Please respond to this urgent request from Councillor Diane Deans:
Yesterday the majority of Council voted to reject cuts to arts, culture, childcare, recreational and community programs and accept a 4.9 % tax increase.
How they Voted
YES (15) - Feltmate, Chiarelli, Harder, Leadman, McRae, Legendre, Hume, Hunter, Holmes, Cullen, Bellemare, Deans, Doucet, Brooks, Bédard
NO (9) - Qadri, Wilkinson, Thompson, El-Chantiry, Monette, Jellett, Bloess, Desroches, O'Brien
Today, Mayor O'Brien was on CFRA radio this morning campaigning against his own City Council and against this budget. He is trying to get Council to back down on the budget that was just passed. As a result of the Mayor's "information" campaign, City Hall is being bombarded with emails and phone lines with complaints from citizens agry about the Council's approval of the budget.
The Councillors who supported the budget are appealing to us to email, fax or phone in support of the socially and fiscally responsible budget they adopted yesterday. Our Councillors supported us and now they need our support!!
You can find information here on how to contact your councillor:
No matter how your councillor voted, please send an e-mail, fax or phone call in support of the budget approved by Council yesterday.
Dear Mayor O'Brien,
I was pleased to hear that the majority of council voted to reject the proposed cuts to arts, culture, childcare, recreational and community programs and accept a 4.9% property tax increase. What I found rather disheartening was your reaction, Mayor O'Brien. How could you, as the City's representative depict this democratic process as a joke as you did in the Ottawa Citizen? How could you go on CFRA to instigate a disinformation campaign and create disruption and negativity for the City? In this time of economic crisis, when a lack of confidence in our leaders is so prevalent, you are just adding to the crisis atmosphere. Business and investment will not come to Ottawa if they see that even the Mayor does not show respect for the process of governance.
Mayor O'Brien , you were elected to work with Council. Citizens voted for these representatives. Your vote is just one vote at the table. I am very disappointed in your conduct as mayor. You rely on highly paid consultants instead of working within City administration; you create tension in the citizenry by running to the media when you aren't happy with a democratic process, what's next?
This morning I am sitting here watching the car-crowded Bronson Avenue from my window because of a decision made by your government to not allow OC Transpo bus drivers to book their own routes, supposedly because paying overtime when drivers are not available is an expense your advisors felt was too great. This is the sort of poor decision-making that you have become known for.
I sat in the audience at Council Chambers during the first day of the presentation of budget to Council and watched while you turned your back and stopped listening to a representative of the public make her presentation. You were conferring with your city manager. I feel you are neither listening to your citizens, nor working with your Council and this is a very serious issue.
I dislike the type of vision you have been offering for the City as demonstrated by these City-destroying cuts to arts, culture and community service. You pay more attention to how ugly the planters on Rideau Street are than to important matters.
You have a bloated senior upper level management and highly priced consultants on the City's payroll, while you quibble over tiny line by line budgetary changes, taking up valuable time as part of a strategy to wear out Council instead of allowing them to do the work that is necessary to make this City strong, vibrant and financially viable. You have a $35 million budgetary shortfall on your hands because you increased City salaries by this amount and you'll have it again unless you deal with the labour issues that are the real reason why City finances are in jeopardy.
You were elected on an ignorant and ridiculous promise to taxpayers, to have a zero increase of property taxes. You made that promise when you had no experience or knowledge of how the City works and the gullible voters believed you. I don't understand why they did so and it didn't take long before you reneged on that absurd promise with some cavalier dismissive response tantamount to Josephine's "let them eat cake" response to poverty in France after the revolution. This was shortly after you compared the homeless to pigeons, I believe. Now you are trying to regain citizens' confidence by stubbornly fighting the will of the people as represented by your Council.
Apparently after you aired your disagreement for the Council's decision on CFRA, its listeners flooded the station with e-mails. This may make you think that you have the citizens' support for your anti-arts, anti-social, anti-community and dare I say anti-Ottawa vision, but I wanted to send you an e-mail to let you know that not everyone supports your views. That airing your personal and not representative views to a radio station known for its right-wing extremism does not win you support from all of your citizens.
Now that the budget has been passed, please do not try to undermine the democratic process and let's move on. Please don't waste any more of taxpayers' money or time on petty revenge schemes and petulance.
e-mail addresses for the Mayor and Council:
Larry.OBrien@ottawa.ca, Georges.Bedard@ottawa.ca, Michel.Bellemare@ottawa.ca, Rainer.Bloess@ottawa.ca, Glenn.Brooks@ottawa.ca, Rick.Chiarelli@ottawa.ca, Alex.Cullen@ottawa.ca, Diane.Deans@ottawa.ca, Steve.Desroches@ottawa.ca, Clive.Doucet@ottawa.ca, Eli.El-Chantiry@ottawa.ca, Peggy.Feltmate@ottawa.ca, Jan.Harder@ottawa.ca, Diane.Holmes@ottawa.ca, Peter.Hume@ottawa.ca, Gord.Hunter@ottawa.ca, Rob.Jellett@ottawa.ca, Kitchissippi@ottawa.ca, Jacques.Legendre@ottawa.ca, Maria.Mcrae@ottawa.ca, Bob.Monette@ottawa.ca, Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca, Doug.Thompson@ottawa.ca, Marianne.Wilkinson@ottawa.ca
please flood their inboxes.