Some City Hall employees are quietly asking if Vision did everything it could to pinch pennies
It's been a little over 48 hours since Operation Cut and Cover was unveiled to the media with great fanfare in Vancouver. As anticipated, media reports are coming out everywhere that Vancouver is in a "financial crisis" and that its new city manager is planning some tough action. Mayor Robertson even managed to get a few digs in today about his NPA predecessors blaming them for the mess he's found himself in. This despite the fact the previous NPA council actually left him with a $15 million dollar surplus which he tucked away in the bank last year.
Probably the most laughable attacks on the NPA from Vision and their merry band of Kool-Aid drinkers relates to the impact CUPE's collective agreement is having on Vancouver's so-called "financial crisis". Curiously, Vision (the party financed by civic unions) is now blaming CUPE for seeking a rich compensation package back in 2007 when they went on strike. They claim escalating labour costs due to the collective agreement signed by CUPE is putting a lot of pressure on the bottom line.
Their public attacks on the current collective agreement are nothing short of bizarre when you consider that Vision shouted at the previous government to settle the strike at all costs! If Vision had been in government in 2007, rest assured that a 17.5% wage settlement would have been the floor, not the ceiling. And let's not forget about all those additional police officers Vision wanted to hire over the last four years. It is estimated that each officer costs taxpayers around $120,000 per year. These additional hires would have made the current financial situation that much worse.
As far as this current administration goes, it's equally important to review a few of the financial decisions they've made during the last 10 months of our Global economic meltdown. What follows is an interesting list of items that Mayor Robertson and his hand-picked City Manager didn't mention during their recent media scrums: