City budget indecipherable to ordinary citizens

Toronto released their budget this week and other than the usual tax hikes for property owners, this interesting post on Eye Daily about the gibberish and jargon of a city budget.

It lists the specialized terms the budget contains to describe its expenditures and revenues, and the list is incomprehensible, even to me, a soon-to-be Chartered Accountant:

  • OMBI
  • COTA
  • Net pressures
  • Revenue tools
  • Adjusted pressure
  • MPMP
  • ABCs
  • Single tier and regional CAOs
  • COLA
  • Assessment growth
  • Social service cost sharing
  • OW COA
  • EMS
  • CM & CFO
  • FY Incremental Outlook
  • Full cost recovery model

It’s a little ridiculous, no? How do they expect ordinary citizens to understand where their property taxes are going, if I can’t even decipher the above?

The link above contains comments on the original post that outline what the terms most likely mean, although no one from the City has come forward with the official definitions.


TransitCamp set to improve the TTC

A group of Toronto bloggers are getting together this weekend for the TTC TransitCamp to brainstorm ways to improve the TTC’s absolutely horrid website.

When I first heard about it a few days ago, my first impulse was to try to get involved. Then I realized, there are probably many more Torontonians with much more to contribute than one who drives every day to random parts of the GTA.

Some got together on January 21 to plan the event, and the group can be seen in this Flickr set. The event has even been dugg! The buzz is building and I can’t wait to hear about the great ideas that are sure to result from this innovative “unconference.”


Accounting has returned to Nashville

It’s a little strange but within a week of an announcement by BDO Seidman that they were returning to Nashville, Tennessee with an office and aim to focus on the health care industry, PricewaterhouseCoopers makes a similar announcement about said city and industry.

What I’m wondering is why both of those firms are just establishing (or in the case of PwC, re-establishing) offices there now. With a population pushing 1.5 million in the metro area, who was getting all the work? More regional firms I’d bet.


Electric atmosphere at Jays opener

I was at the Toronto Blue Jays baseball game last night at the Rogers Centre and man was it crazy.

Over 50,000 people there to watch the Jays? What is this, 1993? I had a good seat down the third base line, giving me a great view of Bengie Molina’s home run in the 4th inning.

Jays ace Roy Halladay was awesome, new free agent signing B.J. Ryan came in and shut the door in the 9th, and Troy Glaus and Lyle Overbay had runs too.

The only downside was the massive headache this morning, not making the long drive to Pickering, where I’m working this week, any easier. On a disgusting side note, there was a guy urinating on the subway last night when I was on my way home.


Toronto’s subway a likely terrorist target

A focus group study by the Federal government has highlighted the common belief amongst urban Canadians that Toronto’s subway is the most likely target for terror in this country. And the inventor of pointing out the obvious rests comfortably in his or her grave.

“For many, Toronto’s size, international profile and economic and financial importance to Canada made it the most probable target, especially by participants from this city.”

I think they just forgot to mention Toronto’s cultural influence as well.