Toronto City Hall Waste $75,000 for 30 Chairs

Toronto City Hall Waste $75,000 for 30 Chairs
Toronto City Hall Waste $75,000 for 30 Chairs

Toronto city hall spent $75,000 on 30 chairs! How could a responsible individual or group justify using taxpayers’ funds to buy 30 chairs at $2,500 each? Type of chairs, history, ambience, are irrelevant. The only concern must be the source of funding–we, the people. Firing the person responsible does not deal adequately with the underlying cause: a toxic system, a prodigal mindset, disregard for people’s finances.

Mayor Rob Ford does not condone this decision. That’s refreshing. However, can he change the embedded intrepid bureaucratic culture? I don’t think so. The system thrives on complexities and ineffectiveness. Canadian government folks get good wages and benefits, including outstanding pensions, yet they perform ineffectively. Where is their incentive to become more value conscious?

Toronto city hall did what governments do

Toronto city hall is government. And governments waste money, among other reasons, because they look at the ‘top line’ and are not accountable for waste. When they want money they tax, or borrow, and then tax to cover the borrowing. With funds they get, they spend without regard to value received. Sometimes they are embarrassed by stupid behavior, and someone might resign with a great severance package. Where is the accountability?

Unlike a ‘top line’ organization–Toronto city hall– a firm must look at  its “bottom-line” to ensure its income covers its expenses. It does not have a captive nonchalant group of citizens from whom to extract taxes at will. Sadly, several charities operate like governments. They spend irresponsibly. Then they appeal to people’s emotions for more ‘top line’ funds, and get more, to boot!

I do not know anyone who believes governments can be responsible stewards of tax collected. Do you? We accept the status quo. Meanwhile, governments spend large sums with total disregard for the public.

Will someone be held accountable for former Ontario premier McGuinty’s politically motivated irresponsible decision to cancel projects at a cost that might end at around one billion dollars? Politicians will talk, get reports, but nothing to like private sector’s accountability standards will be implemented.

‘Top line’ focussed organizations, governments and charities, coerce or demand more funds from their target groups with impunity, and without fiscal accountability. Besides, governments create complex survival systems. That’s why we have no choice but to accept embedded governmental waste.

We must demand that they stop providing non essential services. When they refuse, we must insist that they outsource these non-essentials to the private sector, with private sector workforces for better accountability.

People need to become informed and realize less government is our best alternative. There is no evidence to suggest governments or committee’s controlled by governments can perform as effective stewards of taxpayers’ funds. Let’s stop demonizing businesses, hold politicians on short leashes, and demand personal consequences for government employees who show outrageous incompetence and ineffectiveness.

© Copyright 2013, Michel A. Bell

Michel A. Bell

Michel A. Bell is a former senior business executive, author of six books (including Business Simplified released in 2018), speaker, and adjunct professor of business administration at Briercrest College and Seminary. Michel is a Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants (UK), holds a Masters of Science in management degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Doctor of Business Administration honoris causa from Briercrest College and Seminary. He is founder and president of Managing God's Money.

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