Sunday, December 4, 2005

"It shows we're ahead of the curve, that we're making investments"

Anne-Marie DeCicco, earlier in the week, defending extravagant taxation and spending in London:

With both taxes and debt pressing issues, the task of how to divide this year's surplus, estimated at $8.7 million, is sure to be contentious.

The tax burden on Londoners is partly the result of high charges for water and sewer services. The average London homeowner paid $775 for the services last year, compared to a provincial median of $632.

London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco defended the charges, saying the city is ahead of others in terms of replacing aging infrastructure.

"It shows we're ahead of the curve, that we're making investments," said DeCicco, who, along with members of board of control, received a summary of the report yesterday.
The reality is that the city spends much much more on bread and circuses than on roads, sewers, emergency services and water pipes. The result? The city continues to crumble:
A burst watermain forced 21 Londoners from their homes early yesterday, flooding a large area near the Wellington Road bridge over the south branch of the Thames River.

Some angry residents said it took hours before emergency crews responded to their calls from the deluge, which poured into a bowl-shaped area south of the bridge near High Street.

[..] Firefighters used a water rescue craft to ferry Dennis Roberts -- trapped in his home at 5 Front St. -- to safety, along with his girlfriend, her two kids and their four pets.

"I had to flash the outside lights to tell them there was someone trapped at the end of the street," Roberts said.

"The water was probably five feet high," he said.

The icy water seeped into several nearby homes and two apartment blocks.

[..] London police Const. Leigh Salminen said the 911 centre received a number of calls about the break. But because it was not considered a police matter, it was referred to the city engineer's department.

Salminen said another call that came in just after 6 a.m. indicated a family was trapped by the rising waters. She said that triggered a call to emergency services, with firefighters arriving about 6:30 a.m.

The rushing water created a crater more than two metres wide. One area resident said there was a close call when the pavement crumbled in front of two people standing at the hole's edge.