City comes up with an estimate of $65,000-$110,000 to build a stairway linking two levels of a city park, and replacing a rutted path with a steep incline that was causing injuries.
Citizen builds the stairway for $550.
Retired mechanic Adi Astl says he took it upon himself to build the stairs after several neighbours fell down the steep path to a community garden in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont. Astl says his neighbours chipped in on the project, which only ended up costing $550 – a far cry from the $65,000-$150,000 price tag the city had estimated for the job.
“I thought they were talking about an escalator,” Astl told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.
Astl says he hired a homeless person to help him and built the eight steps in a matter of hours.
Problem solved, right?
Because boy, is the government mad:
City bylaw officers have taped off the stairs while officials make a decision on what to do with it. However, Astl has not been charged with any sort of violation.
Mayor John Tory acknowledged that the city estimate sounds “completely out of whack with reality” on Wednesday. [Noooooo! – Ed] However, he says that still doesn’t justify allowing private citizens to bypass city bylaws to build public structures themselves.
“I think everyone will understand that it will be more than $550,” he said on Wednesday. “We just can’t have people decide to go out to Home Depot and build a staircase in a park because that’s what they would like to have.”
Of course not.
There are consultants – members of the political class – to be paid to study the issue. There are contractors – favored by the political class, frequently due to polices promulgated and administered by other members of the political class – to whom money must be funneled, usually via other members of the political class.
If people just made stuff work, the system would completely break down!
“But what about the handicapped?”
He pointed out that the park already has an accessible path for those who worry about falling down the incline, which is essentially a shortcut from the parking lot to the garden area.
It’s all about showing the peasants who’s boss.