COLUMN: Ontario city officials don’t care for a watchdog in their house

By Les Zaitz

The findings in our reporting were surprising.

With all the debate on the Ontario sales tax, we wanted to learn about the financial crisis city officials cited while seeking millions in new tax money.

I started where any citizen can go – Ontario’s city website. There, the city talked about how it had been “cutting, and cutting, and cutting.” The city said it reduced patrol officers and had no detective. There was “reduced fire personnel.”

At first blush, that seemed a grave threat to Ontario’s well-being. I count many in law enforcement at all levels as friends and indeed have officers in my family. Ensuring the public’s safety is as an essential function of government.

So, we started to dig in to see how bad it had become. We examined Ontario city budgets going back several years, no easy task. We sent questions to . . .