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Amid outcry, mayor denies keeping plan secret to raise the price for ice time at city arenas
By: JEFF GRAY AND JENNIFER LEWINGTON
Published: FEBRUARY 7, 2008 AT 4:19 AM EST
Source: GLOBE AND MAIL
"Mayor David Miller tried yesterday to defuse the controversy over proposed fee increases for ice time at city arenas, denying the plan was kept quiet and pledging to produce a more "reasonable" proposal by next week.
"It's not an issue of backing down. The budget committee is going to review this, and that's normal in the budget process," Mr. Miller told reporters yesterday, adding that he has asked city staff to come up with alternatives.
City officials were expected to meet today to map out how to make do with smaller increases than those proposed, which average 21.5 per cent for the fees charged to groups that rent city pools, fields, hockey rinks and other facilities. The options, which could include savings in other departments, will be presented to council's budget committee early next week.
The surprising increases, included in the city's draft budget, came to light only this week. Many councillors, including allies of Mr. Miller, were unaware of the plan until questions were raised on Monday, prompting accusations that the unpopular move was being deliberately kept quiet."