Of course, Mayor Mel needs a car -- we wouldn't want our world-class mayor riding around on the bus. We're not so sure he could figure out the TTC route map anyway.But does he really need to drive a top-of-the-line Cadillac Deville?
Mel's model is currently retailing at Roy Foss Motors for well over $60,000, and city treasurer Wanda Liczyk (North York's former CFO) was in the habit of buying him a new one every three years. That's a lot of bling bling.
May we suggest the more economical Honda Accord? The EX V6 sedan comes with leather interior and a sunroof. Fully loaded, it costs just over $30,000. Perfect for the soon-to-be-retired mayor-on-a-budget.
olympic hurdlesMayor Mel assured us the Olympics wouldn't cost taxpayers a penny. So with Bread Not Circuses releasing their anti-Olympic bid book this week, we thought we'd sneak a peek into what the bid's not costing city taxpayers (wink, nudge, say no more).It didn't cost the city $30,658 to send Mel and four other delegates to the Sydney Olympics to hand out keychains. It didn't cost us $130,358 to fund the city's Olympic office as of October of last year. It hasn't cost $6.3 million in special consultants to work on the waterfront redevelopment, the key to a successful Olympic bid.
See? Not a penny.
While we're on a budget kick, Upfront would be remiss if we didn't recognize Toronto Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy for, as her own paper's editorial put it recently, waging "a tireless campaign on behalf of taxpayers." To borrow from her own editor, Lorrie Goldstein -- she's "one of the few voices of fiscal sanity down at Toronto City Hall." Oh, please.
Levy (the niece of City Hall lobbyist and Mel backer Jeff Lyons) has advocated for contracting out city services and cutting grants as well as councillors' limos and cookies. Indeed, she was an inspiration for the mayor's own "new deal." Thanks, Sue-Ann. Thanks a lot.
killer therapyThe International Fund for Animal Welfare hit the roof when it learned that the Ontario Federation of Hunters and Anglers, at its Toronto convention last weekend, was apparently exploring the idea of giving weapons to kids with criminal records. Dr. Randy Eaton delivered the speech, titled "Is Hunting Good Medicine For Bad Kids?""Providing young offenders with firearms training is a horrible idea for both wildlife and people," IFAW charged. (We agree, although not necessarily in that order.)
But hold on. The OFHA says the speech didn't advocate guns for young criminals at all. Spokesperson Mark Cousins says Eaton simply proposed sending troubled kids to a survival camp where they'd be given pocket knives. Hmm, we're not sure hunting big game with Swiss Army knives is good for kids either.