Vaughan resident wants city to pay to fix his curb, councillor says can’t violate ‘policy in place’
'We have witnessed needless repairs and repairs done at whose expense? Naturally, the taxpayers,' says one resident
Aug. 3, 2021
A Vaughan resident wants the city to pay $450 to fix the remainder of his curb; however, his local councillor says they can’t violate the “policy in place.”
Currently, the city is resurfacing roads in the area of Blue Willow Drive, Chancellor Drive, and Zucchet Court, where David Ramsukh lives. The city has spent about $7.8 million this year for road resurfacing and rehabilitation programs across the entire community.
Ramsukh, a Vaughan taxpayer for 40 years, identifies himself as a senior who couldn’t work for a year because of COVID-19, but now has a part-time job.
“They couldn’t see to find in their heart or in their common sense to replace the old curb, because it looked terrible,” Ramsukh said.
Ramsukh, who has been living at his Zucchet home since 1992, didn’t have his curb meet the criteria for replacement; the criteria being three cracks for its full replacement.
But Coun. Rosanna DeFrancesca said there was some damage that needed to be repaired.
“This resident’s curb did not meet the requirements and, therefore, they called me. I went out with staff; we tried to explain to him why we have the policy in place,” DeFrancesca said.
“He was really insistent about the major crack that he had. And, in fairness, it was significant and so we decided at the time with city staff that we would replace that portion of the curb.”
According to the city, its “staff agreed to replace only the damaged portion of the curb, and the resident was also provided the option of paying to have the balance of the curb replaced at the contract rates quoted (approximately $450).”
“The resident initially agreed, but later declined payment for replacing the rest of the curb,” the city added.
However, Ramsukh rejects the claim that he declined, and said that he told the city to “think about it.”
“My position is that I’ve been living in Woodbridge for the last 40 years and I have been living in this house since 1992. My contention is if I've been paying taxes for so long, how come I gotta be paying extra money for $450 for a curb?”
Both the city and councillor said they can’t heed his call.
“This budget is allocated to curbs that meet the criteria for resurfacing or rehabilitation -- please note, the city maintains approximately 2,660 kilometres of curbs,” the city said.
While DeFrancesca said “transparency and fairness across the board is the aim of the policy, so everyone is treated the same,” Ramsukh’s neighbour Gabriel Graziano has come to his defence.
“I understand that she has to adhere to policies, but as a councillor, she has to assist her local constituents, you know, and taxpayers, in a time of crisis like this. It would have been different if it was any other time, but with everything we've been through with COVID, I think it behooves them to do something decent for their constituents,” Graziano said.
“Is the city that hard up for cash that they had to do a half-hearted job and expect a taxpayer, who has been a resident for over 25 years (at his current home), to fork over $450 to do the other half of the curb?” Graziano said.“We have researched the area and noticed a number of other curbs being fully replaced which looked in better condition than Mr. Ramsukh's,” he added. “We have witnessed needless repairs and repairs done at whose expense? Naturally the taxpayers. Will (director of infrastructure) Mr. Graziosi's office be held accountable for excessive expenditure based on oversights by his department?”