Ever since Rob Ford took command at Toronto City Hall, the administration has existed under the auspices of “ending the gravy train.” A few dollars saved here, a couple pennies pocketed there. And now we know where all that money was going. Chairs, really expensive chairs. According to revelations that came out this week, City Hall just bought 30 new chairs. At a cost of almost $75,000.
The Toronto Sun first revealed the purchase Thursday night, detailing the $74,850 purchase. Not surprisingly, the Toronto Taxpayer Coalition was incensed by news of the $2,500-per-chair purchase.
“This is completely unacceptable. Why is the city playing musical chairs with taxpayers’ money?” asked spokesperson Matthew McGuire.
“Rob Ford said he’s derailed the gravy train, but it’s clearly still chugging along.”
Worse yet, if it can get worse, the chairs are to be used in a member’s lounge — a room used by the mayor and councillors to host private meetings, and not exactly accessible to city residents.
Hell, if we’re going to buy $75,000 worth of chairs, we should at least be able to sit in them. Don’t we get, like, visitation rights or something?
City official Natasha Hinds told the Sun that the costly chairs were chosen to replace a set of original Warren Platner chairs that had fallen into a “bad state of disrepair.”
Sure enough, according to the call award summary, quotations were accepted last October for the “supply and delivery of replacement historical Platner chairs or equivalent.”
The $74,850 we were charged does, however, include the removal of any debris, so we’ve got to calculate that in.
Original Platner chairs similar in appearance to the replacements now featured at City Hall, sell online for $7,641. So from that perspective, going with the knockoffs was a sound fiscal decision.
But, as conservative Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong pointedly asked, hasn’t anyone heard of Ikea?