With announcement of budget surplus, David Miller buffs up legacy, disappoints journalists

With announcement of budget surplus, David Miller buffs up legacy, disappoints journalists

David Miller convenes with Santa Claus (Image: Rob Reatrix, Toronto Life Flickr group) 

Speculation was running rampant this morning when David Miller called a press conference at city hall without giving so much as a clue what it was about. Was he entering the mayoral race after all? Was he pulling a Palin and quitting his job early? Was he taking a post at the UN? Was he jumping on the Giambrone train and confessing to a slew of lovers? It turned out to be Christmas for Toronto journalists—a really disappointing Christmas where our parents hint that we’ll be getting what we asked for, but all the gifts turn out to be encyclopedias. Turns out, Miller was just really excited to talk about his new budget.

According to the mayor, the city has a nine-figure surplus, which means Torontonians can expect lower-than-forecast property tax hikes over the next two years, a cutback of other fees, and no more fare increases for the TTC (he hopes).

We’re avoiding the sexual metaphor about how anticlimactic all this was (premature speculation, perhaps?)—not because we’re too classy, but because we find nothing sexier than municipal finance and budgetary surpluses. We think the mayor feels the same way—after the news conference, Miller was beaming, basking in the afterglow. (He’s a fan of big press announcements, but then again, he’d go to the opening of an envelope.)

The only Torontonians who might be displeased with this news are those running for Miller’s job. The announcement causes some shifting of platforms among mayoral candidates, and it certainly has some people asking how a city can claim to be poor, only to find $100 million when a mayor wants to buff up his legacy.

How did a city that’s broke find $100 million? [Toronto Star]
Tax hike still coming: Miller [Toronto Sun]
Toronto mayor announces slimmer tax increase [Globe and Mail]