City must get rid of cap-in-hand image

News Nov 19, 2009 Ancaster News

Once again, talk of Hamilton's municipal budget is hitting the newspapers. And again, it’s the same old story: Initially looking at a gargantuan tax hike with the hopes of council getting our yearly handout from the province. The reluctance of increasing user fees and fares for services and these so-called untouchable projects or essential services that are a last resort cut.

I’d like to know why city council is not pressuring the province in creating a fair system for the dispersal of funds to the municipalities of Ontario for social services. Year after year we wait for a handout. It's almost like the city promotes the fact that we're shorted this money in the newspapers to drum up sympathy. We act like it’s expected we receive this money and we’ve grown comfortable in expecting it.

Hamilton city council seems to always have the drive and energy to pursue pie-in-the-sky projects, yet we sit waiting for this money to offset the costs of social service downloading.

I wish council would have the same drive and energy like they do pursuing an NHL team and the Pan Am Games as they would making things right with the province in the distribution of funds. Yet they sit back on their haunches waiting for the money ... begging for it.

I’m lost as to city council's reluctance at increasing user fees for services and fares for transportation. I've listened to years of talk about how packed our ice rinks and arenas are all year long, how we have shortages of ice time and how we’re in need of more arenas. Instead of building more arenas, start charging the people that use them more per hour. Why should the non-using citizens be the ones to bear the brunt of building more arenas, yet we feel the need not to burden the ones that use it by increasing the fees? With that extra money generated from higher ice fees, it could be put toward new arenas in the future when a tax hike for the citizens is feasible. As for the fare increase being debated for the HSR, my thoughts are along the same lines: If you’re gonna use it, pay for it.

It’s my understanding that DARTS is a money pit that costs a forune to operate, yet the city recoups very little from the ticket sales. I understand that most of the riders are aged or incapacitated, but it really has to be a two-way street where the users of the transit system pick up their fair share of the costs.

And the untouchables. Mayor Eisenberger, you’re waiting for what, $16.5 million from the province to offset our social service burdens, yet you believe pretty medians and the Mum Show are integral?

In these current times, I’d go as far to suggest a wage and hiring freeze on the emergency services and all other city workers and even consider layoffs.

Hamilton city council really has to get its priorities straight during these difficult economic times.

This is the time to get tough and make some very shrewd decisions in order to ensure the citizens of Hamilton all carry a responsibility of ownership for the services we use.

And we have to get away from the image of a street person waiting cap in hand for another donation from the province. I'm getting pretty tired of it.

Chris Dowling, Hamilton

City must get rid of cap-in-hand image

News Nov 19, 2009 Ancaster News

Once again, talk of Hamilton's municipal budget is hitting the newspapers. And again, it’s the same old story: Initially looking at a gargantuan tax hike with the hopes of council getting our yearly handout from the province. The reluctance of increasing user fees and fares for services and these so-called untouchable projects or essential services that are a last resort cut.

I’d like to know why city council is not pressuring the province in creating a fair system for the dispersal of funds to the municipalities of Ontario for social services. Year after year we wait for a handout. It's almost like the city promotes the fact that we're shorted this money in the newspapers to drum up sympathy. We act like it’s expected we receive this money and we’ve grown comfortable in expecting it.

Hamilton city council seems to always have the drive and energy to pursue pie-in-the-sky projects, yet we sit waiting for this money to offset the costs of social service downloading.

I wish council would have the same drive and energy like they do pursuing an NHL team and the Pan Am Games as they would making things right with the province in the distribution of funds. Yet they sit back on their haunches waiting for the money ... begging for it.

I’m lost as to city council's reluctance at increasing user fees for services and fares for transportation. I've listened to years of talk about how packed our ice rinks and arenas are all year long, how we have shortages of ice time and how we’re in need of more arenas. Instead of building more arenas, start charging the people that use them more per hour. Why should the non-using citizens be the ones to bear the brunt of building more arenas, yet we feel the need not to burden the ones that use it by increasing the fees? With that extra money generated from higher ice fees, it could be put toward new arenas in the future when a tax hike for the citizens is feasible. As for the fare increase being debated for the HSR, my thoughts are along the same lines: If you’re gonna use it, pay for it.

It’s my understanding that DARTS is a money pit that costs a forune to operate, yet the city recoups very little from the ticket sales. I understand that most of the riders are aged or incapacitated, but it really has to be a two-way street where the users of the transit system pick up their fair share of the costs.

And the untouchables. Mayor Eisenberger, you’re waiting for what, $16.5 million from the province to offset our social service burdens, yet you believe pretty medians and the Mum Show are integral?

In these current times, I’d go as far to suggest a wage and hiring freeze on the emergency services and all other city workers and even consider layoffs.

Hamilton city council really has to get its priorities straight during these difficult economic times.

This is the time to get tough and make some very shrewd decisions in order to ensure the citizens of Hamilton all carry a responsibility of ownership for the services we use.

And we have to get away from the image of a street person waiting cap in hand for another donation from the province. I'm getting pretty tired of it.

Chris Dowling, Hamilton

City must get rid of cap-in-hand image

News Nov 19, 2009 Ancaster News

Once again, talk of Hamilton's municipal budget is hitting the newspapers. And again, it’s the same old story: Initially looking at a gargantuan tax hike with the hopes of council getting our yearly handout from the province. The reluctance of increasing user fees and fares for services and these so-called untouchable projects or essential services that are a last resort cut.

I’d like to know why city council is not pressuring the province in creating a fair system for the dispersal of funds to the municipalities of Ontario for social services. Year after year we wait for a handout. It's almost like the city promotes the fact that we're shorted this money in the newspapers to drum up sympathy. We act like it’s expected we receive this money and we’ve grown comfortable in expecting it.

Hamilton city council seems to always have the drive and energy to pursue pie-in-the-sky projects, yet we sit waiting for this money to offset the costs of social service downloading.

I wish council would have the same drive and energy like they do pursuing an NHL team and the Pan Am Games as they would making things right with the province in the distribution of funds. Yet they sit back on their haunches waiting for the money ... begging for it.

I’m lost as to city council's reluctance at increasing user fees for services and fares for transportation. I've listened to years of talk about how packed our ice rinks and arenas are all year long, how we have shortages of ice time and how we’re in need of more arenas. Instead of building more arenas, start charging the people that use them more per hour. Why should the non-using citizens be the ones to bear the brunt of building more arenas, yet we feel the need not to burden the ones that use it by increasing the fees? With that extra money generated from higher ice fees, it could be put toward new arenas in the future when a tax hike for the citizens is feasible. As for the fare increase being debated for the HSR, my thoughts are along the same lines: If you’re gonna use it, pay for it.

It’s my understanding that DARTS is a money pit that costs a forune to operate, yet the city recoups very little from the ticket sales. I understand that most of the riders are aged or incapacitated, but it really has to be a two-way street where the users of the transit system pick up their fair share of the costs.

And the untouchables. Mayor Eisenberger, you’re waiting for what, $16.5 million from the province to offset our social service burdens, yet you believe pretty medians and the Mum Show are integral?

In these current times, I’d go as far to suggest a wage and hiring freeze on the emergency services and all other city workers and even consider layoffs.

Hamilton city council really has to get its priorities straight during these difficult economic times.

This is the time to get tough and make some very shrewd decisions in order to ensure the citizens of Hamilton all carry a responsibility of ownership for the services we use.

And we have to get away from the image of a street person waiting cap in hand for another donation from the province. I'm getting pretty tired of it.

Chris Dowling, Hamilton