A bold prediction

I'm not sure what my record is for predictions, but here's how I think Wednesday's debate on the OPP costing will go.

King Yee Jr., the chairman of the police services board, and former councillor Louise Severson, head of the pro-municipal-policing group Citizens Offering Police Support (COPS), will make detailed or impassioned cases for sticking with the city police force, while the OPP representatives, constrained by their professional duties not to advocate (at least overtly or too much), will be low-key and stick to the process involved in a costing.

Mayor David Henderson will point to the $872,272 in savings Yee offers up in his presentation as evidence of what kind of cost-cutting can be accomplished when city police's feet are held to the fire.

And the finance, administration and operations committee will vote, perhaps narrowly, to go with the costing, swayed, by a narrow majority, by the argument that a costing is just a costing, and great things have already been accomplished just by talking about looking at numbers.

In fact, even if the FAO vote is a "No," there will have to be a forward to the full council, because this debate will not really be complete until all 10 of our elected officials have had a chance to pronounce on the subject.

Once the matter goes to the full council for a debate, however, my prediction is the costing will be stopped in its tracks by a majority of councillors wary of a protracted emotional debate threatening to linger on into the early shoulder season of next year's municipal election.

There you have it: my read on where council will go. I have, however, been surprised before, which is what makes this job interesting.