City staff to grow under new Ford budget?
Though Mayor Rob Ford was elected with a promise to cut the civil workforce, figures released Monday suggest that hundreds of staff will be added to the city payroll this year.
Critics of Ford say that adding jobs is yet another case of the mayor not being able to deliver on his campaign promises.
Staff for the TTC, which has a surging ridership, and for the downtown Sony Centre, are two such areas where more workers could be added.
"When another bus is needed, people expect a driver," said Coun. Shelly Carroll Monday, adding that Toronto is a "complex organism" that can't simply be slashed away at.
Coun. Gord Perks echoed those sentiments at City Hall.
"It seems like every day he breaks a promise. He promised extra police, we are getting less. He promised no major cuts, but look what's happening to the TTC," said Perks, referring to an earlier Ford gambit that would have led to route cutbacks.
Still, Ford backers said that the actual number of new hires is only 47 or 48 this year, since the operating budget will slash 470 jobs but add 518 new positions.
"I would suggest that 47 is probably 20 times less than the number of people hired last year," said Coun. Doug Holyday.
"We are certainly going in the right direction, and in the future, (we) will do even better."
The final city budget will go before council for approval at the end of February.