city assets to the company contracted for garbage. They sold them at 10 cents on the dollar.

      Until those losses are recouped we have no business counting any savings. If the city ever decides to revert, we would have to invest in all new infrastructure. That’s quite a poison pill.

  • OgtheDim

    What REALLY bugs me about this whole exercise, is this is all done so that City Hall managers can say what they do matters.

    What we are discussing is savings in comparison to estimates.

    Those are not real targets.

    If this was the private sector, you’d be judged against a % change from a fixed amount – either revenue or expenses or profit.

    But, what we have here is being judged based on how much you drop from estimated levels the expenses and add revenues to meet the legal goal of no deficit.

    Its a totally artificial number created to make it look like City Managers are doing things.

    The only way to judge a mayor as far as spending is concerned is by

    a) how much spending that derives from city tax funded sources goes up from year to year.

    b) how much spending that derives from user fees (including transit fares, IMHO) go up from year to year.

    Nothing else matters.

  • Alex2

    I think you are right. Then he can sitck around throwing spitballs and having pressers (if the media still consider him relevant). But whomever is the new mayor will certainly have his number and will put in place rules of conduct at city council meetings.

  • Alex2

    Rossini will have to eat his words one day. Maybe after October. He is certainly known as Robbies guy.

  • dsmithhfx
  • christinaarcher

    Dear Rob. Whatever will we do without him. We might actually have to take a stab at solving problems, instead of whining about out dear Mayor. He doesn;t deserve one inch of all the pomp and circumstance he gets, but still it is there. Ford nation, look at the facts!