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Ottawa City Council to stop funding anything cool


gentlemonkey
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Ottawa is fucked. You want to save money, oh Ottawa tax payer, then insist that the City check out the wages and benefits that employees make/have and compare them to what regular folks get.

Example: City of Ottawa web designer. Job: Modify Microsoft Word documents and add to content manager. Maybe a tiny bit of updating text inside html tags. Mostly just Word document modification for a couple hours then chatting with co-workers for the rest of the time. Qualifications needed? Well, having done the job, I can say that anyone who's taken a highschool course on web design and played with Word for a few hours could do the job with no problems at all. Pay: $27 to start!!! That's ridiculous. There are software engineers with university degrees that earn less or the same. That's $56160 or so per year to do a job that most highschool students could easily do.

I'd be willing to bet that there are many other examples like that as well but instead of looking at things like that, they just cut services and jobs. Personally I think it's sick.

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Bluesfest should be fine. Like someone said in the comments of the article, add an extra $1 to each ticket and you've got $30 000 extra per day. Then again, I have no idea how much the city contributes but I'm sure bluesfest will be fine, there might just be even more advertising there than in previous years. The thing that galls me is that it's always services or arts that are cut and yet I constantly hear about things like council giving itself a raise, etc.

When I was doing coop at the city of ottawa for the web thing I was getting $19/hour ($10 less than full-time wage). About 4 months after my coop term was done I received a check in the mail for almost $800 because they had decided to give everyone in that department a raise of around $1/hour and also decided to backdate the raise to the start of the year (so everyone got another nice bonus to add to the other bonuses you get when you work for the city). Good money to work for them. I'm never allowed again, at least not while the current managers are there because I was way too loud in my complaints about how much the employees were making.

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Guest Low Roller

This sucks for a city that's pretty slim on good times as it is, but I'm not surprised at all really. The City of Ottawa is close to broke yet they still need to pay for basic services such as garbage collection, snow removal, senior residences, public transport, not to mention the pressures of trying to pass off as a capital city. These are just some examples among a ton of things requiring funding above music festivals.

When the economy is healthy then there is plenty of expendable income for the arts, but in the opposite situation, funding cuts to the arts are standard procedure because they is no way represent core services.

I won't say that the City has never wasted any money, but given its present situation, yesterday's announcement does not come as much of a surprise.

Yes jobs will be lost, however the fallout will be much less severe than if the city could no longer afford public transport for example.

But I'm not concerned about these festivals because there is always the option of getting corporate sponsorship to fund operations. Of course they too will be strapped for cash, so I suggest that nobody get their hopes up too high for a blowaway festival season in Ottawa any time soon.

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In case anyone is thinking that it's just Bluesfest or Tulipfest that are getting their funding cut:

Those that would lose 100 per cent of their funding include:

* The Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest and the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, which get operating funds annually.

* Several choirs and some dance, theatre and other groups that get operating funds from the city annually.

* Community projects such as Centretown movies, Propeller Dance, House of PainT and Ladyfest.

* The Ottawa Book Awards and the Karsh Award program for outstanding artists.

* Several heritage projects and historical societies.

* Diversity programs such as the Latin American Festival and the Ottawa Chinese Arts Troupe.

* "Capacity building" programs that help groups such as the Great Canadian Theatre Company expand and mature.

Some larger, more established organizations such as Opera Lyra and the Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa (IFCO) would lose 42 per cent of their funding.

Groups such as the Ottawa Arts Court Foundation and the Ottawa Art Gallery and museums such as the Bytown Museum, which have multi-year agreements to provide services to the city, would see cuts of 10 to 24 per cent, while endowment funds would remain untouched.

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Sorry guys...

They need to cut somewhere....

that may or may not be, but this appears to be a very cowardly way of doing it.

guelph city council is in the process of spending several hundred million dollars on various frilly capital projects like TWO new parking garages downtown (where sadly, nobody actually goes anymore and which already has two huge - unused - parking garages) and a new City Hall which is now $30M over budget ($24M in 2004 has climbed to $53M in 2008) and is expected to cost at least another $5M to possibly $20M in legals fees, liens and lawsuits because one arrogant city official actually fired the general contractor with less than a month left to completion.

the wisdom of municipal finance people never ceases to amaze me. there simply is no accountability. monkeys could do better.

[/rant]

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There are way too many managers at Transit Services.

I don't even know which one I'm supposed to talk to anymore.

That's hilarious Dinghy!

Speaking of buses, city staff have proposed eliminating the bus route (#51) that I use to go to and from work.

The bus is full every day.

The riders of this route have organized a campaign and are fighting it.

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I should have said there are multiple other places to cut rather than the arts...

I agree with you all...it's a shame.

Why do they cut grass in November. That blows me away.

Installation of countdown crosswalks.

More than inflationary increases for upper management/councillors at the city.

A botched Light Rail Transit plan.

Sewergate.

Installation of interlocking brick, rather than cement slabs for sidewalks at a greater cost.

New street furniture.

New/definitely not environmentally friendly vehicles for Transit supervisory staff. Why dodge chargers?

City employees driving city vehicles half way across the city for a coffee.

Idling Bylaw that is not enforced.

Unnecessary deadheading of buses.

Shall I continue?

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Guest Low Roller
I drive an empty 96 everyday, only to have another empty 96 come right up on my tail....

Why not cut one of those trips instead?

Hmm... I want to explore this one... Has any Transpo driver ever said to management "I drive an empty bus maybe you should make cuts on this route?"

I'm guessing it's a more protectionist environment than a collaborative one at OC. Correct me if I am wrong.

I studied some City of Ottawa projects this semester as part of my Business/Government Relations class, and wow, the City has got some issues big time. I don't think that they've really managed to cope since the amalgamation of all the adjunct cities into "OTTAWA".

The light rail project is an unbelievable disaster no matter how you spin it. Also, millions were sunk into ice rinks in the East and West of the City. These ice rinks were originally part of a contract called a P3 (Private-Public Partnership), but the City clearly did not do their due diligence on the private companies they gave the contracts to because those companies went bankrupt and the City had to dig into future years' budgets to complete the projects themselves. P3s in theory help the City save money because funding does not come from taxpayers, but rather from private companies who then get to run the facility for a certain amount of years before the facility is returned to the City.

Last year's record snowfall also did no service to the City's decimated budget.

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I drive an empty 96 everyday' date=' only to have another empty 96 come right up on my tail....

Why not cut one of those trips instead?[/quote']

Hmm... I want to explore this one... Has any Transpo driver ever said to management "I drive an empty bus maybe you should make cuts on this route?"

I'm guessing it's a more protectionist environment than a collaborative one at OC. Correct me if I am wrong.

You are correct sir! However, if I called to tell my supervisor that my bus was empty, they would hang up the reciever faster than I can say bus.

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