100 Watts : want some truffle salt on that?

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My column this week addressed the recent debacle of the ground-breaking celebration for the Clarington incinerator.  You can read it here:

V12N05P04.pdf
Download this file

I commented on this issue in a previous post here:
http://christopherwatts.posterous.com/dig-your-own-grave-and-save  and after doing some more reading on the subject have some additional concerns.

In this Era Banner article York Region chairperson Bill Fisch calls the $27,000 bill to the region “Warranted” : http://www.yorkregion.com/news/article/1241100–party-cost-warranted-fisch

Like Mayor Dawe, Mr. Fisch seems to have a huge disconnect as to what expenses are warranted when both are staring at doling out tax increases.

There is ample outcry, both local and broad, here’s a taste:

The Era Banner objected to the whole ordeal in this piece:

T. Harrison of Newmarket has voiced objection in a recent letter here:

Clarington Councillor Corinna Traill pronounced it“absolutely scornful to taxpayers” 

The fact that expenses were not presnented in an open and transparent manner and had to be determined through an F.O.I. request should ring alarm bells, and it has.  Enough that an inquiry is being demanded, here is a Toronto Star article on that :http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1083505–councillors-demand-inquiry-into-lavish-incinerator-party

Say what you want about Toronto or it’s mayor but I think it is worth comparing their approach to recent ground breaking events.

At a recent ground breaking ceremony for a substantial piece of transit infrastructure: the Eglinton-Crosstown subway, there was a much more “grounded” ground breaking ceremony.  Here is the Toronto Star article:

I have included in this post a photo of Toronto’s Mayor scarfing down a Jamaican patty alongside Ontario’s Trasportation minister drinking a large Timmies while attending the event.

Total cost?  

Less than $10 for the two of them.

Does that help paint the picture for York Region’s “best of the best” as to what is warranted?

I wonder if either Mr. Fisch or Mayor Dawe would have paid $429 out of their own pocket to attend the event?

If the answer is no then they both realize how extravagent the event was, and how they have effectively rubbed truffle salt into the open wound of every tax payer in the region.

If the answer is yes there is nothing stopping either from writing a cheque in that amount to the region and encouraging all of the region’s invitees to do the same.

Anything less flies in the face of fiscal responsibility, and can only be seen as flaunting the very waste facilities like the Clarington Incinerator are being built to deal with.

I doubt something that would sit well with constituents when they head to the polls next election.
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