Public Safety and Proper use of Public Funds at City of Winnipeg

Public Safety and Proper use of Public Funds at City of Winnipeg
Apr 27 2016 – Kevin Yaworski
I contacted Mayor Brian Bowman and my City Councillor Matt Allard today as well as Public Works Chair & Councillor Janice Lukes about the following.  I got a generic response from the Mayors office, a decent response from my Councillor’s aid and a personal response from Councillor Lukes saying “I will take these into consideration and will discuss with Mr. Todd Dube when we meet.”
It appears all the hard work by Todd Dube, Chris Sweryda and others at WiseUpWinnipeg  with the help of the media are finally making decent progress in getting these issues addressed.  We need to keep the momentum going, bring an end to this abuse as well as bring positive reform to prevent it from happening again.

We need to share this info online, by word of month and contact the individuals suggested for it to make a difference.

I challenge the mayor, any councillor, the police chief and anyone else to find faults in these recommended motions / reforms.

The city would have to pay consulting firms $100’s of 1000’s to come in and review this stuff but the public doesn’t need to pay for it. Todd Dube, Christian Sweryda and others at WiseUpWinnipeg with the help of the media have done most of the work for them and are asking for nothing in return for themselves. They only want the City & Province to do their job, including fix these public safety and mis use of public fund issues repeatedly raised, follow these recommendations and refund tickets illegally issued or notified.

To help make sure the Mayor and others on City Council listen to Todd and the rest of us and take concrete actions to address these issues I suggest you contact them as well and write them in your own words to ask for the reforms we need and deserve.
Letters such as these can have more impact on the recipients than many people realize especially if enough people do it.
Here is some suggestions but please use in your own words.
Please raise the provincial issues with the Premier, Ministers and your MLA.  The cabinet should be announced soon as well as MLA contact info.
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Public Safety and Proper use of Public Funds

Dear Mr Mayor [or Councillor [insert name]]

Thanks for choosing to serve the public and make Winnipeg a better place to work and live.  Many people voted for you when you promised to fight for transparency and accountability during your campaign.  From what I have been reading and hearing from others for the most part city council has not even been trying to do this.

Myself and many Winnipeggers I have talked to are disgusted and even furious after reading the following 2 articles in the Metro yesterday and today.

Why is the City diverting 4 Constables and MPIC spending $500k in Drivers MPI premiums in just the 1st yr for a study to determine whether warning signs or increased police enforcement at high risk intersections alters driver behaviour?
When well known and used North American Traffic Engineering studies already prove better signage improves safety and reduces violations ?.  If some of these intersections are high speed zones then the easiest and safest thing to do would be to put up flashing warning lights like they have on the perimeter to let drivers know that the lights will be red before they get there. Safe and effective (but little to no cash influx).
What is even worse is the info in the Metro article  linked above on Apr 25th about cover-up of the City’s shortened red light amber times which is illegal and unsafe but generates $ Millions for ACS / Xerox, The City & Province.
Do you and your Councillors and senior officials at the City truly care about public safety at intersections?  If so why are you deliberately setting red light amber times lower when it proven this increases rear end collisions and injuries?

 

The agreement between MPI and the city commenced in Dec. 2015 and continues until Jan. 31, 2018 during what Smiley calls a “pilot project.”
I was shocked to read City council votes to put the final touches on this agreement this week.

Explain how this is effective use of public funds and resources when you have almost 1 Billion in net debt, downgraded credit rating, the accompanying increased interest payments and worse of all one of the worst violent crime & property crime rates in Canada?

What do you plan to do to address these important issues of public safety and use of public funds?
I suggest you, your Public Works chair Janice Lukes and your other city councillors to vote against this study.

 

I have raised the related provincial issues with my MLA but they ignored me and same with the previous Premier, several Ministers and the AG / OAG, Mr Pallister while he was campaigning. Same when I raised several related issues in traffic court like the crown continuing to stay traffic offences when the accused well prepared to contest the alleged offence.  Continuing to offer half off bribes to change to guilty with explanation or guilty in advance or in court room.  Breach of charter rights with up to 18 months wait times to have your matter heard in court. and other serious legal issues.  The crown, JJP’s and crown witnesses lying on and of the record and no consequences or even discipline when caught.
There is transcripts and other records of this abuse of legal process and worse.
I am waiting for contact info for my new mla and for cabinet to be announced and I will contact them.
All of the following suggested motions for City Council are based on issues reported by the media, from FIPPA’s, by looking through the city’s own publicly available documents and studies from respected institutions like the Fraser Institute.
I expect these to be reviewed and hear publicly you will be putting them forward at the next council meeting to help improve public safety and proper use of public funds and resources.  I also expect to hear you publicly encourage your fellow councillors to support these motions:
If you, Public Works Chair & Councillor Janice Lukes, and other City councillors can’t address these issues and at least even try to keep your promises I expect to hear of your resignations so we can elect replacements.  We will choose candidates who have the public’s best interest at heart and are willing to fight to keep their promises.
Myself and the public will be checking how you and the other councillors vote on these motions and if any of them are not put forward we will be asking for an explanation on why?
Suggested Motions / Reforms for the next council meeting:
– Install the missing traffic signs brought to the Mayors attention via a Petition hand delivered to his office and a presentation shown to one of his policy analysts in Aug 2015 which he and Janice Lukes promised to see but didnt’ show up.  This has been brought to the attention of several people at the city repeatedly by WiseUpWinnipeg and others.  These are signs required by the HTA and well proven engineering standards.  These proven to reduce violations and improve traffic flow which proven to increase public safety. Traffic engineers required under the APEGM Act / legislation to insure public safety but city council and others in the city have been ignoring some of them.
– Increase the unsafe and dangerous red light amber times as required in the HTA. to be in-line with proven engineering standards and to what some of your own traffic engineers have recommended.  These proven to improve public safety and reduce violations.
– Sue ACS / Xerox to collect the funds and damages from falsely claiming safety improvement and requiring shortened amber times and other unethical if not criminal behavior.
– Refund illegal photo radar red light and speeding tickets as well as KYZ and parking tickets which the city already admitted were issued or given notice illegally.
– Consequences if WPS and the City continue to ignore the Conditions of Authority in the amendments to the HTA for Photo Radar Enforcement.  They need to annually report accurate safety improvement data for Fixed and Mobile Photo Radar.  i.e. MPIC data which is more complete and accurate than WPS data as not all accidents reported to WPS and including rear ends collisions that often happen very near the intersection but not right in it.
– Request the province have a referendum on 30k school zones and Photo radar use in Winnipeg.  With accurate safety improvement stats from MPI, without propaganda, with members of WiseUpWinnipeg and others in the public contributing to the discussion so the facts can be heard.  Then the public can make an informed decision.
– Scrap the plan to increase water rates unless a requirement added that they are to ONLY be used to upgrade water and waste systems and if contracted that funding based on performance.
– Put a freeze on hiring new staff including the 141 recently reported unless they replacing or new front line staff that are required and can’t be filled by transferring from another departments which are overstaffed.  Once the city’s net deficit is reduced to to a more reasonable figure than almost $1 Billion a review of removing the hiring freeze can be done.
I don’t have access to staffing levels for different city department or time to go through more city public documents but the info is there and that is what council and other city employees are paid to do.  There is efficiency to find.  There is larger cities that operate on less money per capita and with better infrastructure etc…  The best place to start based on this level of debt is the higher paid political aids or advisers and administrative staff.   Based on City documents there is enough of these already.
– All contracts over a reasonable amount to go through proper tendering process and review.  With all funding or contracts written to be based on performance or expected results and penalties if not.
– Reduce WPS budget and officers to what required and divert some of the remaining in traffic enforcement to serious crime (violent and property). We have one of the highest rates in of this as per WPS annual statements.  Also a recent study from the Fraser institute which is well respected stated WPS one of the worse overstaffed and inefficient in Canada.
– Re-instate officer body camera program as it proven in other jurisdictions to improve safety and accountability for officers and the public.
– Fund WPS based on performance including serious crime rates compared to the rest of Canada (including Violent and Property).
– Prohibit traffic enforcement where signage is not present as required in the HTA and North American Traffic Engineering standards which proven to improve safety and reduce violations.
– Prohibit traffic enforcement fees being included in City budgets or list as cost savings.  If safety is the objective then sign as per the hta and engineering standards which proven there will not be many violations or revenue to count on.  Once this done what little fees will be collected must go directly into improving public safety on the roads.
– Re-instate policy that high paid WPS officers names get published and not just badge number for more accountability like is required for other high paid public employees.  If their safety is a concern they are better trained in self defense than most and if they are accountable they have nothing to hide.
– Prohibit diverting officers from other departments to traffic enforcement. If they are available they should be preventing and investigating serious crime (violent and property) and if this low they can build better community relationships which will help prevent and solve serious crime.
– During salary and benefit negotiations require paying officers and other employees time in lieu instead of overtime like many other public employees and same for appearing in court instead of overtime.  Currently overtime is pensionable and this leading some officers to work overtime and issue unfair and illegal tickets and then hope the person contests in court.  Some officers have openly admitted to issuing tickets and then said it the courts issue to sort out.
– Require salary and benefits arbitration to take into consideration what the City (public tax payer) can afford, what the city’s current net deficit and interest payments are and current staffing levels / capita compared to other cities.
– Require city to listen to recommendations by the traffic review board and request the province and city fund and resource it adequately so it can review and maintain proper and safe speed limits, signage and red light amber times as per proven north american traffic engineering standards.  Give it a mandate to enforce signage for city and contractors with adequate discipline and fines for non compliance.  Council agreed to not permit some traffic engineers from attending council meetings and have been ignoring recommendations by some engineers who follow these standards and requirements of APEGM Act / legislation to insure public safety.
.
– Sell the 366k Armored vehicle and cancel the order for 200k worth of semi auto assault riffles.  A proper review of if these needed can be done when net deficit and interest payments and WPS budget reduced to affordable amounts.  It proven in several places in the world that more guns with police results in more police and the public being shot.
– Detailed performance review and audit of spending by WPS after 4 years after the above recommendations.  If there is no improvement put motion forward to review feasibility of transitioning the WPS to be part of the RCMP to improve efficiency and reduce costs.  The current approach is not working (several yrs with high costs and low performance based on serious crime (violent and property).  Several other countries like the UK have larger population and national police.  Also standard officers there do not carry firearms and only officers sent into more dangerous situations.  They have less police and public shootings and reduced costs per capita.
– Instate policy that council members and all employees including city officials sign oath of office or agreement that if they convicted of breach of public trust or other serious crimes they will be fired without severance or opportunity to litigate and surrender of public pension funds in proportion to public funds lost and severity of the crime(s).  This would be the best deterrent to protect the public from the deliberate abuse and deliberate theft or mis-use of public funds.
More info:
Warning you may find the following facts about Crime rates & Traffic Enforcement in Winnipeg very disturbing and it should make you take drastic steps to help resolve this and related issues.

CAN WE MAKE DRIVING IN WINNIPEG SAFER?

Important information about traffic engineering, signage, enforcement issues including non-compliance with National Traffic and Engineering standards (MUTCD).

https://youtu.be/QsaBqsLpp14

Concerned citizens of Winnipeg & Manitoba have been continually ignored or worse for several years and the consequences are much deeper than most realize!

http://wp.me/p1fJaD-du

I look forward to hearing from you.
Your Truly
Concerned Citizen
[Your name]
[Address]
[Ph # if you want]

About Kevin Yaworski

I use my blog to write about things I find interesting or that I think are matter of public interest.
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One Response to Public Safety and Proper use of Public Funds at City of Winnipeg

  1. Pingback: Province of Manitoba, City of Winnipeg and MPIC supporting Toward Zero / Vision Zero Strategy – What this really means | Whats Up

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