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 Overstaffing at City Hall


For the Mayor:

Do you think it's reasonable for Owen Sound to spend $13 million on Salaries & Benefits when Kingsville, with a population greater than Owen Sound, can operate on only half of this amount?

Can you not see that there is something seriously wrong with the level of staffing at city hall and that you owe it to taxpayers to fix this problem?  

Owen Sound is spending at least $5 million more than needed on Salaries & Benefits.

Comparison Not Including Protective Services

  Salaries & Benefits Number Earning > $100,000 Number of Managers
  Owen Sound   $13,025,279


  Strathroy    $7,245,246


  Over Staffing   $5,780,033



$5,780,033 represents 17.6% of Owen Sound's revenue from taxation. This means that when Council addresses this problem taxpayers can expect at least a 15% reduction in taxes. Think about that for a minute and then email or call each member of council.

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23 comments on 4 pages
Why did our city council allow city hall to grow so big when Owen Sound has not grown at all in the last 20 years? Are they caving to the city manager instead of looking out for taxpayers?

We need the Mayor to explain why this has been allowed to happen and what heís going to do about it.
Scott Robinson

A most interesting dissertation on the City's tax burden. A personal observation on the art gallery from when I used to work before retiring. From 2003 to 2008 when I was a Canada Post mailman my route centered around the Library and art gallery, I was past the two facilities around the noon hour on my morning route and around 1 pm and 3:00 pm on the afternoon section. I observed maybe a half dozen people entering the gallery each year. Hardly a tourist attraction when you have those sort of numbers. At best this facility should be run by volunteers and no public funds. The City picks up the utility bills and property taxes so there is no need for public funds. Let the volunteers raise any further funds.

As for Public Transit it is a lost cause. The buses remain pretty well empty. At a bare minimum this service should be cut back to Monday to Friday and none on Saturday. Saturday is the same as Sunday: schools and Georgian College are closed, hospital is minimally staffed, vast majority of doctor's offices are closed. The service simply is not needed on weekends.

Another topic that the author missed is the Bayshore/Rec Center. These two make the above seem like small potatoes. Who would have thought the Rec Center would be so hugely over budget when built and the boosters neglected to mention that the operating deficit for EACH would be $500,000 per annum. The late Peter Lemon while on council said the Rec Center's debt would be financed from the interest reaped from the sale of Georgian Bay Energy. Just when will this white elephant be paid off and those funds be used on road improvements? It has been over 10 years since it opened. A city of 22,000 simply cannot fund two money pits that cater to winter sports. One of them has to close.

How about the City do a cost/benefit analysis of having the Attack in town? Seems like since Junior A hockey came to the Scenic City in 1989 our population has plateaued and we have had a rash of major employer departures. I think that we were sold a bucket of used pucks when the hockey proponents boasted that a Junior A franchise would put Owen Sound "on the map" and that there would be huge economic benefits. Unfortunately the opposite has happened.

Only good thing is the City has got rid of the Airport. I believe that we do not miss the Airport and we would not miss the Art Gallery or Junior A hockey. After all the City's economy does not collapse when hockey season is over. The savings could be immense by getting rid of the franchise. JOHN PICKETT.

My taxes are now higher than my mortgage ever was. Im at 8,000.oo a year (600 a month) now in property taxes, get no garbage removal, plow might come by after 3 days of storm, seen people stuck on our street. This has to stop, not sure where they think we get our money from but these frauds rob us of other luxuries in life.  
Wayne Behner

This is really alarming to read these facts....our workforce is so out of line when compared with municipalities of similar size...I can see now why we are in the highest residential taxes in Ontario....this requires immediate action on behalf of OS taxpayers...⁶  
Ken Baker

I just did a quick calculation. For every week that Council fails to address the over staffing problem at city hall it costs Owen Sound taxpayers $76,923  
Janice Smid

There is no doubt the author of this, and other, very important material has a comprehensive background and the ability to express not only problems...... but also solutions that need to be considered by Owen Sound Council. This is a crucial time for our elected officials to at least allow the author to make a personal presentation to Council so there can be no defensible reasons for not being aware of the facts.  
Ken Jones

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