Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My head is spinning... trying to keep up with the goings-on at City Hall. Last week Ms. Cosburn and Mr. Carnevale were suspended. On Monday, we learned they were having an affair. Now, this affair never involved sex - hmm - and we are learning about the possiblility of a whole web of wrong doing involving everyone and his brother. We are seeing eveidence of widespread nepotism.

One begins to question not where in City Hall there is corruption - but where there isn't.

I don't wish to slag the average, honest municipal worker - I'm sure most are not corrupt. The fact that is so much corruption and questionable ethics - in my view at least - stems from the overall culture in Toronto municipal politics. The characters we see getting what they can out of the system are taking their cues from the very top.

It's a culture of 'What can I get?' - which pushes aside real concern for the long-term health of the City and its taxpayers/tax base. This is how the budget process works. This is how union negotiations work.

Remember how the ATU almost walked out of contract talks with the TTC when they found out that the TTC was going to spend money on a service improvment study. This is because they wanted to get the money for themselves. They felt (at least they postured) that the TTC had been holding out on them - as if the TTC had no right to spend money on anyhing else!

Remember the St. Clair ROW debate. For many involved on the affirmative side, this was as much a way to get goodies for their neighbourhoods as about transit. This was their turn at the trough - and they weren't going to use it no matter how bad the idea was.

What is worse in the long run is the deep intellectual corruption at City Hall. Mayor Miller and minions continue to increase spending dramatically - yet cry poverty and whine for a 'new deal'. This dishonesty surely doesn't go unnoticed among bureaucrats. The message is clear: get what you can, don't worry about how.

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