Mark Brown 10/20/2013 2:41:56 AM Report
Good morning VRoomers,
Okay, I'll keep my mouth shut today, but I have to say that the input and discussion from yesterday was great!
In years where there is a Surplus (i.e. taxpayers paid too much) use Participatory Budgeting to have citizens decide where the Surplus will be spent.
What is Participatory Budgeting you ask?
Well, according to Wikipedia, "Participatory budgeting (PB) is a process ... in which ordinary people decide how to allocate part of a municipal or public budget. Participatory budgeting allows citizens to identify, discuss, and prioritize public spending projects, and gives them the power to make real decisions about how money is spent. When PB is taken seriously and is based on mutual trust local governments and citizen[s] can benefit equally. In some cases PB even raised people's willingness to pay taxes.
Participatory budgeting generally involves several basic steps: 1) Community members identify spending priorities and select budget delegates 2) Budget delegates develop specific spending proposals, with help from experts 3) Community members vote on which proposals to fund 4) The city or institution implements the top proposals[.]
A comprehensive case study of eight municipalities in Brazil analyzing the successes and failures of participatory budgeting has suggested that it often results in more equitable public spending, greater government transparency and accountability, increased levels of public participation (especially by marginalized or poorer residents), and democratic and citizenship learning."
For more information on Participatory Budgeting go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_budgeting
What do you VRoomers think about Idea #2? You can comment here in the VRoom, or email me, confidentially, with your comments, complaints, solutions and Budget ideas at email@example.com
Thanks to everyone that emailed me yesterday. I appreciated all of your input (both positive and negative), solutions and Budget ideas very much.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
flyhawk25 10/20/2013 7:46:23 AM Report
MB...I've had a chance to mull over your idea for a municipal tax limit.
It's a good starting point for the discussion.
Any large group of folks sharing municipal costs have needs and wants. But that must be tempered by the taxpayers' ability to pay and the long term ongoing contracts with their employees.
To keep tax increases at zero is not realistic. But neither is unlimited taxation of the citizens. So to set an annual increase of around 2% makes sense.
As for long term plans - to use the advice of the great American urban planner Burnham who advised 'think big' 'work' 'hard'.
The result was the great urban spaces of Chicago.
In my lifetime we seem to lack that. Consequently we lurch from one downtown project to the next depending on who's in office.
If we had a solid well thought out ten year plan we'd be much better off.
But that calls for vision and leadership.
TFinn 10/20/2013 7:58:50 AM Report
Morning all …
This is just a general question and or view point. Recently a couple got into it, entitled “He swings, she swings” and because it was the weekend or holiday there would be WASH court to set bail and conditions …my point is this. It takes people, and a judge to have this WASH thing, ..that has to cost the tax payers a lot of $$. Give the people involved a choice, if they want WASH court so they can get out of jail for the weekend ..then they can pay the court costs for that convenience themselves. These costs, should in no way come from the pockets of the law abiding tax payers. Our tax money can be better used elsewhere. Just tired of law breakers costing us more $$ to deal with them …. Just my opinion.
Retreaded 10/20/2013 8:06:16 AM Report
I would think the judge would be NO CHARGE SINCE THEY ARE PAID A HEFTY ANNUAL salary. You bring up a good point though. Why are we so concerned that these arrested culprits might have to spend a couple of days in jail? It might be a good thing for them to get a taste of the "inside".
TFinn 10/20/2013 8:25:22 AM Report
Just because people are on salary doesn’t mean they can work anytime or all the time .. ..put it this way, if you were paid a salary ..why would you want to ruin your time off to convenience idiots ?? ..I wouldn't ..my time can be better spent on more pressing issues. Plus I assume there has to be a cop along with a recorder in attendance to record what transpired…. the list goes on ..it's a waste of time and money in my books. My point is … “make the idiots pay” .. not us ..! Just say'n :)
Grump 10/20/2013 9:02:42 AM Report
Good morning everyone, the first real frost this a.m., had to scrape the ice off the car windows. The sun is coming out I guess I could have waited but the boss wanted to get to Church. Time to head up to the West Side for breakfast soon. Skipper are you still residing at the barn? I will be in Tuesday morning but likely won't see much until later but am told I will be there until Friday. If you are motoring around ,drop by and we can do our best not to get in trouble and be penalized an extra week for our efforts. Have a great day all.
theprotector 10/20/2013 9:11:23 AM Report
yeah cuz it is so much cheaper to keep them locked up without habeaus corpse!
Spellchecker 10/20/2013 9:31:38 AM Report
Pilgrim 10/20/2013 10:00:19 AM Report
@Grump ... from your post is it safe to assume you have a surgical date?
If so, wishing you a successful outcome and uneventful recovery...
Regards to Skipper as well ...
northernmale 10/20/2013 10:02:58 AM Report
why do we have city building inspectors? You go in to get a permit , they tell you ,you have to get an an engineers to draw it up> you ask why they say they do not want the liability. Ok so why not get rid of city engineers if you have to pay someone to do the job they are hired to do.
northernmale 10/20/2013 11:42:50 AM Report
sorry I did not mean building inspectors but the engineering dept.No mater what you want to do on your building they want an engineer study or plan done. Why if we pay for there services are they not giving them to us. There is lots of savings could be made. Watched city board of works repair a section of pavement 8 feet wide by 20 feet long. Had seven man watching two truck drivers and a roller driver. Then a foreman shows up also. Could have hired a contractor one driver one roller driver and a flag man and two workers.
book_end 10/20/2013 11:54:18 AM Report
its just like " call before you dig " You call for a locate and the PUC will not mark anything on Private property, which would be good if I was digging on the street.and gas will only locate their line. If you have one going to a garage they will not mark that one. So, why even call?
Retreaded 10/20/2013 11:57:04 AM Report
For all you Justin Trudeau fans:
A woman was playing golf when she took a big swing and fell. The party waiting behind her was a group from Ottawa that included Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau quickly stepped forward and helped her to her feet.
She thanked him and started to leave, when he said, "I'm Justin Trudeau and I hope you'll vote for me in the next Federal Election.
She laughed and quickly said, "I fell on my ass, not my head!"
Pink Peony 10/20/2013 12:06:14 PM Report
Grump, you and Skipper could race down the halls of SAH in your wheelchairs! Wee, sounds like fun!
right wing 10/20/2013 12:10:16 PM Report
City engineers are not there to supply drawings for private projects.
If you are doing an addition to a residence or building a garage they need a drawing to ensure that footings and loads are going to be properly done.
Some of the building supply stores, example: Lyons Timbermart, have very competent draftsmen on hand that will produce these drawings for you for a fee and these drawings will be accepted by the city building department.
In some cases yes they may want a footing stamped by an engineer depending on circumstances but that is not usually the case.
The cost of the drawings will be credited back if you purchase all of the materials at their store.
right wing 10/20/2013 12:10:48 PM Report
A three mile an hour race ??
Just Curious 10/20/2013 12:14:38 PM Report
They will all do it if you buy their stuff when you build it...
Don't think I will go to the Rosie any time soon....Frigin' wackos....
right wing 10/20/2013 12:28:43 PM Report
I was in the "Rosie" once.....
redranger 10/20/2013 12:28:51 PM Report
They are very understanding in some of these planning offices. Twenty years ago I had a large home built on the shore of Goulais Bay. The contractor reminded me one morning to pick up the building permit for the garage since they were pouring the slab that morning.
I went to Soo North Planning with my little lot plan drawing and the man said "you can't put the garage there". I had not realized that the front of a water lot is the water side , not the road side. He told me that no building can be closer to the front than the main building. I explained that the slab was already being poured and asked him what I could do. He said", Go back to your office and redraw this diagram". So I redrew the plan with garage moved and took it back to him. He said. "That's better" and gave me the permit.
right wing 10/20/2013 12:30:48 PM Report
There can be a lot of truth in humour.
right wing 10/20/2013 12:32:38 PM Report
You were lucky back then.
Today you would have been trying to figure out how to drag that cement pad back.
David Poluck 10/20/2013 12:41:27 PM Report
Sorry I missed yesterdays discussion on municipal budget.
This is one of the topics for the Thursday night SAR meeting which will include as a special guest Mark King,finance group organizer. Skyped in from the Northbay Taxpayers Association to discuss common points of interest to help organize the discussions during the Finance committee budget input meetings as listed below.
PUBLIC BUDGET INPUT SESSIONS
The Finance Committee has scheduled two Public Budget input Sessions requesting
public input for the municipal budget for 2014 and future years on the following dates.
Saturday, November 2,2013
10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Russ Ramsay Room
99 Foster Drive
Tuesday, November 5,2013
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Northern Community Centre
(West End Community Centre)
Korah Branch Library
Essar Community Room
556 Goulais Avenue
Sault Ste.Marie residents are encouraged to email budget comments and
suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
until Friday, December 13,2013.
That the report of the Commissioner of
Finance and Treasurer concerning Public
Budget input Sessions be received as
right wing 10/20/2013 12:51:51 PM Report
Oh Gee whiz...more bad news for the Harper haters.
The comments keep ringing in on the positives of the CETA deal.
-Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said on Friday her province supports the deal but has a few concerns around its provisions on pharmaceuticals, among other areas.
"We'd like to make sure that there is compensation if any of our pharmaceutical industry is adversely affected," Wynne said.
Wynne also said she supports the deal because it gives its manufacturers and service providers more access to European markets.
Ontario estimates the deal will create an estimated 30,000 jobs across the province.
-Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz refuted the suggestion that Canada made gains in the beef, pork and bison industries at the expense of dairy farmers.
"Not true, not at all," Ritz said on Friday.
Ritz said while the Europeans will be able to sell Canadians more cheese, Canadians will be able to sell them other dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and ice cream — on top of cheese.
"Our dairy industry has complete, unfettered access for all dairy products into the European market."
-Claude Dauphin, the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, welcomed the agreement in principle saying it was the result of two years of collaboration between the municipalities and the federal government.
Dauphin said "while some important details remain to be confirmed," the FCM was "more optimistic than ever."
Wisenheimer 10/20/2013 12:59:45 PM Report
They was playing stud poker. Bill had two pair, aces and eights. Watching his luck was the lady known as Lou. The kid was gonna make a name for himself. Even tho his momma told him to "leave your guns at home" he said "ha" what does she know.
The room filled with gunsmoke and Bill fell heavily to the floor. The year 1846, the bar the "Rosie" on Korah Township Road.
Just Curious 10/20/2013 1:00:56 PM Report
I built a cottage/house on a waterfront lot on 4 seasons drive.. Never got a permit,knew how far back from the water it had to be and went from there. The year after it was up I got a tax bill,no lecture about not getting a permit,just the tax bill. Same for the septic. When I went they asked me who was doing the work. When I told them they said he knows how to do it and that was that.Hydro one is the one you have to worry about out there..
redranger 10/20/2013 1:08:34 PM Report
RW and JC
Perhaps I may have mentioned the names of the guys doing the subcontracting (Maki (Sr), Petenuzzo, Uchmanowitz and Irwin)..hmm..do you think that may have helped? Does it still work?
right wing 10/20/2013 1:09:03 PM Report
Long time ago ???
No septic inspection when your septic contractor was finished?
The AHU knows the local septic contractors and the contractor has to pull a septic permit.
There is always an inspection before the back filling of the system.
right wing 10/20/2013 1:14:17 PM Report
No it does not.
Things got out of hand some time ago with folks adopting an attitude of "just do what you want" due to the lax policies of the planning board.
You would not get away with that today or for the last decade or more.
A fellow in Goulais Bay area (as you know an unorganized township) built a home on property that he had been given notice not to build a residence on and he did it anyway.
The planning board shut him down.
It went to court and the planning board won.
The house was a complete financial loss.
It was shall we say, precedent setting.
right wing 10/20/2013 1:16:19 PM Report
Actually let me re-phrase...not lax policies but lax policy enforcers.
redranger 10/20/2013 1:18:46 PM Report
If you are speaking of the fellow who built on the flood plane in Olar Subdivision after his permits were all denied, he appealed and got provincial ok. He built that big house and still lives there 20 years afterward. Yes he also was a plumber.
You are correct about septic and there is a good choice of responsible septic contractors.
right wing 10/20/2013 1:23:41 PM Report
No I not speaking of Don, I know him and what he went through.
He was another of those that got put through the gauntlet.
Just Curious 10/20/2013 1:26:03 PM Report
Maybe 18yrs ago now and I never saw a permit or an inspector,other than Hydro one. There was three different ones of those and nobody ever agreed with what the last one said. Finally went to the guy that laid out the electrical plan and he made a couple of phone calls,got my approval within days....Knew a fellow out there that wired his garage without a permit. It was all done to standards but because he did it without a permit they fined him a couple of grand and made him remove all of it.
right wing 10/20/2013 1:30:37 PM Report
This couple had the foundation in and the frame work up.
There are many examples after the planning board tightened up...a garage built to close to a lake after being told not to...down it came and a two story that was denied and the second floor had to come off after and the roof dropped onto the first floor...a slab poured in the wrong place, much like your example, and they had to re-pour...ended up with an nice 15' concrete deck on the front of the house.
There has been talk for some time now that they are going to start plumbing inspection in unorganized townships as it comes under health and safety, like septic systems do.
mallet 10/20/2013 1:37:01 PM Report
RW and Redranger..
When we built it was the MNR who did the planning and or building applications. They liked the old graph paper for the plans of where you were going to put things. The AHU was a little more detailed and I think sent someone out to check, the rest was up to you, no building inspectors or anything, but hydro was a different matter, they had a book and you went by that. Unfortunately by the time the wires had been connected for the hydro along this area the book was out of date, and the inspector was just out of school, no disrespects RedR, but he was fussy as fussy can be, even to measuring the distance between the wire clamps.The ground rods he wanted 90 degrees to the gound, bedrock is just 3ft down, it took the chief inspector to come and sort that out and they went horizontal the correct distance apart.. Today I am not sure, the house was rewired and now they give you a letter and a couple of stickers on the breaker box..
right wing 10/20/2013 1:37:33 PM Report
Usually if you wire without a permit they do fine you, it used to be around 150.00 by my last recollection and then they make you pull the permit and of course pay for it.
If it all passed the codes I cannot for the life of me understand why they would make him remove all or any of it.
Even if you have a code deficiency it is simply written up and the job not passed until the correction is done.
No pass by the hydro inspector, no hook up to the pole.
right wing 10/20/2013 1:46:06 PM Report
Nothing like getting a fresh inspector that wants to prove themselves on the job.
I know most of the electrical inspectors in this area and for the most part they are a good bunch...but they have a job to do.
There was one fella that did the North that many feared due to his reputation as a stickler on detail.
When you got to know him he was O.K...bottom line is you dance to their tune as they are holding the wand.
That is why the bulk of my electrical work is sub-contracted to qualified electrical contractors.
The have "blanket permit" numbers they pay a yearly fee for and they simply call in the job they have completed.
The inspectors pick which ones they choose to show up on.
Minor ones usually are not bothered with.
When inspectors get to know that you do quality work, comply with the codes, they many times show up...take a quick look and have a chat.
Get caught cutting corners for no good reason and you get put under the microscope again.
redranger 10/20/2013 2:46:18 PM Report
These changes have come about because of reputable tradesmen/contractors such as yourself who have brought a standard of excellence into the trades. I commend you for this.
redranger 10/20/2013 2:52:04 PM Report
I know there was no disrespect intended nor was any taken. I just wanted to say the "just out of school" abilities have changed drastically during my time in education. This January, I will begin my 53rd consecutive year in teaching at the secondary/college and/or university level in mathematics. Students who now leave high school with marks of 90+ in advanced math cannot hold a candle to grade 12 general level mathematics in the 70's and early 80's.
What do you think R.W. ?
Grump 10/20/2013 2:53:15 PM Report
Pilgrim thanks for the thought. Pink Peony I'm sure the Skipper and I will get into trouble but somehow doubt it will be for racing. That is unless the chairs have a 1000 cc or better on them. lol. A friend of mine who had both knees done told me to take a chunk of 2x4 along to bite down on when you are getting physio . Somehow that part doesn't sound like all that much fun, then again this has been biting me so hard for so long maybe I won't notice it much. One of my Granddaughters finishes her R.N. this year and has classmates on that ward so I told her to tell them to be gentle with Grandpa. I maybe should have been quiet as the little Imp may have set me up for a prank or two. Have a great afternoon all.
mallet 10/20/2013 3:15:17 PM Report
Having left school before you started teaching I have to say that IMHO the use of technical age instruments has probably contributed to that, I won't say problem, but lack of knowledge. In my day you had REPEAT HAD to show all the working of a problem, not just give and answer and to add to that we also had to show the working from the answer backwards, to prove the question. Today it is hard to get anyone in the service industries to know how to make change if the till is down. I do not necessarilly blame the teachers, I think that comes down the pipeline from the minister or their underlings, who have to try and support their salaries, so come up with ideas that do not always bear fruit.
I'd like to leave you with a math problem.. My mother had 2 sons, my father had 2 sons, how many children were the in the family. clue it's a trick question!
Grump 10/20/2013 3:21:40 PM Report
RedRanger I suspect thee and me sometimes expect too much when it comes from students and young employees having come through years when the best was the norm for output. There does seem to be a disconnect between what they were taught and how they can apply it. There were tradesmen in the old days without much formal education who could build various items requiring math skills that I'm sure many new graduates couldn't do. It reminds me of a fellow who worked for me in Saudi. He had a Phd. and technically could tell you what you needed in his field but a flat tire could screw up his whole day. He damn near needed a babysitter to get through life. We will have to do lunch as soon as the Skipper is good to go.
redranger 10/20/2013 5:12:53 PM Report
That sounds super. Perhaps we could invite your brother-in-law also. As soon as you and Dave are up and running we shall get together.
right wing 10/20/2013 7:10:35 PM Report
The trades today are much more involved than they were in the past.
Strong math skills even on the basic level are a must.
I teach a specialized course at Sault College, the third and fourth year apprentices, four classes per year.
I really enjoy it and the students for the most part are great.
I can always tell if they are with it by the questions they are asking.
The joke today with the trades is how big of a briefcase you need to carry around the various licenses required as so many areas are becoming specialized.
mallet 10/20/2013 7:50:16 PM Report
Those little blue slips take up a lot of room in a wallet and have to be handy in case an inspector comes round and wants to know who is doing what. When I worked in a garage once they came round because someone had said they were employing non trade people to do tradesmens work, and that was years ago, before I went on to bigger, not necessarily better things, but pay was better. In the old country we used to have semi skilled workers in industry, they were most people who had grown up with a wrench in their hands but had not got the smarts for the exams, but in lots of cases were as good or better than some of the trades people.. Today auto mechanics need to have computer backgrounds as well and have to up grade every so often to stay current.
flyhawk25 10/20/2013 8:02:10 PM Report
I am still surprised that the 'trades' are looked upon as a refuge for dumb kids who hate school.
I suspect that it has to do with the fact that many - too many - teachers in student services have never gotten their hands dirty.
Too many young people get directed towards an education that results in a debt, a degree and a McJob.
All work has value and it takes work and sweat to do well in your field. It will take time but if I had a dollar for every kid who told me that they were entering a degree program 'where the jobs are' I'd be very wealthy.
You go to university to broaden your background, you travel to find out about other people and cultures and you get your hands dirty because there is no easy way to do most things.
We all have gifts. The trick is to find them and build on them.
mallet 10/20/2013 8:35:24 PM Report
There's an old Yorkshire saying, "where there's muck there's money" and to some extent that is true. The one problem in Canada is that the Apprenticeship system is subject to the vagaries of the trades. Personally I went into the mechanical side rather than the building, that can be done anywhere while building, wether in the UK or here is often at the mercy of the weather. Also there are oppotunities to go to places you would not go in any other way, if it wasn't to work, I have worked in the Artic and the Tropics, food was better in the Artic. It seems to me, that all parents want a univesity education for their offspring, without counting the cost and the work available afterwards, whereas you start earning at the beginning of an apprenticeship. Sure theres a cost overalls and tools but you don't need that many to start and can buy a few as the paycheques allow. I know it is nice to put the MA, BA, BSc after your name, but if you cannot get a job because they think you are TOO educated it is very hard on the self esteem.