Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Toronto Community Housing Corp. (TCHC) Board & Staff Swam in "Gravy"




For the past few weeks, all we've been hearing from our friends on the left, like City Councillors Adam Vaughan and Gord Perks, not to mention our buddies at the Star and Globe, is where's the gravy?. You said there was a tonne of gravy, gravy everywhere, nothing but gravy, yet, where's the gravy, Mayor Rob Ford?

I would have loved to have seen their faces when they heard that this report about the TCHC was coming out.  It must have been like a shattering of their hopes and dreams for the downfall of Rob Ford -and yes, they were concerned about Mayor Ford's validation, it had nothing to do with the wasted money.

Well, here you go. The TCHC = GRAVY. And this is not just some cheap "just-add-water" gravy. This is that French Chef "made-from-scratch" kind of gravy. You know, the kind that the champions of taxpayer waste like our leftist City Council members love to dip into whenever they can. And the TCHC is just the beginning... As Councillor Doug Ford said, they are just starting to scratch the surface..

What do you have to say for yourselves now, Vaughan, Perks, Carroll and you other leftist scumbag City Councillors? You've been trying to hide the gravy, but unfortunately for you, former Mayor David Miller -your fearless "Lord of the Gravy"- is long gone and suddenly you have to deal with a leader who actually understands what "respect for the taxpayers" means. A Leader who understands what accountability means.

Oh man, is your party over.

Here's a list of some of the TCHC spending abuses from the Toronto Sun:

List of TCHC spending abuses
Here’s a rundown of some of the inappropriate expenses flagged by Toronto auditor general Jeff Griffiths in his audit of Toronto Community Housing:

•$40,000 for a Christmas dinner at a local banquet hall in December 2009. A similar event in 2008 cost $53,500 and the price tag has yet to come in on the 2010 party.

•$1,925 spent for a “divisional planning meeting” at the Elmwood Spa. The meeting included a three-course lunch, pedicures, manicures and water therapy for eight staffers.

•$6,000 off-site planning session in Muskoka

•$3,000 for a two-day staff planning session at a resort in Alliston

•$1,850 on a four-hour boat cruise for “staff training and development.”

•Various expenditures on staff birthday parties paid by the TCHC

•$1,000 on Holt Renfrew chocolates for staff gifts

•$1,004 for gift cards recognizing staff achievements

•Almost $5,000 claimed by one staffer for “entertainment” just in 2009 at Barberian’s Steak House on Elm St.

•The auditor found “significant hospitality expenditures for staff relating to seasonal festivities.”

•Various expenditures at a number of golf courses outside Toronto apparently for meals.

•$800 for four chair massage practitioners to provide short relaxation massages for staff at a summer picnic

•A cheque for $8,500 was issued to an employee in July 2009 for expenses but to date no expense report has been submitted.

•A cheque for $700 was issued to an employee without any documentation or a supervisor’s approval.

•An employee was reimbursed $1,000 based on a supplier’s invoice as proof of payment. Records show TCHC had already paid the invoice.

•Two employees were reimbursed for expense claims that included purchases already charged to their corporate purchasing cards.

•Photocopies of gift cards totaling $500 were accepted as receipts. The cards have no numbers and do not show their value and it is impossible to ensure it wasn’t one gift card copied several times.
And for those of you who are interested in reviewing the Auditor's report for yourselves, here are the applicable PDF file links from the TCHC website:

Toronto Community Housing Corp. (TCHC) Website
Summary Cover Page - Procurement Policies and Procedures
Auditor General's Report - Procurement Policies and Procedures - Appendix 1
Management Response - Procurement Policies and Procedures - Appendix 2
Summary Cover Page - Controls Over Employee Expenses
Auditor General's Report - Controls Over Employee Expenses - Appendix 1
Management Response - Controls Over Employee Expenses - Appendix 2

So, who are the people responsible for this travesty, you ask? Well, let's start with the following people:

1. Former Mayor David Miller

As the former Mayor of Toronto, David Miller was a shining example to all City Staff on how to waste taxpayer money and completely avoid accountability. It was from David Miller's example that all of the various wasteful City Department Heads and Staff felt that it was their entitled right to spend taxpayer money without even the slightest concern for the taxpayer. If you want to put the #1 blame on someone, it is David Miller. And don't listen to the Miller sympathizers out there, as they will claim that a previous Auditor Report (the Bellamy Report) was produced on his watch. What they won't tell you however is what exactly David Miller did about it after the report was released. They won't tell you, because there is nothing to tell. He did absolutely nothing. Pretty much the same thing that he accomplished as Mayor, absolutely nothing.

What would a real leader do if he/she was in David Miller's place. Well, look at Rob Ford, and see what's going to happen this week. I'm sure every single taxpayer-dollar-wasting scumbag City Staff member is shaking in their Armani suits at what Rob Ford is going to do next. This is what Toronto needs. It's called accountability.

Ok, ok... Saying David Miller did nothing as mayor is not true. He did bring forth this culture of entitlement that we keep hearing about... That is Mayor Miller's legacy.

2. Former Budget Chief and current City Councillor, Shelley Carroll.

All of this happened under the supposed watch of former Budget Chief under David Miller, Shelley Carroll. And the outing of the TCHC is just the beginning. After Mayor Ford is done auditing every single department and arms-length agency within the City of Toronto, slowly it will become apparent that this is all the fault of a useless and wasteful former Budget Chief who had absolutely no morals when throwing hard-earned Toronto Taxpayer money into the trash. Every time one of these wasteful departments/agencies asked for more money, there was Shelley Carroll holding the public purse throwing money at them without question. Carroll can't be trusted to run a lemonade stand, let alone an entire city's finances...

3. Former TCHC CEO Derek Ballantyne

Ballantyne was the leader under which all of these disgraceful and borderline illegal spending practices were not only permitted, but it seems, encouraged. Ballantyne is currently the Chief Operating Officer and EVP at Build Toronto (another City of Toronto agency).

Mayor Ford said that he is going to deal with Ballantyne before the end of this week.

Nothing short of prison-time will suffice for this ultimate scumbag. Let's see his buddy David Miller help him now...

4. Toronto City Councillors Paula Fletcher and Giorgio Mammoliti

Both of these scumbag Councillors sat on the TCHC Board of Directors, and both claim that they were kept in the dark about these spending boondoggles. At least Councillor Mammoliti seemed to have tried to raise flags about some of these issues. However, Councillor Paula Fletcher actually tried to justify this calling them "growing pains" (SOURCE: Ford calls for purge at housing agency after auditor finds misspending).

As I've told you before, former Communist party leader Paula Fletcher believes in the idea that the priviliged few should benefit from the taxes of the many, and she and her husband (Union Leader John Cartwright) have embraced this ideology through the absolute wasteful spending of Toronto Taxpayer dollars.

Paula Fletcher is an absolute disgrace, and those of you in her ward who reelected her, I'm sorry to say this, but you are morons. You are just as responsible for her travesties as she is, and you can put that in your leftist pinko unionized pipes and smoke it.

5. TCHC Board Members

David Mitchell (Chair)
Zahra Dhanani (Director)
Michelle Joseph (Director)
Greg Kalil (Director)
Dan King (Director) (Tenant)
Carol Osler (Director)
Sheerin A. Sheikh (Director)
Ronald Struys (Director)
Catherine Wilkinson (Director) (Tenant)

These Board Members should not only resign immediately, but they should be put in prison. And don't listen to their crap that they feel betrayed, and didn't know this was going on, all the while attending these lavish Christmas parties and Corporate events... These scumbags happily stole from us taxpayers without a second's thought about not only the money they were wasting, but also the unfortunate people to whom this money was actually designated.

Board Chair David Mitchell talks about how the TCHC program shouldn't have to pay the price for their failed governance (SOURCE: Ford calls for purge at housing agency after auditor finds misspending), but unfortunately, it's too late for that. Maybe he should have thought of that when he was sipping champagne at the Christmas party, or when receiving massages and mani-pedis at the taxpayers expense.

He's nothing but a criminal. If he truly cares, then he should turn himself into the Police.

6. Current TCHC Executive Team, including Current TCHC CEO Keiko Nakamura

Keiko Nakamura (Chief Executive Officer)
Mitzie Hunter (Chief Administrative Officer)
Len Koroneos (Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer)
Bronwyn Krog (Vice President and Chief Development Officer)
Deborah Simon (Chief Operating Officer)
Howie Wong (General Counsel)

If these scumbags haven't been fired already, then it's time to kick them to the curb.  And not only that, they too should be placed in Police custody with charges pending.

And can you believe the audacity of CEO Nakamura claiming first of all to not know about this, and secondly that she had nothing to do with it? Yes, I understand that she just started as CEO in February 2010, but she was the Chief Operating Officer for years under Ballantyne.  Acting all innocent...  She is guilty either way.  If she didn't know about these offences, then she failed as a Leader in enforcing policy and accountability.  If she did know, then she's as guilty as everyone else.  In either case, she should be inprisoned.  She must think that David Miller still runs the place with her high-hopes to hold onto her $200K+ a year job (as if that wasn't enough).

7. TCHC Managers and Staff

Every single staff member who received any kind of perk mentioned in the Auditors report should be fired. "Oh, that's unfair, they had no control over that." Well, did they report it? Or did they just accept these gifts, parties, massages, mani-pedis and resort visits without question? What could they possibly have done to actually be truly deserving of these gifts?? Their jobs??? Give me a break! When the people who are in the Toronto Community Housing were suffering and raising complaints, what did these employees and managers do to help them? Oh, they went to a golf resort to discuss it, ah I see... You're fired!

The fact is that the entire TCHC needs to be disbanded and replaced with a subsidy-based system that works with the private-sector (exactly what Mayor Ford wants to do).

The TCHC should be made a serious example of, it's that simple. And the way to do that is not only by getting back every single penny that was wasted via garnishing of the future wages of the fired Board Members, Executive team and Staff, but also via the criminal charges of each and every one of these scumbags.

This is not David Miller's Toronto anymore. It's not Shelley Carroll's, or Adam Vaughan's, or Gord Perks', or Paula Fletcher's, or Pam McConnell's, or Joe Mihevc's Toronto anymore. This kind of abuse of taxpayer money is no longer acceptable, and those who do it should be punished to the full extent possible.

This is a city that has been given back to its citizens, the taxpayers, and we have the leadership of Super Mayor Rob Ford to thank for it.

The Party is over folks, and the hangover that these scumbags are going to be feeling for the next few years, oh man, they're in for a nightmare.

--jackandcokewithalime


(Image:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ltdan/2373730079/sizes/o/in/photostream/ by ltdan on flickr
)

32 comments:

Adam said...

J&C it gets worse, much worse - the same group blew >$40 million earmarked for maintenance and repairs speculating on stocks.

http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/sueann_levy/2011/03/01/17457016.html

Where's Adam Vaughn now? I want to turn my back to him...

Oh yeah and the city has to chase Adam Giambrone for $3K too...

CheeMiss said...

@Jack,

Great reporting as usual Jack.

I am so proud of Mayor Ford, that I could just burst!

I had to call him about the Gord Perks, Roncesvalles make over scandal and he returned my call not once, but twice. Then he paid a visit to our already double cost to taxpayers, unfinished Roncesvalles horrible make over.

The project under the lying Gord Perks (that claims the ppl of the community wanted the bump-outs and the loss of valuable parking - NOT TRUE) is set to resume construction this spring and will probably cost the tax payers, triple the cost, by the time they are done. Just like the St. Clair LRT fiasco did.

I am sooooo happy that we finally have a person in our Mayor's office that actually cares about us. It's the person I voted for, not the party. And Rob Ford is the person for the people, all people.

Yeah Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford.
Keep up the great detective work. (They remind me of the USA JFK Kennedy brothers. lolol)

Hopefully, this Oct., we can finally get rid of the last of the entitlement leaders.....McGuinty and his band of criminals. I only wish they could take lying Gord Perks out the door with them. He is a disgrace to the NDP Party. He really is.

Anonymous said...

TCHC needs to be fixed. That's clear. What isn't clear is how Ford went from getting handed a $275M surplus to budgeting a $774M deficit in 2012 and begging the province for money. How did cutting all of this gravy end up costing so much?

Anonymous said...

@cheemiss

Also, Rob is not a mayor for all people. He has clearly stated that he's only a mayor for the tax payers. That doesn't include any renters in the city. The 58,500 people in TCHC are not municipal taxpayers.

jackandcokewithalime said...

Mayor Ford promised to cut the wasteful spending and end the gravy train. It cannot be anymore obvious especially given the current TCHC scandal that he is doing exactly what he said he would do.

Any person with an ounce of intelligence understands that first you find the wasteful spending, you end it, and then you see the money-savings that come as a result of that fix.

Mayor Ford has been in office for barely a few months, he immediately went after the wasteful spending by City Council (something that was within his immediate realm of knowledge), and he's waiting on Auditor reports for every single city department and agency in order to find the wasteful spending that is outside of his immediate realm of knowledge.

Until these Audits have been completed, all of the scumbag taxpayer-dollar-wasting gravy-suckers are disposed of, and the proper controls put in place to ensure the utmost efficiency, the cost-savings that will be generated will not be seen, though they will be coming.

That is just basic common sense.

Expecting Mayor Ford to have all of the money he needs right now before any of this happens, is the exact kind of backward thinking that I would expect from a leftist tax-and-spend Millerite who has no concept of how business works, and lacks any kind of understanding of basic logic.

And regardless, the money that Ford is demanding from McGuinty is money that should have already been coming to Toronto anyway.

Wake up Anonymous, and get over your loss and Toronto's win in having Rob Ford elected for Mayor. It's over now, there's nothing you can do about it.

Do something useful with your time and emotion and support Toronto and its completely justified need for funding assistance from the Province.

--jackandcokewithalime

dheinrich said...

This is my first visit to your site. I vote progressive, but I share your passion against waste and graft. The people of Toronto have been let down by these people at TCHC.

But are you just as passionate when it comes to defending us from the waste of conservatives, or is it only liberal waste that you disagree with?

What about the crooks that Mel Lastman coddled? And that was right in City Hall, not in a satellite agency. That was not about chocolates from Holt Renfrew; that was about millions of dollars.

And how do you feel about the $50 million Ernie Eves hosed on his Muskoka riding from slush money hidden in the G8/G20 budget? What about Harper spending 60% of federal stimulus money in conservative ridings? Is that where the best projects were or was he using tax money on lesser projects to buy himself votes?

We have to condemn all waste and entitlement. I hope we can count on you to rage against the right-wing pigs at the trough with equal vehemence.

dheinrich said...

I just read what CheeMiss wrote about Roncesvalles and Gord Perks. I must correct for the record here that CheeMiss is a lone-voice griper and wrong on the facts.

There was a huge community presence in the planning, including 4 community associations and the BIA, along with many public meetings. There was a high degree of consensus throughout the community about what we were trying to do. The proof is, apart from a few hysterics at public meetings, there never was any other group of residents who ever came forward with any systematic opposition or alternative proposals.

And what is she talking about with cost over-runs? No less a source than the Toronto Sun wrote on November 27, 2010, that the project "is wrapping up on time and on budget."

Nor has the project lost us more than a small number of parking spots. The merchants of the BIA supported that, so that tells you the loss was no big deal.

Gord Perks deserves a medal for the yeoman work he did here. His office did work no councilor's office should have to do in coordinating all the various departments that needed to come together to re-do the street — sewers, water, hydro, gas, TTC tracks, trees.

By his initiative we got the sewers and the streetcar tracks done at the same time. Otherwise the City might have laid the tracks and then ripped them up again to do the sewers.

Gord saved the city a pile of money.

Lots of things could have gone more smoothly on Roncesvalles if there had been more money. We could have hired more contractors to finish the job in less time.

If the City is having problems with managing these public works projects, it is partly because we try to do them on a shoe-string, and partly because the City hasn't gotten back up to stride since the bungled amalgamation brought to us by Harris and Lastman. All the cost-cutting and bureaucratic upheaval at City Hall has hollowed out Toronto's capacity to manage and execute projects.

So what is CheeMiss's perverse solution? More cost-cutting. I call a BS.

In fact, her whole letter reads like childish and sycophantic ad copy for Ford and the Conservatives.

Bar said...

While wasteful spending has been going on at TCHC, the huge swath of abuse it has received is clearly because Ford has jumped on this to justify his 'gravy' claims.
The bigger problem of him NOT balancing the budget as he claimed and not finding any other major problems meant he had to be very quite which he clearly doesn't like.

Now in regards some of the claims that have been made,
the TCHC staff parties where not for 6 or 7 people they were from between 1,500 to over 2,000 people.
Find a place big enough for that many people and feed them and give them ONE good night out and lets see how much it costs Ford.

The expenses on the 'planning meetings' and expense accounts are fairly minor and common in every business.

Clearly the overwhelmingly huge problem was the untenured contracts which amounts to millions of dollars.

Now these contracts were the responsibility of a few select people in the organisation. Most have no involvement, more still have no knowledge.
Blaming the entire staff of TCHC for this is nonsense. It's like blaming the new teller at the bank because your account has high interest rates.

Moreover the contracts were, by and large, under the purview of the previous CEO, and not COO.

He should be brought to answer for what as should the previous board members, and those still sitting.

I am not supporting wasteful spending but blanket attacks and directionless action will end up causing far more damage than intelligent surgical removal of the cities problems.

I am worried Mayor Ford is not capable, or willing, to take the time and effort that serious problems need. Getting his name in the papers again is usually enough for him. Especially when it's covering up his own deficiencies.

Mack said...

@Jack,

I agree w/ you for the most part except in regards to your solution.

Unfortunately, the City is required by provincial legislation to maintain a specific number of social housing stock.

There is no point in giving people subsidies, because frankly, the government should house the impoverished, so as not to let them fill our streets and create an epidemic of homeless people.

The solution here is for the City to directly manage TCHC. The best years in most of these communities were actually back when the province managed it. The arms-length agency simply does not work, as there is less accountability than if the City oversaw it directly.

jackandcokewithalime said...

dheinrich,

Firstly, thanks for your readership.

Your article from the Toronto Sun is out of date. See: Roncesvalles project drags on from December 29, 2010. Too bad Gord Perks was hiding when Sue-Ann Levy was looking for his comments on this article.

And by the way, I hate to break your love affair with Gord Perks, but he is yet another taxpayer-dollar-wasting gravy-sucking elitist scumbag who needs to be tossed in the trash so badly, it's not even funny.

Every time that scumbag speaks, it involves raising taxes, hiding wasteful spending and canceling city audits. He, along with Adam Vaughan, Joe Mihevc, Paula Fletcher, Pam McConnell, Janet Davis, Shelley Carroll, Sandra Bussin and their patriarch David Miller, are and were everything that is (and was) wrong with Toronto.

Roncesvalles Disaster = St. Clair Right-of-way boondoggle Part II

--jackandcokewithalime

dheinrich said...

Jack, I don't t think we share the same definition of scumbag, a term you use a little too liberally.

Nor do we share the same definition of "disaster" and "boondoggle". Roncesvalles is not St. Clair. For one thing, the community is not divided against itself. For another, the project is on budget, even if running late. You seem to need to make things out to be worse than they are.

The City has a problem dealing with contractors, proving that outsourcing the work to the private sector is no panacea.

It's something that needs to be fixed. What's your answer? Do you think everything can be fixed by firing people and cutting budgets?

Do you have any constructive suggestions? Because ranting bombast gets tedious after a while and doesn't nourish positive action.

CheeMiss said...

@dheinrich said...

Wow, you better get YOUR facts straight re: Roncesvalles Ave.

I have lived in this area for 40 yrs. I PERSONALLY went to my local merchants & asked them if they wanted /approved the loss of parking, bump-outs and extended patio sidewalks (not the widening of them). Each and every one of them said the same thing "NO, WE WERE NOT GIVEN A CHOICE!" I then called and spoke to 4 BIA senior members and they too agreed that there really was no choice.

Many stores went bankrupt. Pollocks Home Hardware is close to it. I was even asked by the store owners to get a petition going, that they would sign it clearly stating that they did NOT support this type of redesign. That they were told they had to have it this way! Their words not mine.
As for the loss of a parking spots. Are you INSANE?

No one can get near Guardian Drug store, Qi Health Food, Maple Foods or the CIBC, Library, or Church without having to park blocks away. Let alone pull over like we use to do to drop off our senior parents, who lived and built up this community LONG BEFORE THE TRENDY ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST, ANTI-CAR CROWD MOVED IN AND TOOK OUR RIGHTS AWAY!

Your pathetic defense of a man that has been caught lying to me, the only 2 times that I have ever spoken to him, confirms that YOU ARE A SHILL.

Peggy Nash knocked on my door a couple of mths ago, re: voting for her if she decided to run this Oct.
I love Peggy Nash. She is hard working, HONEST, tells it like it is. I voted for her in the past. I told her about my experience with your precious Gord Perks lying to me. She was NOT happy. She was also not aware of the Roncesvalles project. Fair enough.

I HAVE PROOF OF WHAT I SAY. What do you have except Gord Perks verbal diarrhea.

Childish, lying.......meet me in person at Gord Perks H.Q. I dare you to say this to my face.

I have no problem saying what I have written to both you and Gord Perks. Incidentally, I already told him on the phone, many mths back. I will do it again in person to the both of you. I will take the both of you to each and every store owner. Let them tell you the real facts of this construction fiasco. Let them tell you that they did not want YOUR changes. They just wanted wider sidewalks.
Name the date and time. I will be there.

Oh, and as for the budget.......I will call the Mayors Office and ask for an accounting to date and the actual bidding cost. Lets just see who has their facts straight.

btw: You write as though you are just a commenter, but you slip by saying "We". We could have hired more contractors to finish the job in less time. and
We got the sewers and the streetcar tracks done at the same time.
Yeah right......just a local citizen stating his/her opinion. BULL!!! You are part of his special committee.

FYI: No merchant around this entire globe, agrees to losing parking. Only Anti-Car fanatics do that bcos as Perks told me, "We're trying to change the face of Toronto to that of Amsterdam!"

I & most of the voters have had our fill of you environmentalists. That is why we voted in Mayor Rob Ford with by a land slide and that is why Tim Hudak will be the new Premier. We will put an end to your expensive anti car, carbon tax, green energy ideology once and for all.

Sorry about the Rant Jack.....I am still seething over my attempted car trip to Roncesvalles in the pouring rain, with no place to pull over, to let my 86 yr old mother out, so that she could get to her bank.
Gord Perks told me that my handicapped senior mom, should learn to ride a bike!
The last thing I needed to read is insults from an Environmental Eco Extremist.

CheeMiss said...

@dheinrich said...

Quote: "The City has a problem dealing with contractors, proving that outsourcing the work to the private sector is no panacea."

What? No due-diligence on the cities part?

I grew up around private sector construction. I sell New Construction low rise & high rise. We don't have these problems. Why is it that only the city does?
Could it be bcos of Sole Sourcing? Special Interest Deals? Sweet Heart Deals?

Stop with the smoke and mirrors. You know exactly who & why these companies got the job!

jackandcokewithalime said...

And that is that!

--jackandcokewithalime

dheinrich said...

CheeMiss, what did I write that makes me an "environmental eco extremist?" Is that because I don't share your lament over a few lost parking spots?

You shouldn't be surprised if most people don't agree with you and your parking priorities. Roncesvalles is not suburbia. The real builders of this neighborhood built it before people had cars. People now choose to pay top dollar to live here precisely because it is still a walkable, transit-centred neighborhood.

Or perhaps you missed the reason for the loss of those parking spots. Those streetcar platforms built out from the curb will allow wheelchairs to be rolled onto the next generation of low-floor streetcars. Since you purport to care about the elderly, you may agree that this will be a welcome benefit to all those other seniors and handicapped who don't have you to drive them everywhere.

The BIA signed off on the loss of parking. Why are you saying otherwise? Their priority was to invest in healthy, side-walk-level trees.

I will say again, notwithstanding the contractor problems with execution, there was a high degree of consensus in the community with the design process. And as far as I know, it's on-budget. You are being hysterical to compare this to St. Clair. You are insulting the community when you wrongfully claim it to be that sort of disaster.

Where I do agree with you is that the merchants have been badly treated by the City's managerial omissions and policies. I share your anger there. But you can hardly lay all the blame at Gord's feet. It goes deeper than David Miller too. We are still healing from an amalgamation that was not properly prepared by a ham-fisted Harris, or properly executed under a daft and vacant Lastman administration.

In fact, Gord and many folks in the community are now constructively following up on what lessons can be learned to benefit future city projects. This is showing exemplary leadership and responsibility.

If you want to do something more useful than gutter-sniping, why not help with that? What are YOUR ideas?

Be prepared to find that the answer is not as simple as slashing budgets and firing people. That's more likely how we got here.

Finally, the fact that I think Gord is an outstanding councilor does not make me a shill. I am not on anyone's team. I am a member of a residents' association who has been following the process. I simply spoke up because I saw my neighborhood, and the good work of the community, slandered to the world by malicious, misinformed comment.

If you have something more you want to say, you can email me at sunnyside36@hotmail.com. I am always interested in hearing facts and digging after the truth. I am not interested in hearing more intolerant eco-bashing.

It just seems obscenely selfish and uncharitable, given what we know today, for anyone to be spouting against the environment, or against people who are making honest efforts on behalf of future generations.

CheeMiss said...

@dheinrich said...It just seems obscenely selfish and uncharitable, given what we know today, for anyone to be spouting against the environment, or against people who are making honest efforts on behalf of future generations.

I wrote quite a long reply, posted links to support my case & provided solutions & for some reason it is not posted? So, I will make this sort & to the point.

Starving merchants our of their own businesses is NOT my idea of protecting the environment.

As for the environment. I know for a fact that this global warming SCAM was engineered by the powers that be, to capitalized on "fear mongering." I was asked to invest in this scheme, long before the propaganda machine got to you! It's time you & your eco ilk, did some serious homework. Dig deep, the info is there.
Huge profits to be made from the gullible.

Ask Gord Perks how he really got to be councillor.

Jan 3, 2011 - 5 or 6 parking spots have been lost on their block alone due to sidewalk expansion.

Roncesvalles will end up costing the city $9.2-million, and construction continues.

Click link for full story

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/01/03/roncesvalles-still-unfinished-rebuilding-strains-neighbourhood/

Aug 21 2009

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/684376

Gord Perks:

Gord Perks has worked in the environmental movement since 1987, when he was with Pollution Probe. Since then, he has worked with Greenpeace Canada, the Better Transportation Coalition and, since 1997, with the Toronto Environmental Alliance - where his emphasis has been on waste reduction and public transit.

http://www.toronto.ca/committees/rt_environment/members.htm

***If this is NOT an ANTI-CAR PLATFORM, PRO-WIND TURBINE SCAM then I am Queen Elizabeth.


The Jan 3, 2011 link says it all. I don't think you and I have anything more to discuss.
Your ECO Residents Group STOLE the "Freedom" from from the merchants. The Freedom to the highest and best use of their business.....PARKING!

If my other post should miraculously appear, it will say explain much more.

jackandcokewithalime said...

dheinrich,

You said: "The real builders of this neighborhood built it before people had cars."

Are you serious? I can't believe that you tried to use this as some kind of justification for your pro-eco anti-car BS. You make me laugh.

"Those streetcar platforms built out from the curb will allow wheelchairs to be rolled onto the next generation of low-floor streetcars. Since you purport to care about the elderly, you may agree that this will be a welcome benefit to all those other seniors and handicapped who don't have you to drive them everywhere."

Really? For a pro-transit person, you seem to have forgotten all about TTC Wheel Trans. Seriously, what crap are you spewing?

And as much as you would like to have people believe your rhetoric about the parking spots, the truth is that having those spots taken away is killing the local businesses (and the businesses never agreed to having those spots removed). The real reason for the removal of the parking spots has nothing to do with the streetcars, and everything to do with putting makeshift bike lanes in their place. Oh, let's have a platform that extends all the way to the streetcar track, so people can get on to the streetcar from the actual sidewalk! Oh, give me a break! Yeah, that makes all kinds of sense and was not a complete waste of money in any way... Classic Gord Perks BS.

Wow, what a nightmare for the residents of Roncesvalles. CheeMiss, I feel for you.

dheinrich, see the video below for an education on the subject of parking spots on Roncesvalles:

Roncesvalles Construction Frustration- CityNews.ca

And by the way, in case you missed it, the majority of Toronto voted for Rob Ford in the last election, and therefore voted to end the war on the car. ...Talking about how the area was built before cars... You seriously need to wake up. You and your eco-extremist Councillors are now the minority in Toronto. David Miller (your unsung hero) is long gone.

It's time for you to open your eyes to the new Toronto. As much as you don't want to believe it, it is here, and supporters of the likes of Gord Perks and Adam Vaughan are rapidly becoming less and less relevant in it.

--jackandcokewithalime

dheinrich said...

Jack said: "The real reason for the removal of the parking spots has nothing to do with the streetcars, and everything to do with putting makeshift bike lanes in their place."

Here's what's odd about that: if you would actually cycle down Roncesvalles you would find, quite the opposite, that it would be easier and simpler with parked cars along the street as before, instead of the platforms. You would discover that having a bike lane go over the streetcar platforms, if anything, is a bit of a nuisance to cycling. Cyclists didn't ask for this, they acquiesced.

How do you explain this if the secret true purpose of the Roncesvalles redesign was to please cyclists? Cyclists got exactly nothing from the redesign.

The platform idea was brought to the community by the TTC itself in anticipation of the new low-floor streetcars, which will allow baby strollers and wheelchairs to be rolled directly onto the streetcars. The residents of this community will be the first in the city to benefit from this major convenience and aid to parents, the elderly and the handicapped.

Are you seriously arguing that this benefit to the locals who live here should have been bypassed in favor of car drivers looking for a faster run through our neighborhood? Or for a few parking spots that for the most part were surplus and sitting empty anyway? Parking studies were done. Parking is not a big problem on a street where there are shops on one side only. Retailers have about twice as much on-street parking here per store as is typical on a commercial strip. So, please, enough with the parking angst.

The BIA accepted the loss of a few parking spots in favor of an overall design that will, when it is finished, attract more people to the street. It is outsiders like you, and a few sore-loser drivers like CheeMiss, who are breast-beating about the parking spots, not the BIA and not the wider community.

It's just incredible to me how the main thing that matters in your world is the convenience of the car driver. Even in a neighborhood that was laid out and built, I reiterate, from the ground up a century ago to be a transit and pedestrian neighborhood, even here where houses were built without driveways and the car came as an after-thought, you think we all have some kind of preemptive duty to stand on our heads and put the car driver first?!!

Do you own stock in General Motors or something?

Who is being the extremist here?

Businesses are hurting on Roncesvalles, yes, but it is because of the protracted construction, not because of the redesign and the streetcar platforms.

What would have helped these businesses would have been a bigger budget that could have gotten the job done sooner and even paid them some compensation for the unavoidable disruption that necessarily comes with deep infrastructure work like replacing sewers, water mains, and streetcar tracks.

Even now, the City could be helping them by settling their insurance claims and giving them each a cheque (to the business, not the building owner).

Would you be in favor of that? How deep does your concern really go?

And, by the way, on another point of fact, Rob Ford won with 47 per cent of the vote. This is not a majority, let alone a landslide.

CheeMiss said...

@dheinrich

You obviously did not even bother to view the video where the merchants themselves have said that they have lost 50% of their business. I will post the link again:

click on link to view video of merchants stating business loss, due to bumps out and loss of parking

http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/video/106298

Here is another web site dedicated to Roncesvalles and the mess Gord Perks made of it. I am NOT the only one.....YOU ARE SUCH AN IDIOT. NONE OF THE MERCHANTS NOR THEIR DRIVING CUSTOMERS LIKE IT.

http://kingofroncesvalles.blogspot.com/

dheinrich said:
"Rob Ford won with 47 per cent of the vote. This is not a majority, let alone a landslide."

Gosh, you really are an IDOT. It was a historic voter turn out. Look it up!
Never before have the voters come out in such high numbers to make sure that your ilk did not get in office. Get your facts straight and stop posting your dribble on this site. Take it to the environmental sites where you & your ilk can bull shit each other all day long.

Roncesvalles is the experiment of this horrendous boondoggle. AND IT IS A FAILURE! BUSES WOULD HAVE GOTTEN CLOSE TO THE CURB. BUMP OUT WOULD NOT BE NECESSARY!
END OF STORY!

btw: I don't see anyone boarding those streetcars with any groceries in their hands......convenience for whom??? Wheelchairs??? Haven't seen any seniors in them boarding the streetcars either.
Just another environmental excuse to stop people from driving cars.......nuff said!

CheeMiss said...

@@dheinrich

P.S. The low boarding streetcars where part of Millers/Perks et al vote pandering politicians to create Transit City. Who the heck do you think you are fooling with your dribble?

Mayor Ford looked into canceling them, but we are stuck bcos they are already built.

Right, a bunch of seniors/handicapped in wheelchairs are going to start jetting around the city, via TTC, bcos you say so!
A tiny minority does NOT make a majority. To paralyze the entire city for a handful of people that can use Wheel-Trans, never made sense.

Ask Transit guru David Gunn what he thinks of your make over!

Go peddle your BULL some where else.

dheinrich said...

OK, CheeMiss, now you're getting just plain goofy.

In what universe is 47% a majority?

The bumpouts aren't finished. The new streetcars aren't here. Mothers with strollers don't take Wheeltrans, and why are you pushing expensive Wheeltrans if you want to cut budgets?

I did watch the video, and even though it was a piece of mangled journalism, it did NOT say the merchant at Aries lost money due to parking or bumpouts. Complete fantasy on your part. Go watch it again.

The merchant didn't say why business was down. His comment was edited into the story in a way that made you assume it was the bumpout, and you fell for it. I believe if you were to get out of your car and go ask him, you'll find it was due to construction.

But even if in his particular case it actually was the bumpout, because he lost parking specifically in front of his store, that still makes it only one bad luck story. That doesn't make the whole bumpout design wrong. Most stores don't have bumpouts or care. And anyway, he now has the opportunity to put out sidewalk seating. Come back in two years and he may well tell you it was the best thing to happen to his business.

The fact is, the BIA endorsed the design, so on balance they must have felt they would collectively benefit.

Why should anyone listen to a crabby-puss, complaining car-lover, environment-hater like you instead of the BIA?

Car drivers are just socialists who won't admit it. They want the public to pay for them to drive free on open roads. What? You think it is paid for with gas taxes? Think again. You think gas taxes are enough to keep up roads as well as all the hospitalization fix up 200,000 maimed and injured Canadians per year? All the police and courts to deal with drivers and stolen cars?

And you think Ford is a hero for giving back the car tax! Of course you do, you entitlement-besotted, car-socialist freeloader.

Oh, and have you asked David Gunn what he thinks of Ford's bonehead Sheppard subway plan? Here it is:

“I think they’re wedded to this Sheppard subway public-private partnership idea,” said Mr. Gunn, who talked with Mr. Ford in January. “I’ll tell them it’s a dumb idea, but they won’t want to hear that.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/transit-guru-david-gunn-says-his-views-likely-to-kibosh-ttc-invitation/article1943780/

CheeMiss said...

@dheinrich

1)Mr. Gunn is critical of Mr. Miller’s regime for letting TTC operations slip from an 80-per-cent revenue-to-cost ratio to about 70 per cent today.

“The Miller crowd, not that they were all bad … they supported transit, god love ’em. But they seemed to think running the TTC in a businesslike way was immoral. Well they created a situation where they’ve damn near killed it. Now you’ve got a system that is not sustainable.”

2) David Gunn is NOT real estate savvy in GTA. There is no more land to build on. Scarboro is the last frontier of cheap land. Ford is NO DUMMY. He did his homework. Builders have done some pretty weird deals in the past to keep their construction crews employed. Mr. Gunn is NOT privy to the Scarboro plans as yet, so his comment on Fords plan is just assumption on his part.

3) I have offered to meet you at Perks office & take the both of you to ALL THE MERCHANTS......why have you not taken me up on that offer rather than offering your email for more ridiculous email chat, or posting your tripe....."oh, the poor stroller mom."
Business are to go bankrupt bcos of TTC transit traffic that does not buy enough to sustain them.
ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE TRUTH?!

The low boarding buses would have made more sense......period. They can pull up to existing sidewalks. No bump outs required. Streetcars were only saved bcos of ECO CRAZIES LIKE YOU & MILLER, who were bound and determined to ban cars in Toronto, for a bigger hidden agenda picture.
And that is the "Al Gore Fake Man Made Global Warming Fear Mongering Scam". To force wind turbines & solar panels on us, that we have to subsidize, that ex-primer David Peterson & his elitist cronies own.
Well there is a new Sheriff in town & streetcars are not his friend. And the NEW PREMIER, TIM HUDAK, IS NOT A FAN OF THE BOGUS DIRTY GREEN ENERGY EITHER.

Not to worry tho, you will see a petition signed not only by merchants, but by many, many customers that are affected by these bump outs and the loss of business bcos of it.
It will be on record. It will be a battle, in the short term you and YOUR CRAZY ECO ILK WILL BE HISTORY.
Roncesvalles is the testing ground.....IT'S FAILED!

Your only wish is that I am the only one complaining. hahahah.....dream on!

I bet my life that if someone where to offer you a brand new spanking sports car/SUV/mini car, or what ever model you secretly lust for, for free, all expenses paid for life.....YOU WOULD GRAB IT IN A HEART BEAT, ECO BE DAMED.

Eco crazies are a waste of space, just like the archaic streetcars!

btw: You really have a problem....you keep referencing that 47% is not a majority. You completely ignore the fact that both Jack & myself have said that this last mayoral election made history for the largest voter turn out.....taxpayers came out in droves to make sure that the liberals were thrown out of power......and they were. Ford won by 47% bcos of this HISTORIC turn out. DEAL WITH IT.

CheeMiss said...

@dheinrich
btw: not to hurt your feelings anymore than I already have by calling you the odd name here and there, but I have been showing your posts to people in real estate, accountants, financial planners and yes, to the builders I work for.......I will not repeat the colourful names they called you. Suffice to say.....your plea for Transit City is NOT, and I repeat NOT welcomed by any of them!
So why not just quite while you still think you are ahead.

Drop by Aries & ask him if he feels that the few ppl, that will sit outside, during the short couple mths of summer, will compensate for his revenue loss for the rest of the year due to loss of car customers.

Yes, I AM A CAR LOVER, but NOT a closet socialist.
I AM A TRUE BLUE CAPITALIST.....WITH COMPASSION.
And if it were not for the sweat of the capitalist, your parasitic socialism would not exist. Think about that one, next time you reach into the pockets of the hard working private & public sector taxpayers!!!

Anonymous said...

Well said CheeMiss

dheinrich said...

CheeMiss, your colleagues are being nice to you if they didn't point out that you debate like a hysterical teenager. Or didn't you show them your side of the posts?

I am reminded about the advice sometimes given about not wrestling with a pig. You just get all dirty and the pig likes it.

In truth, I do feel a little icky about the time I've wasted here with someone who thinks 47% is a majority. (What did your accountant say to that?)

I have at least been able to set the factual record straight about Roncesvalles for other readers, if not for you. You will surely go on believing whatever baloney you like.

CheeMiss said...

dheinrich said...

You should feel icky rolling around like pigs while feeding in the taxpayers trough. It's you pigs that created this Roncesvalles mess, using OUR monies.

Jack & I both posted the explanation of the 47% but you REFUSE TO READ IT and continue in your ludicrous slander of us not being able to do math.

LIKE I SAID COWARD, MEET ME AT PERKS OFFICE!
OR GO BACK UNDER THE SLIMY ECO-ACTIVIST ROCK FROM WENCH YOU SLITHERED.

Personally, I know you are a coward. You refuse to meet with the merchants for fear of a black eye & you refuse to meet me, for fear of the truth.

And you insult real estate & construction professionals who do not support this horrendous, deplorable, insane bump-out design. In our line of work, we do not bullshit one another, like you are doing on this site. We would have NO CREDIBILITY in our business life if we had your mind set.....IDIOT!

And the reason you refuse to meet with anyone is quite simple. You can't deal with the truth....COWARD!

As for you setting some delusional record about Roncesvalles, for other readers......WTF is that?
You think that other readers won't check out the links that we have provided?
btw: I googled your email address.......you really are way out there in eco-land!

BTW: GORD PERKS IS HISTORY IN THE NEXT ELECTION! hahahahah

CheeMiss said...

@dheinrich

The below math speaks for itself, oh might sarcastic illiterate!


Ford was elected mayor with 380,201 votes (47%) over Smitherman's 287,393 (35.6%) and Pantalone with 94,840 (11.7%).

The voter turnout was around 52% of registered voters, the highest in Toronto's post-amalgamation history.

Ford's 11% margin of victory was the largest for any incoming mayor in post-amalgamation history, roughly double that of Mel Lastman in 1997 and David Miller in 2003.

While ward-by-ward electoral results showed that Ford had won all the suburbs compared to Smitherman who topped (old Toronto) districts, Ford also received significant support (80000 votes) from the "Downtown 13” wards which made up over 20% of his total votes.

By contrast, 60% of Smitherman's strongholds were located in Ward 27 and 28, which makes up his former provincial MPP riding. It has been suggested that the majority of voters, regardless of location, were unhappy with the municipal legacy of outgoing mayor David Miller.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Ford

dheinrich said...

CheeMiss, I am not aware of insulting any construction industry professionals. If I did, however, please accept my apologies on their behalf.

How about we take a break from the name calling, insults, and all-caps shouting?

We actually do agree on one important issue and that is the hardship of the merchants. Perhaps we can salvage something positive from this discussion by focussing on that.

We may disagree on the merits of the Roncesvalles design. But if you have been talking to the merchants you will know that they have been harmed most of all by how long the work took. They lost business over two years because shoppers went elsewhere to escape the noise and dust. Meanwhile, there were days when no work was getting done.

The merchants say the City's practices around choosing and managing outside construction contractors is inadequate.

Since you are in the industry, perhaps have some insights around this. You implied that you knew something nefarious about how contractors are chosen. I would be interested to know more. I know nothing about this.

I have vaguely heard that the City is bound by some laws or policies that prevent it from being tougher with enforcing contractor schedules. Do you know about that?

Any construction project is going to cause disruption, but I think the City should admit it erred by not hiring more crew and not holding its contractors to schedule. The City failed in its responsibilities, and consequently, the City owes these merchants compensation. What's your take?

One thing that especially shocks me is that when some of the stores were damaged by sewer backflow, the merchants were told by the City to take it up with the contractor's insurance!

The contractors are the agents of the City, effectively its employees. How can the City not be responsible for the actions of its own employees? Should the City not settle with the merchants itself and then take it up with the contractors? What do you think about that?

I would actually like to hear your views on these substantial matters.

If you have any factual material that would further this discussion, as I said before, I am indeed interested in truth-seeking.

So, OK, I accept your invitation to meet. Let's have a coffee and then you can even take me to speak to some merchants, what the heck.

This way, should you be so moved, you will have the opportunity to apologize for your wild, hallucinatory accusations in person. :-)

dheinrich said...

CheeMiss, you've gone strangely quiet .

I've dug up, for our many readers, some additional information concerning parking losses:

http://www.toronto.ca/involved/projects/roncesvalles_streetscape/pdf/ea/project_file.pdf

See page 15 -- compare “Existing” with “Concept 2”

The actual losses are 19 parking spots, which reduces to just 11 outside of loading zone hours. In fact, the loading zones account for much of the lost parking, not the bumpouts. Also, most of the lost spots are at the north end where demand is lowest.

Moreover, since the redesign, as someone reminded me, there is now parking allowed on the west side through the morning rush hour, so that is huge gain over what was there before.

CheeMiss, I hope you're sitting down, because you won't believe what else I have on the subject of protecting parking for our merchants. You are going to be SHOCKED, but I have just discovered that in 2009 Rob Ford voted to eliminate parking on Roncesvalles altogether during rush hour, 5-6 hours per day, when he supported turning Roncesvalles into an arterial road. I'm sure it will be hard for you to have to tell Ford that he was SUCH AN IDIOT!!!!!!!!!

Since I know you value truth, and a scrupulous regard for the facts, as much as I do, I couldn't wait to share all this with you, as you can imagine.

Still waiting to hear about that coffee.

Anonymous said...

Gord Perks and Parks, Recreation and Forestry actually ignored an independent arborist report that states that the new, poorly designed, enclosed off leash dog park would eventually ruin the old tree canopied area. He also at some point restricted animal by-law enforcement to only issue warnings not tickets/fines on those who repeatedly break by-laws. He told resident members at an informal meeting that people should get used to it like another district did. For a pet project that the majority did not want especially in that area he keeps wasting money on to this day - when now just removing it would be so much cheaper. Funding is for the city at large not for special interest crap like this.

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