Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It would be funny if it weren't so sad

Council's budget review is almost becoming a comedy show with each meeting being a sequel to the last. Rather than looking at Council to provide meaningful cuts, we should looking at best line by a Councillor. As reported in today's SP (Aug. 17/11) Councillor Maririn Loewen wins with this comment relating to transit service from the airport: "If we eliminate it now, we'll probably have to look at creating one again later." The same could be said for any budget cut. She said as a growing city we will eventually need bus service to the airport. She, and some of her colleagues think, that with more marketing behind it they could find ridership.

The budget review exercise is to cut spending, not increase it.

The point is, there is no demand for this service at this time to warrant the cost of the service. Transit would be better served meeting current demands rather than trying to create something that doesn't exist. They cannot possibly consider cutting needed transit services to tax-paying residents while at the same spending on an unused route.

I came into Saskatoon on a late flight last week. I went outside the terminal to queue up for a cab and saw what looked like a shuttle bus cruise by the terminal. It stopped for less than a minute in front of the terminal well past were people were standing. I didn't see a sign or hear an announcement about transportation via Saskatoon Transit to the city centre. The bus left empty.

I get the sense it is more important to Council to project the city as a growing cosmopolitan centre than it is to actually provide good service.


  1. Council is clueless and nothing should surprise anymore.

    They are doing their best to cut everything good about Saskatoon in order to give us things that we never asked for.

  2. Oh blah, blah, blah Anon 8:37. Run for council then...I'm sure you could do better.

  3. City Council is empire building while the infrastructure is crumbling. It is time for people to start being actively involved in local politics and issues. It is time fir people who are concerned about local issues to take a stand and have a voice. No more city councillors running unchallenged. It's time for public debates on what is best for the city and time for the city books to be opened.

  4. "Oh blah, blah, blah Anon 8:37. Run for council then...I'm sure you could do better."

    Judging by the judgmental comments of those on the opposite end of the political spectrum of the Mistress from her time on council I will take a pass.

    So Anon 12:00, what are you proposing: that no one be able to question or criticize any politician unless they are a politician?

    I feel my criticism is warranted considering I cast my vote for the incumbent in my ward based on promises he made to me face to face on my doorstep. Promises he has since done an about face on.

  5. So the Little Chief Police station is closed by the police service because the so called experiment didn't "achieve" the results they were looking and Council accepted that rationale and cut it from the budget. But the transit department experiments with running a bus to the airport which has failed miserably and they (Council) want to hold onto the expensive waste, meanwhile I may be forced to go to the dump myself each week to dispose of my waste as twice a week garbage pick-up won't cut it for our household. Now before anyone thinks I trow away everything I'm talking about the stench a weeks worth of doggy dodo can make. If the city moves to twice a week I won't make the trip to the dump it will be to the Councillor's houses and I urge everyone with a dog to do the same and see if they like the smell at their doorstep.

    But I digress, there are 4 ways the city has to deal with a budget shortfall. Efficiencies, cuts, tax increases or increased fees. 3 of the 4 have a major effect on the people of Saskatoon. So why hasn't Council demanded an efficiency review of all departments. You can't tell me running that double linked bus around the city in the summer time is cost effective let alone running the existing buses with only one or two people in them. How about the fact that all the City equipment is stored in on central location and city crews waste valuable time traveling across the city just to get to a site on either end. Oh wait this might also cost some civil servant a job or two.

    The continued fallacy that Council is looking at ways to cut costs is not correct any increase in user fees is another form of taxation. How does a growing city with a cost of living going up by 2-3% a year require an tax increase of 10-12%. This after the City has been given additional revenues from the 1% PST the Province is giving them. One word MISMANAGEMENT! Example having to move the entire roadway at Preston Ave/Circle Drive for the new interchange because some idiot at city hall couldn't envision the need to keep the land around that corner available for future use and sold it off for housing. Then there is building only 2 lanes on the north Circle Drive bridge when it was obvious three were going to be need. And don't even get me started on the multi-million dollars that River landing has cost the public purse because we wanted to limit the development to such a degree no one can make a go of it. Nasser is even coming back to ask for bylaw amendments for higher and a more dense site, that way back when Ellen Remai was interested in the property the city wouldn't agree too.

  6. You ask for efficiency? This is the same City that last year said they don't ask for expect department managers to develop or meet budgets. That budgets are just 'goals' to target, and then they wonder why there is no money.


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