Job vacancy goes begging

Beginning in October, there’s a great job up for grabs in the York South-Weston area. It pays $105,397 annually with an option to renew every four years. it also has generous benefits, expenses and severance payments. In addition, to ease the workload, the successful candidate has a staff budget of $224,264.25 to hire up to four assistants and if that’s not enough, an aide (summer student) for the summer.

The job itself involves irregular hours but offers great opportunities to improve the lives of thousands of people. You must be a Canadian citizen and either live or own property in Toronto. It costs $100 to apply. While it would be helpful to be a team player, apparently it’s not essential.

To make the job even easier to get, only about 40% of the people who are trusted with the all-important hiring decision ever bother to show up. This means that you need to convince just over 20% that you are the right person for the job.

Only one person has held the job in various forms since 1988 and as of April 4, 2014, that person has no challengers.

If Weston Web readers know any suitable candidates for this very attractive job, perhaps they would be kind enough and forward this article to them.

Ford endorses Nunziata

Mayor Rob Ford no longer has his radio show, or television show, or the support of the “biased media”¹, but he’s never allowed a little thing like support to stop him from doing whatever the id demands. So now he and his brother have taken to “the YouTube” (Doug’s words), to communicate their idea directly to their supporter.²

This week, the Fords released six videos. In one of them, Rob Ford lists the councillors he wants defeated—and the ones he thinks shouldn’t be. Frances Nunziata, our councillor, makes his short list of core supporters: she is one of only four he thinks deserves reëlection.

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¹ These are Doug’s words. I know you know, but the “biased media” argument is the last refuge of a nutter. We’re witnessing the final thrashings of a man dragged into the light. Look at the backdrop of the video. It’s a wrinkly vinyl sign. My god; it’s Shakespeare. Ford had to hide under a vinyl sign in his final days—it is his family standard and his father’s blanket.  Listen to the video. They sound like they’re far away and echoey. Ford Nation is produced by Wayne’s World local access cable—if Wayne were bereft of wit and irony.

² Sons should call their mothers.

Council overrules staff, asks for humps on Purdy

Etobicoke York Community Council overruled the recommendation of city staff and has asked the city to look into speed humps on Purdy Crescent. Residents had asked for them, but staff found that the traffic does not regularly exceed the speed limit, and so they recommended against installing the bumps.

Purdy is a short, narrow street with a stop sign and cars parked on both sides. The limit, however, is 40 km/h. During a traffic survey, staff found that relatively few cars went over the limit (though one managed to reach 64 km/h). Your humble correspondent can see why residents are concerned, however: 40 is a high limit for such a short and difficult street. Among my many skills is the gift of excellent driving; I found 40 to be plenty zippy there.

Council has asked Transportation Services to survey street residents to see if they approve of the humps. This is a requirement before they can be installed, and it is a tough hurdle to cross: half of residents must respond, and 60% must be in favour.

If residents approve, two humps will be installed along the street and the limit will be lowered to 30.

Crunch Time for Weston This Week

This is the week when Toronto City Council votes to determine the extent of cuts to various city departments and organizations. Many departments have seen major cuts scaled back as public pressure has mounted. As already noted, last October, Police Chief Bill Blair presented an expenditure increase as a cut and stared down opposition. As a result, by 2013 the cost of policing this city will approach a billion dollars and continue to consume an ever-increasing portion of the total budget. Chief Blair can confidently assume that his budget will be relatively untouched, either this year or in the years to come.

In contrast, the Toronto Public Library system has managed its resources prudently over the past several years. Library visits are up while costs have declined on a per capita basis since 2004. As a reward for their efficiency, libraries, which are reckoned to be the great equalizers in terms of social opportunity, still face cuts to hours and personnel. Rather than being planned and deliberate, budget cuts appear to be dependent on force of personality, the mood of councillors, and public pressure rather than actual need. Hardly a rational or well-thought out process.

Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22) has an excellent summary of potential cuts here.

Our councillor, Frances Nunziata represents one of the poorest wards in the city yet has voted consistently to reduce programs and services that mitigate the grinding poverty of many of her constituents. Her voting record for 2011 reflects a 97% adherence to the Ford Agenda.

It is hoped in her 15th year as councillor that she will start the New Year with a resolution to do the right thing and vote to maintain programs and services so desperately needed in Ward 11.

Nunziata faces citizens concerned about budget cuts

While your humble correspondent was off hiking in the wilds, Frances Nunziata, our city councillor, hosted a meeting about the funding cuts facing our community. InsideToronto has a write up.

About 60 residents and agency representatives from Ward 11 gathered at a meeting Monday, Aug. 15 to ask the local councillor about potential cuts to services in their community, which they say needs more resources and not fewer.

“We’re worried about our community. We’re worried about our services. Look at what we have. We have so little,” said Marion Newrick, a Ward 11 resident, who was hoping to establish an open, trusting, two-way dialogue with York South-Weston Councillor Frances Nunziata. “Our worries are very real.”