The Cheat Sheet: August 25 City Council

The Cheat Sheet / August 2014

Well, here we are at the last City Council meeting this term. I feel…sad? Sure, it’s been a fucked-up, dysfunctional four years, but it was never boring.

The Tenth Doctor saying "I don't want to go" before regenerating

After the jump: the Ombudsman is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore; mid-rise invasion; transit recommendations of varying utility; and more. You can find the full agenda here. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything I missed!

Election, Ethics, Etc.

  • Election signs!

  • The Integrity Commissioner has found that Cllr Augimeri violated the Code of Conduct by calling political rival Gus Cusimano a criminal. Augimeri has since apologized as requested, and the IC recommends covering Cusimano’s legal fees. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Drama.

  • The Integrity Commissioner and Ombudsman have both released reports.

    “There is increased scrutiny on the actions of elected officials at the City of Toronto. With greater scrutiny comes greater demand for accountability,” writes the Integrity Commissioner in her annual report. Over her five-year term the office has seen a significant increase in informal complaints and requests for advice—not necessarily bad news, she points out, because it shows that people trust the process to work. The one change she’s suggested is for reports on Code of Conduct or Complaint Protocol matters to go directly to City Council, instead of to Executive Committee where they can totally shelve it like they did earlier this year.

    In her five-year review, the Ombudsman also remarks that, as public awareness of her office has increased, they have seen a constant rise in complaints and requests for advice. But the “severe and chronic lack of resources…threatens to cripple the operations of the Office”—especially when it comes to systemic investigations and public outreach. Their efforts to serve the marginalized, lower-income populations of the inner suburbs “are no longer sustainable with the current resources”. If Council continues to starve the office, warns the Ombudsman, she will prioritize the most essential complaints first—housing, access to services—implement a complaints backlog for the rest, and complainants will be told how long they can expect to wait and why. “Fuck you, pay me,” she concludes.

Not In My Backyard

Yes In My Backyard

Is This My Backyard?

  • Determining whether a certain spot is on “City property” or not can be something of a thorn in the side of various City staff, property owners, and members of the public. Cllr Wong-Tam is proposing adding small, inobtrusive markers, like New York City does, to delineate property lines in key locations.

Utterly Toothless Appeals to Higher Levels of Government

Street Level

Reports, Reports, Reports, Folks

Construction

Miscellaneous

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