If there ever was a sign of how desperate the City of Toronto’s financial situation has become: Mayor David Miller has accepted MasterCard’s offer to pay $160,000 to open rinks in December, a month earlier than planned. A CBC story is pasted below and an article in the Star was posted this afternoon.
Don Wanagas, director of communications for the mayor, told Spacing today, “This is a one time, four-week solution. It is not a model for properly funding our city. We need sustainable funding so we don’t have to deal with these type of offers.”
I have not been on the bandwagon to reverse councillor’s salaries for the reason that I think they deserve the pay raise. But, and this is a big but, when we have such a financial shortfall they should consider reversing the pay hike, especially when the amount saved from the raise would have avoided a private company stepping in for a goodwill marketing opportunity that saves the day. Does the mayor not want to be the one who looks like he’s saving the day? Or is he happy that MasterCard will get all the congratulations?
Toronto Mayor David Miller accepted an offer of private money on Friday to keep outdoor public skating rinks open during the Christmas season.
MasterCard has offered to donate $160,000 to make sure city ice rinks open in December.
As part of a cost containment plan to deal with the city’s $575-million shortfall for 2008, Miller initiated a series of cuts to city services, including delaying the opening of outdoor rinks until January.
The MasterCard offer means the rinks will now be open for Christmas, no matter what happens with the city budget crisis, which is still severe.
MasterCard is offering the money with no strings attached, meaning no advertising at the rinks.
Also of interest, there is an opinion piece in today’s Star on how Toronto’s outdoor rinks are part of political maneuvering.
photo by Sam Javanrouh