Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Santa came early

Yesterday's SP (Nov. 16/10) reported that the city was spending a $100,000.00 to hire a consultant to study Kinsmen Park and for a call for ideas for the existing Mendel Art Gallery. It seems a waste of money as most conclude that the MVA will move into the Mendel space and join with them the Children's Museum. Ironically Councillor Neault commented that any tenant will have to pay rent and can't expect subsidies from the city. Perhaps he doesn't realize that the MVA is one-third tax funded by the city. As a landlord, will the city be required to renovate the site for its future tenant? At what cost? Will there be a budget? Will it matter if there is a budget?

In today's SP (Nov. 17/10) the city generously granted the John Deere building to the U of S. It is safe to assume that this building is worth $2 to $3 million based on the appraisal and sale of the nearby Arthur Cook Building. Although I am pleased to have the University creating off campus sites and expanding its degree programs, I am not so pleased to have city assets being given away. Ho! Ho! Ho! Very generous of Santa and the elves.

At what point will council realize that the debit column needs a credit column to balance the spending and look to generating revenue outside of tax increases? At what point will the public realize that debt, and interest on debt, will have to be paid?

Much like many of the real "Santas" we will be paying for our excesses long after that euphoria of the season of this council is over.


  1. On the same day that the StarPhoenix (apparently the only thing Civic Mistress reads) reported with a front-page banner that the SaskParty has - in effect - moved school governance out of local hands and into the hands of the Executive through financial levers, Civic Mistress writes yet another tired post blathering about her perception of city mismanagement.

    What makes this most peculiar - after accounting for Civic Mistress's rabid SaskParty support - is her previous complaint that there is not enough coverage of the public school board in the SP. One would think this story - with monumental implications for how schools in Saskatoon and the province operate - would be of greater concern than easy shots at civic government.

    As the former chair of the Saskatoon Public School Board, does the hollowing-out of local-level governance of schools not cause deep concern?

  2. this is predominantly a civic blog. You may want to start your own blog about your education concerns and call it STF concerns!

  3. Anon 1:49 why do you even visit the site? It seems like you have nothing positive to say about it, yet it seems like you return daily to be annoyed?

    Is your life so mundane that you find the need to continually do things that annoy you? I don't wake up and run and read Jack Layton's blog only to complain how much it annoys me and how angry his views make me.

    May I suggest you'd be better off cutting the Civic Mistress from your daily read and instead go somewhere like and read about the humourous hi-jinx of Dilbert, Catbert and Dogbert.

    It is one thing to come here and create positive discussion and oppose this Mistress' opinion, it is quite something else to take cheap potshots at the Mistress hiding behind the cowardly Anonymous tag. If the site is so infuriating, just stop coming.

  4. "At what point will council realize that the debit column needs a credit column"

    I would say that 300 to 400 students twelve months out of the year would make it into the "credit" column.

    Unlike the Mistress I took the time to research more than a simple Star Phoenix article.

    The University of Waterloo School of Architecture in Cambridge completely revitalized a dying downtown area. Well worth the investment of one building.

  5. "Unlike the Mistress I took the time to research more than a simple Star Phoenix article."

    Great Work Pal!!!! Did you research tell you anything about the respective states of each city's financial affairs?

    Because from what I have heard comparing the situations is like comparing apples and oranges. Waterloo's spending/budget allowed the luxury of doing so, it is quite a different situation here in Saskatchewan where the Council has decided to spend spend spend without any worry about where revenue will come from.

    But way to provide more misleading information and hold yourself out as such a sleuth. Great job Ace.

  6. Thank you Anon 7:09 and LOL @ Anon 6:52.

    6:52, put some facts in your posts. “From what I have heard….” Come on man, rather than just jumping to Elaine’s defense substantiate your comments. What have you heard? What is your source?

    All the information you are professing to be sudden expert on is all available online. Look it up.

    You accomplish nothing by simply ranting on about wild spending. Saskatoon is in a solid financial position with AAA credit rating. Waterloo was not as fiscally sound as Saskatoon is when they started the process to introduce a school of architecture.

  7. Saskatoon is in a solid financial position with AAA credit rating.


  8. Source ...... Standard and Poor’s, once again confirmed the City of Saskatoon’s AAA rating, making it the 20th consecutive time the city has achieved the highest possible level

    A higher rating means there is a lower risk associated with borrowing, which means the city is looked at favourably by financial institutions.

    The rating was based on a strong operating performance, robust economic performance, and high reserve levels that exceed debt, said Suleman Souleyman, an analyst with Standard and Poor’s.

    “The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Saskatoon’s revenue and cash and investment balances will rise commensurately with debt, and that its economic performance will remain relatively robust,” he said in a news release.

    The city’s debt limit, as set by the Saskatchewan Municipal Board, is $298 million, but that may be increased soon to allow more borrowing, officials say.

    The other AAA municipalities are Mississauga, Barry, and Brampton, and the regions of York, Peel, Durham and Halton, which all surround Toronto.


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