Thread: Flamborough
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Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 5:54 PM
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario
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I hate to give away trade secrets, but I did work on amalgamation. I did research, some preliminary budget consolidations and gave technical advice to some city departments. I did this for over a year. I was amazed on how little staff of all of the municipalities new of what went on outside of their desk, truck or domain.

They had no idea what they had or how their budgets work. When working on outside revenue, I found some departments did not know they could bill for work to an outside agency and then find another department was billing for the work. An example was one of the fire departments did not know they could bill for services to a provincial highway. But I found that the roads department was billing on their behalf and keeping the money for work they had not done. They where caught up in their own little world.

The public was no better. I was shock at the public information section what people thought they had and how little they actually had. They always had larger roads department, parks department, fire department and EMS service.

People in Ancaster, Waterdown and Dundas thought they had large fire departments. But it was all smoke and mirrors. They based their assumptions that if there where 6 fire trucks in a station, they where all staffed. Dundas had 3-person maximum on duty; Waterdown only went to 2 persons on days Monday to Friday just before amalgamation and Ancaster had 2 on a fire truck and 2 on an ambulance. During research, it was found that their ambulance that they paid 100% for was spending 85% of its time outside of Ancaster.

They talk about all of the shiny new trucks that Hamilton stole from them. Well if any of them where shiny new there old now. There was a lot of junk out there that went to the scrap yard after January 1. Dundas had 2-fire truck that could not start and they had to bring in mechanics to get them out of the station. Ancaster had several vehicles that went to the scrap yard. There was one Ancaster fire truck that really surprised us. The first workday after Hamilton took over, it was sent to the shop for an expection at 9 am. By noon the plates where removed and they started to strip it and by the end of the day it was at a scrap yard. It was so corroded; it was not safe and uneconomical to repair.

I could go on and on about what goes on out there. I am still somewhat involved with what is going on and I have made friends in low and high place that I still talk to.
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