The wild bunch at city hall, led by two-fisted David “Mushy” Miller, have passed our streets over to Big Business. For a supposed pack of socialists, this blundering band of amateur city builders has a gob-smacking inclination to follow the directions of city staff and suck up to business.
The giveaway of our public spaces for 20 years to a big corporation comes in exchange for some cookie-cutter “street furniture” that will make every borough and burg in this amalgamated mess look like it’s really Toronto.
Sure. Like Etobicoke is Toronto. Or Scarborough is Toronto. Or North York. Or that they want to be.
Oh, there are some millions of dollars in revenue that might accrue to the city as a piece of the great outdoor ad business, which should be curtailed instead of expanded.
We didn’t get the money promised by the last ad salesmen pedaling our public spaces on filthy garbage cans, but maybe this pack will be better.
City staff thought it was a great idea and Miller, good union advocate that he is, listens to staff. So do Miller’s Minions.
Strangely, staff recruited proposals for this looming atrocity on our streets from three firms that might be in continuous violation of our bylaws and profiting from illegal signs and billboards that city staff haven’t managed to address.
Public space advocacy groups allege there are numerous such violations by all the bidders. How much in fines and penalties aren’t staff collecting that might be owed by these big businesses? Why isn’t council asking?
And those staff writing the request for proposals conveniently left out a requirement that all bidders must be in good standing with the city and not in violation of any of our bylaws.
That’s normally a routine part of any qualifying requirement in a government bidding process. What happened here?
And how do you explain that while Bathurst Quay residents are trying to get a safely designed sidewalk for their school kids, a gaggle of top-dollar city swivel servants was actively shooting down their needs in favour of a proposal by the Harper pork barrel Toronto Port Authority to enhance access to the ludicrous Island airport?
Council inherited much staff from the North York-driven regime of Mel Lastman. Not all those staff were deserving of the transfer.
The city was a mess under Mel, and the so-called socialists on council seem to be treating staff as if they were their employees instead of ours. Wake up, councilors!
Staff are running the city, although you should be running it. You were elected to oversee staff, not pander to staff. Get a grip!