The only thing the budget committee cut: oversight

The National Post’s Chris Selley follows up on the story about cuts to the Toronto ombudsman’s office by noting that it was literally the only change to the budget made this week:

On Jan. 10, the city’s recommended gross operating budget stood at $9,372,571,000 and allowed for 47,063 staff positions. After six agonizing days of minute budget committee discussions, it now stands at $9,372,468,000 and allows for 47,061 staff positions. From dozens of separate departments’ and agencies’ budgets, the thrift-minded committee squeezed two staff positions and $103,000. And it all came from one budget: the ombudsman’s, which had been set to increase by roughly 10%.

via Chris Selley: Ford cuts one thing — oversight at city hall | Posted Toronto | National Post.

The whole thing just strikes me as insane. The argument that Councillor Peter Milczyn has advanced — that the ombudsman may not need those staff members because customer service will improve over the next year — seems to suggest that the previous council was actively in favour of bad customer service.

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