Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Position on Other Issues

Currently contracts and consulting appointments are approved by the bureaucracy and do not even go to Council. This uncontrollable practice is not only costing millions of dollars, but is also irresponsible. All of the above must go through a Council approval process to ensure accountability and transparency to guarantee we are receiving the best bang for our buck.

The outer ring road was removed from the Official Plan by Council. No viable major city fails to have an outer ring road and it is mandatory that it be reinstated as a priority initiative. I have a personal interest in this issue because it was first introduced into the Official Plan by me!

No new programs without a concomitant reduction in other programs!

(a) It is mandatory that we concentrate on fundamental basic municipal issues, serving our needs --- not our wants!
(b) It is also mandatory that we begin to replace borrowing by policies geared towards becoming debt free.
Continued debt is the road to bankruptcy. As you know, you cannot borrow yourself out of debt as the present Council is disposed to do.

Every large government has a cabinet which structures the government's business except the City of Ottawa resulting in a tragic lack of direction, interminable Council meetings and often incorrect decisions. This past Council, in my opinion, is without any leadership whatsoever and has been, according to the media and public, a DISASTER.
It is therefore absolutely IMPERATIVE that an Executive Committee of 6 or 8 Ccouncillors plus the Mayor be established to provide the leadership currentlylacking. The Councillors serving on the Executive Committee would be appointed by the Mayor and be composed of those Councillors who have a commitment to the WHOLE of Ottawa, rather than to a narrow, parochial ward interest.

Please review the memorandum I sent to Mayor O'Brien on February 8th, 2007 recommending a specific committee or commission to administer the everyday operations of OCTRANSPO such as route designation, purchasing and fare structures. The following is a summary of that memorandum:

One of the tragedies of amalgamation was the absorption of OCTRANSPO into the Transportation Governance grid.  OCTRANSPO was always an operation unto itself and it thrived on the fact that it was a family, whereby the Members of the Commission, the Management and the Front Line personnel worked together. Certainly, there were problems with a sometime militant union, but in the end, the family values prevailed. The pride with which every member of OCTRANSPO held near to their hearts was a fundamental part of attaining great productivity and service levels. Even today, you will notice in the obits, that former OCTRANSPO personnel value their working days and contributions to the success of OCTRANSPO by underlining their productive years of service. To all of us, associated with OCTRANSPO, it was a privilege of unique proportions.

It is TIME to return to those benefits to not only OCTRANSPO personnel, but to the residents of the City of Ottawa, by reinventing the past which proved to be so successful.
It is MY RECOMMENDATION that an OCTRANSPO COMMISSION be created, charged with the everyday operations of OCTRANSPO, meeting at the Head Offices ion St. Laurent Blvd, a minimum of once per month, with total authority to operate OCTRANSPO. The Council, of the City of Ottawa would retain responsibility for the Capital and Operating Budgets.

As you know, the former City of Ottawa (prior to amalgamation) let the Lansdowne Facilities rot to the point where the Mayor of the City (Jim Watson) suggested tearing it all down. The Regional Government took over control and the lack of maintenance continued. NOT ONE OUNCE OF INITIATIVE CAME FROM ANY CITY OF OTTAWA ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE.
Not only was 60 million dollars required to fix up the existing facilities, but the citizens had to cover the operational deficits as well.  Fortunately, some local citizens brought forth an exciting initiative that solved the Capital financial mess as well as assumed the operational deficits.
LANSDOWNE is not a local facility -- it is a city wide facility. The persons involved, led by Roger Greenberg are local people with a reputation to uphold and support quality community development.
As such, I am fully in support of Lansdowne Live


  1. I fully agree that a rail system is an ineffective and expensive way of dealing with the traffic problem. A bus system with road tunnel seems to me to be most suitable. Have you considered the use of double decker buses? Admittedly this would require a greater tunnel height.
    On another aspect I am puzzled that roundabouts are still very rare in Ottawa, I remember them in England long before WW11 and they are so successful that they are in use even in the smallest of locales. A roundabout at the junction of Hunt Club and Highway 16 for example would improve traffic flow immensely.

  2. ANDY: What about Ottawa' poor record of sustainability and "overly cushy" relationships with developers. What would you do with the travesty that is happening in the South MArch Highlands? Manotick? Westboro convent? Sylvia Holden Park?

    What will you do about city staff circumventing due process in approving faulty watershed plans? Giving developers "sweet deals" by subsidzing 75% of their land taxes?

    Where is the protection of the average taxpayer against the profiteering of large developers?