Some say they won’t back mayor’s savings plan if it means severe cutbacks

They’re keeping open minds, but some councillors suggested yesterday that the cost savings plan that Mayor Larry O’Brien outlines today can’t include service cuts if he wants their support.


Councillors who spoke with Metro said they hope for “detailed, innovative” plans when O’Brien reveals this morning how he intends to cut up to $98 million to assist his election campaign pledge of no tax increases.


“I don’t want to hear just generalities because that is not going to help,” said Kanata North councillor Marianne Wilkinson, who said she’d entertain new ideas for savings, but not if services suffer.


“At the library board meeting we were told that in order to (get) zero over the next few years, we’d have to close 10 library branches and I’m not prepared to do that.”

Stittsville-Kanata West councillor Shad Qadri also does not want to see services cut. “(O’Brien’s) always said that he is not going to do damage or cut back any of the core services … in order to get a zero budget and I’m hoping that he’s going to live up to that.”

Coun. Bob Monette (Orleans) is optimistic O’Brien’s business acumen will find savings by fixing inefficiencies, while Rainer Bloess (Innes) acknowledged the mayor has a challenge to hold the line but he was still, “looking forward to something that I can buy into and say ‘these are great ideas, why didn’t I think of this?’”

Peggy Feltmate (Kanata South) wants details that will reassure her ward services will not be cut.

“I expect that he’ll have some very good ideas around the inefficiencies, but what I am more concerned about is cut backs.”

service warning

  • On Oct. 28, city manager Kent Kirkpatrick suggested the savings needed would require service cuts, and that even with a 4.8 per cent increase, Ottawa would need to cut $50 million.