The city of Toronto was none too pleased when a man took it upon himself to build a set of steps leading to a community garden. He did so after the city received an estimate for the building of stairs at between $65k and $100K. This man, Adi Astl, built the stairs for $550. The response? The city tore down the stairs and, surprise, they’re having the stairs built for….$10k. Yep, thanks to the self-starting ways of Adi Astl, he saved Toronto’s tax base as much as $50k by embrassing the city.
What was wrong with the stairs that Astl built? Acccording to the city, they weren’t up to code. What is more likely? The city department that was responsible for that garden had a budget to spend and Astl went and messed it up. If you don’t spend the budget you have, next year, you will most likely get less. They must have found ways to spend the other $50K, which would be why they’re only spending $10k.
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Update: Govt Tears Down $550 Stairs, Will Rebuild for $10,000
On Thursday, The Libertarian Republic profiled the ingenuity of one man who had had enough of waiting for the government to act. Retired mechanic Adi Astl of Toronto constructed some stairs near a community garden. He did so after a few of his neighbors had fallen and injured themselves.
The city government estimated the cost as somewhere between $65,000 and $150,000. However, Astl was able to complete them at a cost of $550. Nonetheless, city regulators taped off the project due to it not being up to code.
Now, the story has taken another turn: the city government tore down the stairs.
In response to the negative attention his project has received from the city government, Astl blamed bureaucracy.
“A bureaucrat, you can’t fault his way because he’s told to go straight. Even when I would go left, he has to be told to go straight,” Astl said. “He’s not allowed to think on his own and say ‘maybe I should go left.’ The only way to change anything is you need to change the thinking at the top.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory called Astl and thanked him for bringing the issue to the forefront of public discussion. The city plans to construct new steps at a cost of $10,000, telling Astl they should be completed by next Friday. Therefore, through his personal initiative, Astl would appear to have both expedited the completion of the project and drastically reduced its burden on taxpayers.
On Thursday, The Libertarian Republic profiled the ingenuity of one man who had had enough of waiting for the government to act on building stairs.