Toronto chose to put low taxes ahead of infrastructure and services, but it has put her in a bit of a bind. She is 181 years old and has diverse thriving industries, a vibrant cultural scene, and well-loved municipal services like parks and libraries.
She has several major expenses, ranging from large-scale capital projects to everyday service improvements, all of which she wants to pay for without raising taxes or going into debt. As the nation’s economic hub, Toronto has substantial earning power — but she chooses to take in less revenue than she could. Continue reading Financial Facelift: Debt doubts cast shadow for world-class city with major expenses
The first real City Council meeting snuck up on me! Much of the agenda will be familiar if you followed last week’s Executive Committee meeting. SmartTrack makes its debut, the budget schedule gets settled, and Mammoliti’s in trouble again.
Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: Dec. 11 City Council
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.
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! Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: August 25 City Council
Monday’s City Council is actually a Special Meeting, and for once it’s not a transit debate that we’ll all walk out of hating everyone and everything. This time, Council will appoint fill-in councillors for Wards 5 and 20, vacant after councillors Milczyn and Vaughan levelled up to MPP and MP, respectively. You might see some familiar names on the list of candidates for Ward 5 and Ward 20. They include former Ford staffer Nico Fidani, cinephile urban legend Reg Hartt, and, uh, me. Yep. After saying on Keenan’s show that you couldn’t pay me to be Ward 20 councillor, I went and signed up, mostly as a joke…but upon consideration, I guess I know this beat pretty well.
The July City Council meeting proper starts Tuesday. (You’ll have gotten a preview of several of these items if you followed my Executive Committee livetweeting.) Here’s the full agenda and the livestream. My picks for items to watch are after the jump!
Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: July 7 & 8 City Council
- A Note: Operating Vs. Capital
- First, Some Context
- Operating Budget
- Capital Budget
- The Most Disingenuous Game
I don’t usually do Cheat Sheets for special meetings, but this one is for the 2014 budget! I love the budget!!! The entire exciting process, which started all the way back in November, is culminating this upcoming Wednesday in a meeting sure to be full of delightful surprises, dramatic reversals, procedural confusion, and petty, childish infighting. Continue reading A Very Special Cheat Sheet: #TObudget 2014
Disclaimer: For entertainment purposes only. Check out the full agenda.
Last meeting, we saw the Mayor reduced to a figurehead, with most of his responsibilities (and office budget) going to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly. In a fit of pique, the Mayor insisted on holding and speaking on various petty routine items until the clock ran out, and promised to do the same next time. I hope he’s forgotten, because there’s plenty of actual stuff to get done. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: December 16 City Council
In case you’ve been living under a rock: since the last City Council meeting, Rob Ford’s friend, occasional driver, and probable drug dealer Sandro Lisi was arrested on extortion charges; the heavily redacted search warrant was released, revealing (among many other things) the highly incriminating details of police surveillance of the Mayor; police chief Bill Blair announced that police had recovered the crack video; Rob Ford admitted to smoking crack but refused to step down; the Star purchased and posted a video of a highly intoxicated Rob Ford uttering angry death threats; and comments by his brother, mother and sister revealed the truly shocking degree to which they enable the mayor’s substance abuse. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: November 13 City Council
It’s the first council meeting since the summer break, so we’ve got a pretty hefty agenda! Here’s a sampling of items worth watching out for. Did I miss anything? Let me know. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: October 8 City Council
I make no claim as to what will make headlines, but these are the interesting items I found. You can check out the full agenda here. Did I miss anything important? Let me know.
The big-ticket item will probably be a new motion to cancel previous plans to replace the SRT with light rail and instead build three subway stops, which won’t go as far, will serve a smaller geographical area and less people, cost about a billion dollars more, and run at a loss. But who’s counting? Since the province is apparently willing to indulge us…siiiigh Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: July 16 City Council
I write things.
Yesterday some lady complained about strollers and so everyone’s complaining about strollers and I complain about people complaining about strollers.