Examining revenues and wishful tax thinking at City Hall

Last weeks public meeting on budget preparations provided a few interesting tidbits of information from City Hall.

With the city putting together its budget forecast for 2008, the city hosted a Monday night open house of sorts to underline their fiscal concerns and expectations for this year.

Among some of the details outlined on Monday were that CityWest will once again, for the third year in a row miss its target of providing 2 million dollars in revenue for the city, instead cutting its expected contribution to the city’s bottom line to one million dollars…

( from  the blog a town called podunk,  click on the link below to see the entire article atowncalledpodunk.blogspot.com/2 … 3089  )-

I watched the Dog and Pony show tonight on ten, they went very high Tec. with Briglio attending the meeting via telephone. Pond was at his finest and speaking of Herb Boom Boom Pond was seen at Tim’s this morning and customers thought they had slept a few months and it was Shaking babies and kissing hands time so soon.

You are absolutely right, I also watched the dog and pony show and frankly it was distasteful.  It was interesting to listen to how they could slash some dollars out of the budget in order to reduce the tax rate to 4.25% on Tony Briglio’s motion, but never stopped to question why they are paying Gord Howie’s wife (Tanalee Hesse) $4200 biweekly for contract services.  If my calculation serves me right, that is hat amount equates to over $109,000 a year. Several months back when council was questioned on just what Ms. Hesse does, Herb graciously told the person that he wasn’t prepared to answer his question. 

Well, our taxes just increased 5% last night, and I really don’t see how this budget or the proceeding budgets for this matter is going to repair our infrastructure.  I also noted that the Citywest dividend has not decreased to 1 million dollars.  If memory serves me correct, the transfer of the Citywest dividend was close to 2 million dollars.  I think that it is time for us all to really consider all options come November…

And “who” might I ask are you suggesting run for public office in this fair city? Who is the saviour? All we ever hear is criticism on HTMF. Lord knows we’ve identified the problems six hundred times each. What are the answers, Council Watch sir (or madam)?  I’m sure everyone would love to hear your plans for the future of this city and will you be running?

I have a solution to some of our city’s problems - Sell City West.  Why are the taxpayers are being stripped of another 5% and continuing to support this city with everything that they have while our elected officials are allowing this huge multi-million dollar asset sit there and provide no relief is beyond me.

Who is the saviour of this city?  Well I don’t know if there is a saviour out there but there has been and certainly will be options on who to vote for in the next municipal election.  Anything other than the status quo will do just fine.

I vote for beanaround…He would ensure fiscal responsibilty to the table.

I have a solution to some of our city’s problems - Sell City West.  Why are the taxpayers are being stripped of another 5% and continuing to support this city with everything that they have while our elected officials are allowing this huge multi-million dollar asset sit there and provide no relief is beyond me.[/quote]

Now that Citywest has chosen to go with Beta instead of VHS in the digital telephone wars, better sell it before it’s too late!

I’m not sure about Beta versus VHS, but yeah, GSM is definitely the dominant technology.  Nokia has stopped making CDMA phones.  Maybe in a few years you’ll start to see the selection of CDMA handsets shrink to just a couple of manufacturers.

I think Verizon in the US is switching from CDMA to GSM, and even Telus is considering the move in Canada.

What I think is more important than GSM versus CDMA is that Citywest has just stopped paying its dividend.  It’s no longer really much of a benefit to the city, tax-wise.  I wonder why the City is just letting them off the hook like that? 

I’m just guessing but I’m going to assume a large part of them not switching to GSM  was the hassle of explaining to people why they’d need new phones.

Obviously they could have kept the old network running but then they have the cost of maintaining two networks with the same small customer base and thats not feasible for long.

Eventually I’m sure they will be forced to make the switch but that time has not come. Its a real shame to see Citytel go from the pride of the city to a waste of taxpayer money… They had so much promise.

Well, that and the fact that Citywest doesn’t seem to be looking into the future anymore, but rather into the past.

Remember, less than a year ago when the head of Citywest said “I’ve done some checking around with businesses in town and they don’t see a demand for [mobile data services]” ?  Or how about this gem:  “I don’t see it as a big thing in Rupert.”

With wonderful 1980’s thinking like that, Citywest is screwed.

Remember when Citytel was at the forefront of technology?  We had DSL connections while most of Canada was still using dial-up.

What happened to that?

Being on the forefront of technology costs money, money they don’t want to spend.  There just isnt a market in Rupert for them to make money anymore. The population has dropped off and from what I hear the economy is still in the shitter. The last thing people need when they can barely afford rent/food is technology.

I do find it somewhat funny that when I was living in rupert 6 years ago I had a faster connection than I do now.  Citytel/citywest isnt the only telecom company being short sighted. Telus doesnt appear to have invested in their infrastructure either.

On the plus side of all this since I’m on rogers I wont have to pay massive roaming charges while in rupert.

cityest blows.  i got my blackberry on tuesday and it doesn’t work properly cause we are stuck with a 1x connection instead of the 1xev what i need.  it works in terrace, masset and skidegate even just not in rupert.  citywest has to upgrade their network or let someone else run the show.

Would also be interesting to hear what Mr. Howie is paid by CityWest for being the CEO and Chair of that upstanding corporation…

What is truly fascinating about Citwest’s decision to partner up with Northwest Tel for their expertise …yada yada… is that Northwestel only put a digital cell network in place in their area within the past two years. With that in mind it pretty easy to understand the issues that are being felt by cell users in Rupert. As for picking CDMA over GSM… well just look back at what Rob the ostrich had to say about cellular data services and the decision becomes a lot clearer!!  :smiley:

Do they not have to disclose that figure somewhere in their yearly reports?

Since they don’t hold as many public meetings as they used to and such i guess it’s harder to find out, but being a publicly owned entity there must be a paper trail out there somewhere I would thinik.