We need to reform our institutions, especially our public institutions to do what they are supposed to do. Government should deliver services to the people who use them, whether Public Transit, Building Inspections or Tax Collections (or refunds) or Garbage Collections. Schools should teach. Public officials should serve the public, and not themselves and their allies.
Possibly our colonial heritage caused the distinctly different view of governments role here than elsewhere. Perhaps the culture which values relationships over achievement. Politicians have built a cult of personality where doing their jobs has been promoted to the level of a personal favor.
What is needed is a new approach, we cannot bribe people to come here. We don't have the money and someone else will always have more. We need to make the city attractive for people to locate well paying permanent jobs here.