Frances Nunziata explained her decision to vote for service cuts in her email circular. The relevant section is below;
In the weeks leading up to City Council, I heard from many constituents in my Ward. I considered each email and telephone call that I received, and please rest assured that I looked to Ward 11 first and foremost throughout the budget process to ensure our residents would continue to have access to services important to us. I understand that the Toronto Public Library is a particularly important service for residents in the Ward and I took action to ensure that the Weston and Mount Dennis Libraries would continue to provide high levels of service, despite reports of low circulation in these branches.
I approached the Budget and the issue of program funding from a long-term perspective. The previous administration spent $700 million on streetcars – money which the City did not have to spend. The $154 million surplus was slated to be used to pay for this purchase, which was to be paid by debt. Deducting money from this surplus means that it will take longer to pay down this debt – and more money will have to be spent on debt servicing next year. Debt is a burden on all Torontonians that must be taken into account in a fiscally responsible budget. Ultimately, the funding that was restored to services will have to be reconsidered during the next budget cycle in order to finance the current debt.
The City is spending less this year on operating costs, $9.358 billion compared to $9.407 billion in 2011. The 2012 Budget has reduced the City’s reliance on one time revenue to cover costs from $346 million to $102 million. This Budget puts Toronto on a better fiscal path for future budgets; unfortunately, we will still be having some of the same discussions next year because the 2013 Budget pressure, with the amendments that were made at Council, is now $200 million.
The decision I made to vote against the additional expenditures that passed at Council was not an easy one and was not something I took lightly. That being said, I believe that it was the responsible choice to make for the future of the City and the provision of essential services in Ward 11.